But what I wrote in July seems on the mark: “Some folks I respect say we should be more positive and talk about solutions and not be such Debbie and Donny Downers. 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.”
Because the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 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).
In other words, digging the hole deeper. 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% reduction over 2005 levels 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 if that’s not bad enough, the side deal to the IRA that Manchin and Schumer agreed to is really despicable. In legislation not yet finalized and to be voted on in September, it would require the completion of the Mountain Valley fracked gas pipeline (MVP) through West Virginia and southwestern Virginia, much-delayed because of all the violations the consortium building it has committed. It also calls for “streamlining” the permitting process, which would reduce a lot of government oversight and public participation. See my June and July blog posts for more on the MVP.
It will likely be tacked onto “must pass” legislation such as the budget bill. While the proposals to “streamline” the permitting process would also apply to renewable energy projects, the side deal takes an “all of the above” approach to energy, with fracked gas projects and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) getting billions in subsidies through the IRA 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.
We can’t afford that at this late stage in the climate crisis. We must stop it.
Folks from the frontlines of the MVP fight are gathering to lobby their elected officials in DC on Thursday, Sept. 8, to vote NO on the bill, and then attend a rally at 5 p.m. I am going and would love to bring you with me. Not only is this a critical fight for all of us, but meeting the people along the path of the MVP was a highlight of my life as I’m sure it would be for you. Check out the link below or send me a message. https://tinyurl.com/nodirtydeal
And PLEASE call your reps and senators in Congress and tell them (probably just leaving a message will take you about 30 seconds) you are opposed to this side deal. We need all the voices we can get. Go here to find them: https://www.congress.gov/members/find-your-member
Also attaching link to my two op-eds that just came out that pretty much blanketed the state, thanks to running in all the Hearst papers as well as the CT Mirror: