President Joe Biden has signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act. This will bring about a historic investment in combating the climate crisis. It will also set a record corporate minimum tax and allow Medicare to negotiate the price of certain drugs for the first time.
The climate community had been pushing the Biden administration for many months to finally take action: If it weren’t for climate activists’ Forever advocatingThe IRA might not have been enacted in the last decade. The bill’s NearlyThe $370 billion climate spending was hailed as a landmark for the climate movement.
But activists aren’t taking this time to rest; after all, the bill contains “poison pills” to expand fossil fuel exploration that climate experts say will fail to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Instead, activists are mobilizing to demand more — and they say that whatever Biden does next may determine the course of the climate crisis.
One of the first targets of climate activists’ docket is a “dirty” side deal madeDemocratic leaders met with Senator Joe Manchin (D.West Virginia) to get him to support climate clauses in the IRA. The Mountain Valley Pipeline, which is a fracked gas pipeline, would be expedited by the deal. It would run through West Virginia as well as Virginia.
Manchin has made the project a priority but it would not be a priority. MajorIt is a contributor to the climate crisis. estimated to emitThe equivalent of more than 19 million passenger cars or 26 coal plants producing greenhouse gases each year. Activists warn that the pipeline could be dangerous for Appalachian communities on the route of the project. They are at risk from explosions, leaks, or other safety hazards.
“Here in Appalachia, we are done being a sacrifice zone,” said Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights Coalition organizer Grace Tuttle, in a statement provided to Truthout. “Far too many corrupt people in power have thrown us under the bus for their own political gain and profit. No more.”
Fossil Fuels and People a coalition of over 1,200 climate and advocacy groups, added that activists “will not allow our relatives in Appalachia to be sacrificed at the altar of corporate greed.”
The deal is so favorable to fossil fuels, in fact, draft bill text for the Mountain Valley Pipeline and other polluting projects that’s been circulating among lawmakers carries the watermark of “API” — which is believed to belong to the powerful American Petroleum Institute.
Activist groups planning to floodD.C. in September to ask Congress and Biden to cancel the pipeline deal, Cassidy DiPaola, Stop the Oil Profiteering campaign spokesperson, said Truthout, saying that activists will be waging an “all hands on deck” campaign to protect frontline communities that will be affected by the pipeline.
Some progressive and Democratic lawmakers have voiced their opposition to the deal and called for a separate vote. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) told The American Prospect on Tuesday that progressives are vowing to vote against the pipeline, saying that “we sure as hell don’t owe Joe Manchin anything now.” It’s unclear if the pipeline has enough support to pass Congress.
Advocates also plan to press Biden to exercise his executive power to expand clean electricity beyond the funding of the IRA. Crucially, they say that funding for these projects could come out of the budget of the world’s largest institutional greenhouse gas emitter: the Pentagon.
The Pentagon’s massive budget is the ideal source for climate funding, advocates say, considering the fact that lawmakers view it as must-pass budgetary legislation each year. The United States spends trillions of Dollars on the “defense” agency, which regularly loses absurd amounts of funding through poor accounting practices — all while fueling humanitarian crisesAll forms of violence and aggression around the world
According to a 2021 report prepared by the National Priorities Project and the Institute for Policy Studies, the U.S. could have decarbonized its entire electric grid several times over with the amount of money the country’s spent on militarization over the past two decades. The U.S. has spent $21 Trillion on foreign and domestic militarization since 9/11. To decarbonize the grid, it would only cost $4.5 Trillion. Contrary to endless military spending and unlimited military spending, transitioning away fossil fuels could be possible. also have the dual benefit ofYou can save billions, if you don’t even trillions of dollars per year.
Climate advocates claim that Biden could be able to redirect defense funds to climate priorities if it declares a climate crisis. lawmakersSince Biden took office, they have been urging him to do so. He could also take a variety of actions to limit fossil fuel expansion. For example, he could prohibit U.S. funding of fossil fuel projects in foreign countries.
“Resting on renewable incentives alone won’t get Biden or the world where we need to go,” said Jean Su, energy justice director and attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. “The fight for a livable planet depends on Biden leading the all-of-government approach he promised, starting with using the powerful climate tools granted him under the law.”