When we come together, we win.

November 29, 2022

Senator Manchin's Dirty Deal has not been fully defeated yet. We need YOUR help to kill the Dirty Deal for good!

Through months of political tomfoolery, obstruction, and many moving goalposts, an iteration of the Green New Deal was watered down to the Build Back Better Act, then whittled away even further to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The massive investments in renewable energy included in the IRA are a big deal in accelerating the transition to a green, stable, and livable future. However, the IRA also snuck in giveaways to Big Oil (mandating lease sales for fossil fuels, CCUS tax credits, continuing fossil fuel subsidies…) which sacrifices the same people who have always borne the brunt of oil, gas, and coal infrastructure: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and working class communities.

But those giveaways weren’t enough for Senator Joe Manchin, who, by the way, has a long and lucrative relationship with the coal industry.

Leading up to the vote on the IRA, Sen. Manchin made a backroom deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Sen. Manchin would vote to pass the IRA, but in return Sen. Schumer needed to include more handouts to oil and gas companies in the continuing resolution — a must pass bill that is used to keep the government running. This dirty deal included gutting frontline communities’ most reliable tools to protect their air, land, and water from polluting facilities. It sought to fast track approval processes for fossil fuel projects by weakening the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which allows for community and expert feedback and review on projects. It also provided an option for companies to move a project to a different court if they didn’t get the ruling they wanted.

Environmental justice (EJ), frontline leaders, community protectors, activists, and organizations came together, and Big Greens rallied behind them to stop this deal from being forced through unnoticed. On Sept. 27 Sen. Manchin asked Sen. Schumer to remove the dirty deal from the continuing resolution.

This win was only possible because of the unified uprising from EJ groups and in return national NGOs prioritized this crucial issue and took leadership from frontline activists. This is a recipe for success that we must continue in order to win the political power we need to advance climate action and environmental protection for people and the planet.

Manchin’s Dirty Deal Goes Down—Now What? “Green groups and community groups were united. Environmental justice and frontline communities went to the front line, but traditional environmental groups stood with us.”

The full power moment to stop the Dirty Deal

Greenpeace USA used a mobile advertising truck to get the message to Congress to stop West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s Dirty Deal that would fast track oil, gas, and coal projects. The deal could sacrifice lives and the health of communities, silence voices by gutting environmental reviews and public comment, and sabotage the chance for a livable future.

At Greenpeace USA, we responded to the dirty deal by directing the majority of our time and resources to stopping the deal from being included in the continuing resolution. Everyone — from campaigners and organizers to accountants and lawyers — shifted their priorities to stop the deal in its tracks. Hundreds of volunteers called and signed letters to their members of congress. Our digital and visuals team pumped out digital content including videos, informative tweet threads, and graphics. One of our co-Executive Directors even got arrested with 12 other environmental and community leaders for protesting the deal on Capitol Hill.

Greenpeace Executive Director Ebony Twilley Martin makes comments while shutting down the entrance to the Hart Senate Office Building. A group of environmental and community leaders were arrested in a protest on Capitol Hill, calling on the Senate to reject Senator Manchin’s proposal to undermine environmental and community review and fast-track oil, gas, and coal projects. The protest came one day after Manchin formally released his proposal, which had been first announced in July.

Greenpeace USA stayed in the news pretty consistently around the topic securing 320 media mentions with a potential audience of 887.24 million. Our stop the dirty deal petition collectively resulted in more than 100,000 messages sent to Congress, and we took our meme game to the next level to raise awareness on social media. Moments after the dirty deal was pulled from the continuing resolution we celebrated with Senator Bernie Sanders outside the capitol.

The fight is not over.

Greenpeace US activists send a message to Congress to stop West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s Dirty Deal that would fast track oil, gas, and coal projects. 

Even after the united opposition to the dirty deal, the second round still has the support of Senator Schumer and the White House. Sen. Manchin has made it clear that his next attempt to get his corporate overlords the handouts they demand is to attach it to upcoming must pass legislation. The first is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a defense spending bill that will be debated after the midterm elections. The second is the OMNIBUS bill, another government funding bill that must pass before the end of the year.

With the climate crisis on full blast, Congress and President Biden must be doing all they can to protect environmental justice and frontline communities from fossil fuel pollution and declare a climate emergency. Instead, President Biden came out in support of the Dirty Deal:

“The President supports Senator Manchin’s plan because it is necessary for our energy security, and to make more clean energy available to the American people. We will continue to work with him to find a vehicle to bring this bill to the floor and get it passed and to the President’s desk.”

On top of that, the oil and gas industry is going all in to exploit this moment to streamline oil and gas development. This means we must stay vigilant and build on our success last month and kill the dirty deal once and for all. We demonstrated the power of the climate and environmental justice movements.

Now is the time to double down and ask for what we want, policies that will empower communities (for example EJ 4 All legislation currently sitting in Congress) and spur the rapid and far reaching action we desperately need to address the climate crisis (#DeclareClimateEmergency) while stopping deregulation and fossil fuel streamlining like the so-called permitting reform in Senator Manchin’s dirty deal. So, keep an eye out for upcoming opportunities to take action and use your voice to support real solutions and block backtracking and corporate handouts. We’ve got a lot of great tactics in the works and are so excited for you to get involved in round 2 of fighting the dirty deal!

In the meantime, Tell @POTUS to declare a #ClimateEmergency now, instead of supporting the #DirtyDeal!

Support a Climate Emergency declaration today!

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