Biden urged to respond to Manchin by killing fractured gas pipeline in West Virginia

“We can’t keep waiting for a group of congressional accomplices to do nothing while people are dying,” said a climate activist.

President Joe Biden on Friday faced calls to respond forcefully to Sen. Joe Manchin’s latest climate filibuster by reversing a fractured gas pipeline in the right-wing Democrats’ home state of West Virginia, a move that would prevent an estimated 90 million tons metrics of new greenhouse gas emissions being spewed into the atmosphere each year.

“West Virginians would be better served by pursuing clean energy projects than climate-polluting pipelines.”

Manchin, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry and a coal profiteer in his own right, has been a vocal supporter of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project that, if completed, would transport gas along a route 300 miles stretching northwest to west. Virginia to southern Virginia.

In an April statement, Manchin called the pipeline a “strategically important project” and urged the administration to secure its “full approval.”

Dana Nuccitelli, research coordinator for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, tweeted Thursday that the Biden administration should instead “immediately end the Mountain Valley pipeline and reduce offshore drilling,” something Manchin also favors.

The request came after Manchin — who has received more campaign donations from the oil and gas industry than any other member of Congress this election cycle — reportedly told Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) in a closed meeting on Thursday that he would not support any renewable energy spending or tax increases targeting the wealthy.

The West Virginia Democrat, a pivotal swing vote who has dragged on and sabotaged negotiations for more than a year, claims Friday he wants to wait until July inflation figures are released next month to decide whether to back legislation that includes new climate finance.

“Manchin has proven once again that he doesn’t care about planetary destruction that will cause immeasurable death.”

In a statement to Common dreamsNuccitelli said that “with the Supreme Court having limited the EPA’s ability to regulate climate pollutants and Senator Manchin having blocked the current session of Congress from passing meaningful climate legislation, there are few avenues left for the EPA to he Biden administration is getting closer to the American goal of 2030. The Parisian commitment.

“As Senator Whitehouse said, ‘Now is the time for executive Beast Mode’ on climate,” Nuccitelli said. “This includes scaling back new fossil fuel projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would not only create negative local environmental impacts, including on the Appalachian Trail, but block decades of additional climate pollution, including in the form of methane leaks. West Virginians would be better served by pursuing clean energy projects than climate-polluting pipelines.

The multibillion-dollar Mountain Valley project has been mired in regulatory and court battles for years, as advocates and Indigenous groups warn it would endanger major waterways and forest lands.

Oil Change International and Bold Alliance estimated in a 2017 analysis that the completed pipeline would produce 89,526,651 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, the equivalent of 26 coal-fired power plants or 19 million vehicles. of tourism.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has nonetheless granted permission to proceed with construction of the pipeline even as it awaits key government approvals. Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC recently applied to FERC for a four-year license extension to complete the fracked gas project.

Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that the Biden administration was exploring a potential arrangement under which federal officials would grant approval to the Mountain Valley Pipeline and other fossil fuel projects in exchange for Manchin’s support for limited renewable energy investments.

Climate advocates have strongly criticized such a compromise, warning that it will end up harming the planet. After Thursday’s meeting between Manchin and Schumer, environmentalists said Biden should focus on what he can do unilaterally to cut carbon emissions and avert climate catastrophe.

“It is time for President Biden to declare a national climate emergency and deploy his executive powers to bring about the future of renewable and just energy,” said Jean Su, director of the Energy Justice program at the Center for Biological Diversity. Common dreams in an email.

“The Biden administration has shown promise for bold executive action through the president’s recent use of the Defense Production Act to galvanize domestic solar manufacturing,” Su noted. “He has a wide range of powers to adopt bold climate action, such as banning crude oil exports, halting fossil fuel extraction, and leveraging federal programs to rapidly deploy renewable, affordable and resilient energy systems.”

Ashley Thomson, climate campaign manager at Greenpeace USA, pointed out that given the intensifying impacts of the climate emergency in the present, the Biden administration does not have time to respond to Manchin’s preferred timeline.

“Manchin has proven once again that he doesn’t care about planetary destruction that will cause immeasurable death. When the floods come, I hope they take his yacht out first,” Thomson said. “President Biden has no more excuses. He needs to start using his executive powers to the full if we are to make progress in preventing the worst climate disasters in our country.”

“Right now he’s letting Big Oil funded politicians kill the planet when he has the power to put us on the right track,” Thomson added. “We can’t keep waiting for a bunch of congressional accomplices to do nothing while people are dying.”

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