Congress Should Reject Radical Permitting Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Joe Manchin’s legislative text on fossil fuel infrastructure permitting, released after weeks of speculation about a potential measure, is similar to proposals already made public, but significantly worse in that it adds draconian new language mandating permitting of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

John Bowman, managing director for government affairs at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) made the following statement:

“You can’t ‘reform’ something by making it worse. This would throw out half a century of law that gave environmental justice communities a seat at the table. Instead, low-income communities and communities of color need an even greater voice at the table when proposed projects could harm their neighborhoods, pollute their air and water supply, endanger wildlife and accelerate the climate crisis. We remain alongside our partners firmly opposed to the bill.

“There is something significantly wrong with the Mountain Valley Pipeline if its supporters think the only way it can be permitted and built is to exempt it from the Natural Gas Act, NEPA, the Clean Water Act, the Mineral Leasing Act and the Endangered Species Act.

“It is time for forward-looking bills like the Environmental Justice for All Act (EJAA), that center communities and advance justice.” 

The permitting bill would deprive environmental justice communities of a meaningful voice in permitting for pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure, let these dirty energy projects short-circuit safeguards, and radically reduce the timeframe for seeking federal court review when agencies approve energy projects.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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