FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15th, 2022
Contact: Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action, garyz at wvcag.org, 304-437-3701
Morgan King, WV Rivers Coalition, mking at wvrivers.org,304-590-0014
WEST VIRGINIA GROUPS FRUSTRATED BY SENATOR MANCHIN DELAYING ACTION ON CLIMATE
Climate Alliance representing dozens of regional groups underscores the urgency of the climate crisis; rally at Manchin office planned for Monday
Charleston, W.Va.– Senator Joe Manchin announced today that he wants to delay a plan to use the money that wealthy corporations owe to pay for desperately needed projects to help our climate and workers.
In response, the West Virginia Climate Alliance submitted a letter to Senator Manchin (letter here). When the letter was sent, the Alliance requested an in person meeting with Senator Manchin, noting they had not been able to meet with the Senator in over a year to discuss grassroots concerns about climate impacts in the state.
“Every day that we delay taking action on the climate crisis makes our weather more extreme and the implementation of solutions even more challenging. The country, and indeed the planet, need Senator Manchin to negotiate in good faith on a bill addressing the climate crisis with the goal of keeping global warming below an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Passage of this bill should not be contingent on a one month inflation report,” said Perry Bryant, founder of the WV Climate Alliance.
Manchin’s move comes just one day after more than 100 homes, roads and bridges in McDowell County, WV were damaged from climate-related flooding.
The Rev. Jeffrey Allen, executive director of the West Virginia Council of Churches, stated, “Climate change is a crisis of today. It’s flooding in West Virginia and Virginia; fires in the West; and drought here and abroad. There is an enormous cost that we already bear due to our lack of action and it’s a cost being borne by our neighbors. Passing climate change legislation is as local as it gets. This legislation is not only for our neighbors, but for all of those people who we care deeply about. For their sake, we cannot afford to delay any longer.”
As the letter to Senator Manchin notes: “The late Senator Byrd said many times that filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was his biggest regret; the decision troubled him for the rest of his life. We encourage you to deeply consider the broad implications of continued delays to act to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, for your own children and grandchildren, and for all the children and grandchildren in our beautiful mountain state and across the world.”
Karan May, Sr. Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club said, “Folks in Appalachia are among the hardest hit by the effects of climate change. West Virginians are paying the price for poor health outcomes from pollution; here and in Kentucky and Southwest Virginia, year after year, we are paying the enormous price for catastrophic flooding. Senator Manchin has the opportunity to facilitate meaningful change for his constituents and, yet, is choosing to walk away from legislation that could help alleviate this suffering.
We will continue to fight for policy that will address the climate crisis, while also putting money back into our communities with investments in clean energy and sustainable economic development.”
Linda Frame, President of the WV Environmental Council, said “After a year of good-faith discussions with Senator Manchin and his team it’s hard not to be deflated by this latest delay. We continue to urge Senator Manchin to seize this opportunity to do the right thing for our state, our country, and our planet because the alternative is unthinkable.”
“The overall cost of building climate change resilient infrastructure, as well as the transition to a clean energy economy, can be paid for now,” said Eve Marcum-Atkinson, Comms. Coord. fFor WV Citizen Action Group. “Tax minimums for millionaires and the elimination of zero-tax-paying loopholes for corporations are how we do this. They have financially benefited from our people’s labor, our nation’s infrastructure, and our economy. We need them to pay their fair share to help us all, as we continue to struggle with the effects of rising prices, increases in dangerous storms, record temperatures, drought, flooding, and more. We need Senator Manchin to fully embrace this now, as climate change is a now issue, a global issue. It’s not going away.”
“No matter our race or income, we want to live and raise our families in healthy and safe communities. Done right, the reconciliation bill is an opportunity to create bridges across our differences rather than making them deeper. Appalachia has been hit hard both by climate change impacts and global energy shifts – with Black and brown communities seeing disproportionate impacts. At the same time, we have an incredible opportunity to mitigate the climate crisis by investing in the communities hardest hit. Appalachian communities need action from Congress, this delay on key climate provisions not only hurts communities struggling with flooding and job loss due to the downturn of the coal industry, it pushes back other urgent actions we need to see from Congress,” said Dana Kuhnline, Campaign Manager for ReImagine Appalachia.
“Promoting good energy legislation is part of Senator Manchin’s role as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. We call on him to not further delay action on the issues he proclaims to champion. It’s past time to listen to the science that shows a transformational clean energy transition will mitigate climate change while saving lives and creating new jobs,” said Morgan King, climate campaign coordinator of WV Rivers Coalition.
PRESS ARE INVITED TO A MONDAY RALLY AT SEN. MANCHIN’S CHARLESTON OFFICE:
WV Citizen Action and other groups are calling on everyone who is concerned about passing robust Climate Change policy, and paying for it by making millionaires and tax-dodging corporations pay what they owe, to show up at Sen Manchin’s office at 900 Pennsylvania Ave., Charleston, WV 25302, at 5PM on Monday July 18th. If you can’t make it, call his office at 304-342-5855 and tell him to quit stalling on Climate and Taxes! For more info contact info at wvcag.org, Gary Zuckett, 304-437-3701 or check out events on https://www.facebook.com/WVCAG
FOUNDED in 2020, the WEST VIRGINIA CLIMATE ALLIANCE is a broad-based coalition of almost 20 environmental organizations, faith-based, civil rights and civic organizations, and other groups with a focus on climate change. Members of the Alliance work together to provide science-based education on climate change to West Virginia citizens and policymakers.
FOR MORE ON THE CLIMATE ALLIANCE, VISIT: WVClimateAlliance.org