Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on the release of text for Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.V.) permitting rider that is proposed to be included in the must-pass Continuing Resolution to fund the government.
“To no one’s surprise, this side deal looks just as dirty as it did when it was leaked last month—except without the American Petroleum Institute’s watermark on it this time. But you can still see fossil fuel’s fingerprints all over the text: Shortened public comment periods, fewer avenues for communities to fight back against projects polluting their communities, and weakened enforcement of bedrock environmental and public health laws. These dangerous permitting shortcuts have been on industry wish lists for years. And now they’ve added the Mountain Valley Pipeline approval as the rotten cherry on top of the pile.
“The very fact that this fossil fuel brainchild is being force-fed into must-pass government funding speaks to its unpopularity. My colleagues and I don’t want this. The communities that are already hit hardest by the fossil fuel industry’s messes certainly don’t want or deserve this. Even Republicans don’t want this. Right now, our focus should be on keeping the government open, not destructive, unrelated riders. I urge leadership to listen to the many members asking to keep this out of a Continuing Resolution and avoid a shutdown standoff this country doesn’t need.”
Last week, 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 must-pass government funding legislation. The authors cited major concerns with the detrimental impacts of these permitting provisions on low-income communities, communities of color, and Indigenous communities.
Outside of Congress, opposition to the permitting rider has also been widespread. On Aug. 24, over 650 grassroots organizations and environmental, civil rights, and climate-focused advocacy groups sent a letter to Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi opposing the permitting rider. On Sept. 9, over 30 leaders in the environmental justice community sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi expressing their opposition. And earlier this week, 87 environmental justice and allied groups sent a letter to the Senate Environmental Justice Caucus urging them to oppose the permitting rider.
Chair Grijalva published an opinion piece in August explaining his opposition to the permitting rider.