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For Immediate Release

Contact

Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, bhartl@biologicaldiversity.org

Press Release

Climate Bill Heads to Biden for Signature, Forecasts Fall Fossil Fuel Fight

WASHINGTON -

The House of Representatives passed the Democrats’ climate and healthcare spending bill today, sending the biggest-ever U.S. government climate investment package to the president for his signature.

Formally known as the Inflation Reduction Act, it contains a $369 billion package of incentives, tax credits and funding to spur renewable energy. It won the backing of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) with a deal that handcuffs any renewable energy development on public lands or waters to massive oil and gas leasing.

The bill would also revive offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic. That includes an 80 million-acre lease sale in the Gulf that the Center for Biological Diversity and allies previously beat in court.

“The fossil fuel industry got its vile tribute, extracted with cruel precision by a profiteering coal baron,” said Brett Hartl, the Center’s government affairs director. “But polluters shouldn’t get one more handout from any Manchin side deal or otherwise. These companies are wrecking our climate and raking in record profits, and more federal help is the last thing they deserve.”

A reported side deal between Sen. Manchin and Democratic leadership would weaken bedrock environmental laws to give faster fossil fuel project approvals and expedite the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline in Appalachia. Fossil fuel development is the root cause of the deadly fires, floods and heatwaves ripping across the country.

Projections of the bill’s emissions reductions show it would still fall short of President Biden’s commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

“Even taking this bill at its rosiest estimates, it still isn’t enough to meet President Biden’s climate goals, much less the scale and urgency of the climate crisis,” said Hartl. “Biden still needs to use his full suite of existing powers to fight the climate crisis, starting by declaring a climate emergency and reining in fossil fuels. The heat domes, deadly fires and ravaging floods punishing our country won’t wait for the next anguished compromise. President Biden must act to end the fossil fuels destroying lives and our planet before it’s too late.”

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. 

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