In order to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, Senators Manchin and Schumer made a deal which introduces a separate piece of legislation that would fast-track permit approvals for fossil fuel projects in September. While no one has seen the official legislation, the leaked one-page summary of the deal limits foundational environmental protections, endangers public health, fast-tracks fossil fuels, and pushes approval for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and a draft legislation text even bears the watermark from the American Petroleum Institute.
This side deal has been written by and for the fossil fuel industry, and further causes concerns for frontline communities. The summary document released by Manchin’s office would introduce a wide range of changes to the time tables of the decisions made by regulatory agencies reviewing energy projects under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act and other authorities
These changes include, among other revisions:
- Reinstating limitations on state authority under the Clean Water Act that were made during the Trump administration
- Requiring federal agencies to concurrently review the different authorizations and permits for a project, and limiting NEPA review to two years for major projects and one year for smaller projects
- Creating loopholes for certain projects to avoid NEPA review altogether
- Establishing an avenue for the Secretary of Energy to make a determination whether an energy project is in the national interest, as opposed to the Secretary of State.
These measures would put a great deal of strain on federal agencies and courts, and possibly force these institutions to take information presented by the companies requesting permits at face value instead of having the ability to do their own due diligence.
Appalachia, and all other sacrifice zones at risk due to this potential legislation, refuse to be sacrificed for political purposes. We must protect the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), tribal sovereignty and frontline communities having a say.
Clean Water for NC joined with 650 groups in a letter to reject Machin’s side deal which fast tracks MVP and limits important environmental protections for energy projects.
Ways YOU can take action: