While many environmental advocates celebrate Senate Democrats’ climate agreement this week, frontline activists and more critical voices continue to note that the legislation, whatever its promises and upsides, is an inadequate response to the global emergency that could potentially Will cause further damage to already affected communities. fossil fuel pollution.
The Senate approved the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in a party-line vote on Sunday and is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled House as soon as Friday.
Writing for Jacobin in the wake of the Senate vote, Branco Marstic called for the package to be “clear-sighted”, adding that “the urge to address the IRA’s serious flaws was understandable when it was expected to pass.” Prospects used to sit on a knife edge. But after passing the Senate, it has now crossed its biggest hurdle.”
“People need to understand the realities of the bill—that it’s a legislative ransom note written by a fossil fuel industry that supported and celebrates it now, we had no choice but to go with the political realities—and that it’s going to happen.” The passage is ‘not only the end of a battle but the beginning of a new front in the war to avoid disaster,’ he wrote.
Describing the Senate’s passage as a “bitter victory”, Kate Aronoff of the New Republic said it was “a historic achievement and very important that Democrats cannot rule again for a decade” but ” also sends more people to live” next to longer fossil fuel infrastructure; In many cases, that means sending more people—primarily poor people, black people, and brown people—to disease and death.”
“The passage to the IRA does not keep the book so open on US climate policy,” she argued, making the case that any bill was possible to pass because of continued activism. “As always, the best guides for navigating what comes next will be the people who won it in first place, and those who have to be closest to its results.”
Since Sunday—when Democratic senators rejected an effort by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to remove fossil fuel handouts of the bill—frontline activists, national groups and climate scientists have held talks with Sen. The criticism is shared by Munchkin (D-W.Va.), a deterrent to various progressive priorities whose personal wealth and political life are both tied to filthy energy.
Food and Water Watch’s managing director of policy, Mitch Jones, said that “it is no surprise that a climate policy designed to meet the demands of coal barons adequately addresses the gravity of the climate crisis we are facing.” necessary to do.”
While IRAs include about $369 billion in “energy security and climate change” investments, “the bill devotes billions to industry plans such as carbon capture, which exist solely to extend the life of the fossil fuel industry.” ,” said Jones. It’s also a position to use federal land and water to expand fossil fuel leasing wind and solar, and enable future drilling specifically in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico that the Biden administration previously halted.
“This new bill is genocide, there’s no other way to put it,” said Sikinik Maupin, executive director of Sovereign Inupiat for Living Arctic. “It’s a life-or-death situation and the longer we act as if the world is not on fire around us, the worse our burn.”
Citing the already abundant evidence that investment in clean, renewable energy does not, by itself, displace fossil fuels, Jones argued that “any substantial climate policy must confront it directly”. Dirty energy field.
“The fact that oil and gas officials are happy with this law speaks volumes about its obvious shortcomings,” he said. “Activists and frontline communities will continue to fight to stop fossil fuel corporations that threaten our air, our water and a habitable planet.”
Equally critical was one of the groups leading the fight for the ambitious legislation, along with the declaration of a climate emergency from the Center for Biological Diversity’s Jean Su-President Joe Biden.
“It was a backdoor take-it-or-leave-it deal between a coal baron and Democratic leaders, rejecting any opposition from lawmakers or frontline communities,” Su said. “It was an inherently unjust process, a deal that shuns so many communities and doesn’t get us anywhere we need to go, yet it is being presented as a savior law. Is.