Sen. Jeff Merkley

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) questions U.S. Forest Service Chief Randy Moore during a hearing in Washington, D.C. on May 4, 2022.

(Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images)

'More of This!' Merkley Leads Senate Demand for Separate Vote on Manchin Deal

"Thank you to these senators for their solidarity with frontline communities against more fossil fuel pollution!" said one activist.

Environmental justice campaigners on Thursday welcomed a letter from eight senators demanding separate votes on a government funding resolution and Sen. Joe Manchin's fossil fuel-friendly federal permitting bill.

The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)—who made a backroom deal with Manchin (D-W.Va.) on permitting reform to pass the Inflation Reduction Act—echoed a message that dozens of Democrats sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week.

The new call, spearheaded by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), came a day after Manchin unveiled the full text of his Energy Independence and Security Act, which would restrict frontline communities' input on fossil fuel projects and endorse the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). According to the People vs. Fossils coalition:

"We need more of this! Thank you to everyone who has signed below!"

Adrien Salazar of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance similarly said, "Thank you to these senators for their solidarity with frontline communities against more fossil fuel pollution!"

"Such important issues should be examined through detailed committee consideration and a robust floor debate separate from the urgent need to see that the government stays open."

The other signatories are Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Another woman in the area was being treated

"I fight for environmental justice, not fast-tracking fossil fuels," Markey said Thursday. "Don't make us choose between keeping the government open and keeping communities' rights."

Earlier this week, nearly 80 organizations had pressured Booker, Duckworth, and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)—the founding members of the Senate Environmental Justice Caucus—to reject Manchin's "pernicious" bill.

Some of the senators' constituents on Thursday thanked them for signing on to Merkley's letter while residents of other states called on their elected officials to join the fight against the "dirty deal."

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