Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on the announcement that Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.V.) permitting rider will be removed from the Continuing Resolution.
“Taking the dirty permitting rider out of must-pass government funding is the right decision and I’m grateful to my colleagues for making it. But I’m even more grateful to the hundreds of environmental justice communities, organizations, and leaders who took a stand against this dirty deal and called it what it was—another slap in the face after decades of abuse. All across the country, poor communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities have been repeatedly burned by polluting industries’ shortcuts and broken promises. Having to vote for a bill that would worsen that status quo by gutting public input and fast-tracking dangerous projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline would have been unconscionable.
“I look forward to voting on a clean Continuing Resolution to keep our government open. There is a lot of work to do to keep moving forward with the Biden administration’s momentum on tackling climate change and environmental injustices. We don’t have time to waste on unnecessary shutdown standoffs.
“Now that the debate over this dirty deal is over, I stand ready to work constructively with my colleagues on other permitting legislative efforts that can accelerate the clean energy transition, while also protecting the already overburdened. Bringing the Environmental Justice For All Act to the House floor for a vote and advancing other longstanding asks from environmental justice communities would be a welcome start.”
Earlier this month, Chair Grijalva sent a letter with 76 other members to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) urging them to keep the permitting rider out of the Continuing Resolution. Chair Grijalva also published an opinion piece in August explaining his opposition to the permitting rider.
Outside of Congress, hundreds of groups and individuals have sent letters to Congress opposing the permitting rider, including the following:
- Aug. 24 letter from more than 650 grassroots organizations and environmental, civil rights, and climate-focused advocacy groups to Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi.
- Sept. 9 letter from more than 30 environmental justice leaders to Speaker Pelosi.
- Sept. 19 letter from 87 environmental justice and allied groups to the Senate Environmental Justice Caucus.
- Sept. 22 letter from more than 400 scientists, doctors, and nurses to Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi.
On March 18, 2021, Chair Grijalva and Rep. A. Donald McEachin introduced H.R. 2021, the Environmental Justice For All Act, the most comprehensive environmental justice legislation in history. Among other important provisions, the bill will institute several permitting reforms including a requirement to address cumulative pollution exposure and strengthened public input processes through the National Environmental Policy Act.