FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15th, 2022
Contact: Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-437-3701
Morgan King, WV Rivers Coalition: email@example.com,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).
“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.”
“The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration identified over $788 billion dollars of climate disasters over the last five years. These are costs that taxpayers are already paying. Inflation is a worry but these climate costs are increasing faster, and continued delays will impose these costs on the citizens and the future generations that Senator Manchin claims to care about. Benefits for the fossil fuel industry will be temporary, these costs on future generations will go on and on,” Jim Kotcon, Conservation Chair for WV Chapter of Sierra Club.
As the letter 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, Sierra Club: “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. For 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.”