350CO gathered on Dec. 10 2022 to send a clear message to oppose Manchin’s side deal

DENVER – Today 350 Colorado joined hundreds of organizations and thousands of Americans in calling on Congressional leaders to oppose Senator Manchin’s efforts to include harmful fossil fuel provisions in upcoming legislation. A formal letter signed by over 750 organizations was delivered today to Senator John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennet, calling on them to formally and publicly oppose Manchin’s proposed provisions.

On Tuesday, December 6, it was announced that Manchin’s Side Deal did not have the votes it needed to be attached to the annual defense spending bill. The effort to oppose Manchin’s provisions has been led by the People Vs Fossil Fuels Coalition, a frontline-led coalition of over 1,200 grassroots and national climate and environmental justice organizations dedicated to ending the fossil fuel era. In September, the frontlines stood up to Senator Manchin and Senator Schumer and defeated a side deal that would undermine bedrock environmental laws, fast-track fossil fuels, and sacrifice environmental justice communities.

“Unfortunately, during the final weeks of this Congress, lawmakers are poised to revive Manchin’s dirty deal. Coloradans gathered over the weekend to raise awareness on the harms of these proposed provisions which would favor the fossil fuel industry and allow for ‘sacrifice zones’ which will continue to disproportionately harm impacted communities,” says Deborah McNamara of 350 Colorado. “We’re thankful to Rep. Joe Neguse for publicly opposing this side deal and we are submitting a letter today urging Senators Hickenlooper and Bennet to do the same and to stand up for community protections. It is time to stop sacrificing our communities in service of fossil fuel and mining handouts. We are calling it the ‘zombie deal’ because Manchin and others just won’t let it die.”

Senator Manchin and Schumer’s ‘dirty deal’ would fast track dangerous fossil fuel projects that threaten our climate and communities. Under the plan backed by Manchin, polluting oil and gas companies could more easily force through dirty, dangerous fossil fuel projects in any neighborhood and community where they want to build them, limiting the voice of the public in the process. This plan would attempt to rubber stamp the Mountain Valley Pipeline – a dirty project that neighboring communities have been fighting for years, that is missing many permits, and that has been rejected by courts.

Those opposing Manchin’s provisions cite that there are better ways to safely reform our infrastructure approval process than this dirty deal that guts bedrock environmental protections, cuts out the voice of the public, endangers public health, and fast tracks more dangerous fossil fuel projects.

Environmental groups also note that this dirty deal will directly undercut President Biden’s climate agenda that he is touting at COP27 and any positive impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act by fast tracking more climate polluting fossil fuel projects. Furthermore, the proposed deal was designed by and for the fossil fuel industry to make it easier and faster to get permits for fossil fuel projects. It shortens the amount of time the public has to weigh in on how a project may harm them and makes it more difficult for the public to challenge those harmful projects in court.

Coloradans are joining the call, calling on members of Congress to stop this dirty deal and protect our communities, our voices, and our climate.