Melinda is a front line pipeline warrior. She will be at the Sept. 8 DC lobby day/ demo and speaks from experience. You can believe what she says. The Mansion side deal drives a truck through any reduction of green house gases.
What can those of us far away from the action do? Contact your Representative and Senator now. Express your opinion and ask them their opinion. Do not be satisfied with “I have to read the bill.” By then it will be too late, which is part of the Manchin Strategy.
For more details and concrete actions you can take go to
I had a second op-ed published yesterday about the MVP and the dirty side deal, and I’m also sending the first one in case y’all didn’t see that.
The second one ran in our leading statewide news site: https://ctmirror.org/2022/08/30/mountain-valley-pipeline-killingly-ct/
and this one in my local daily in Print and on-line in eight other daily papers in Connecticut and some weeklies:
Opinion: Stop side deal that undermines climate progress (scroll down)
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed when West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin got what he wanted into the bill, has some good things (promoting electric vehicles and incentivizing more renewables) and some bad things (requiring offering millions of acres for on-shore and off-shore oil and gas drilling as a prerequisite for building renewable energy projects).
Some folks I respect say we should be more positive and talk about solutions and not be such Debbie and Donny Downers, always talking about looming climate catastrophe. My only problem with that approach is, we can build out all the solar panels and wind turbines and battery storage we want, and we can promote energy efficiency and conservation (not using the energy in the first place) 24/7, but if we don’t turn off the gas and oil spigots (coal is dying on its own, but we definitely should encourage its retirement), we are not going to dig ourselves out of the hole we’re in.
This new “climate” legislation digs the hole deeper while also providing some ladders out of the hole. It’s all carrots and no sticks — no enforceable requirements for reducing climate pollution in the law — which was probably the only way it was going to pass, but which makes achieving the advertised 40 percent reduction below 2005 levels by 2030 pretty squishy. Many frontline groups fighting fossil projects, like indigenous folks in the Midwest and Black folks on the Gulf Coast, who are already overburdened, point out that they’ve been thrown under the bus — again — as more polluting projects will be located in their communities.
As if that’s not bad enough, the side deal to the IRA that Manchin and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer agreed to is really despicable. In legislation not yet finalized and to be voted on in September, it would enable the completion of the Mountain Valley fracked gas pipeline through West Virginia and southwestern Virginia, much-delayed because of all the violations the consortium building it has committed. It is mostly finished, but in segments because it lost its permits for hundreds of water crossings and for building in the steepest mountain sections.
The side deal also calls for “streamlining” the permitting process for all types of energy projects, which would reduce a lot of government oversight and public participation. Carbon capture and sequestration is getting billions in subsidies through the IRA, a scheme that even former CCS project developers now say is a total waste of money and will only help entrench rather than phase out fossil fuels. These kinds of projects need more, not less, oversight.
The side deal will likely be tacked onto “must pass” legislation such as the budget bill.
We can’t afford that at this late stage in the climate crisis. We must stop it. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent from current levels by 2030 if we hope to avoid climate catastrophe that would make many parts of the world uninhabitable. And the conservative International Energy Agency said last year there could be no new fossil infrastructure built after 2021 to avoid the same fate.
Folks from the frontlines of the MVP fight are gathering in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 8 to lobby their elected officials to vote no on the side deal, and will then attend a rally at 5 p.m. I am going, to support them and because it’s in my own interest. Won’t you join me? Check out the link at https://tinyurl.com/nodirtydeal
Melinda Tuhus, of Hamden, is a member of CT Climate Crisis Mobilization and 350 CT.