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December 7th, 2022
Chair Grijalva Statement on Exclusion of Dirty Permitting Rider from Must-Pass Defense Bill

Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on the permitting related provisions being excluded from the must-pass FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“Thanks to the hard-fought persistence and vocal opposition of environmental justice communities all across the country, the Dirty Deal has finally been laid to rest,” Chair Grijalva said. “House Democrats can now close out the year having made historic progress on climate change without this ugly asterisk. Of course, we still have much more work to do to bring justice to those communities who are continuing to bear the brunt of climate change, but I’m at least glad we’re not taking a step backwards today.”

On Dec. 5, more than 750 frontline communities, environmental justice groups, and allied organizations sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) voicing their opposition to the permitting rider. The executive directors of more than 20 environmental organizations also sent a letter today to President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Schumer echoing the same opposition.

Chair Grijalva sent a letter on Nov. 21 to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) emphasizing previously stated concerns about including permitting related provisions in must-pass legislation, namely NDAA or government funding legislation.


The dirty permitting rider was originally proposed to be included in the must-pass Continuing Resolution in September but was rejected after widespread public backlash. The dirty permitting rider would have restricted public access to the courts to seek remedies against illegal project development; placed arbitrary limits on the amount of time the public has to comment on polluting projects; curtailed public input, environmental review, and government accountability; fast-tracked a certain number of harmful fossil fuel projects, including the dangerous Mountain Valley Pipeline; undermined the Clean Water Act; and more.

On Sept. 12, Chair Grijalva sent a letter with 76 other members to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer urging them to keep the permitting rider out of  must-pass legislation this year. Chair Grijalva also published an opinion piece in August explaining his opposition to the permitting rider.

Hundreds of groups and individuals also sent letters 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.
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