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Media Contact:

Justin Wasser (202) 753-7016, jwasser@earthworks.org

NOTE: This statement was updated on 2 August 2022 to reflect the additional harms from these provisions on frontline communities and climate from mining. The original release was 1 August 2022.

The Washington Post is reporting that the deal negotiated to earn Senator Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act includes separate legislation that all but guarantees the United States will vastly increase sources of climate pollution from fossil fuels and mining in the coming years. Proposals to overhaul parts of the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act make it easier for developers to override environmental objections when building new mining and fossil fuel infrastructure. The Senate will vote this week on a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval revoking the Biden Administration’s first NEPA rule. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made clear that global climate pollution must be reduced by half to avoid further warming than 1.5 degrees Celsius and climate catastrophe in our lifetimes. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) estimates that mining and minerals processing cause 10% of global GHG emissions. The International Energy Agency has shown that in order to protect billions of people from the immediate risks of climate change, the world needed to end all new investment in oil and gas by 2021.

Statement by Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel:

“The world is on fire and Congress is attacking it with a squirt gun while giving Senator Manchin and industry executives more matches by fast-tracking oil, gas, mining, and hydrogen boondoggles.

“More drilling and extraction are no solution to climate change. President Biden has the authority to stop permitting more climate polluters. It’s time that he uses it and declares a climate emergency and transforms our mining rules. Leadership requires action aligned with science, otherwise this kind of politics is going to flood, burn, and hurt us all.”

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