Default Agreement Protects Key Clean Energy Investments; Makes Mockery of Process with Mountain Valley Pipeline

WASHINGTON - President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached agreement on a plan to avoid a government default. 

Manish Bapna, president and CEO of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), made the following statement:

“President Biden stood up to extremist attacks on clean energy and climate investments that are already driving a heartland manufacturing renaissance, strengthening the domestic supply chain for the building blocks of a modern economy, and creating tens of thousands of jobs in red states and blue. This strategic investment never should have been under threat in the first place. 

“House negotiators held the economy hostage to extremist demands more akin to a stick-up than to policy talks. There’s no place for that kind of extremism in a functioning democracy. Some of the results make a mockery of the process of responsible public oversight.

“The Mountain Valley Pipeline threatens the rural communities that soundly rejected it in the first place. This agreement cuts local voices out of the process and short-circuits laws put in place to protect the public. It locks future generations into dependence on fossil fuels. We will use every available avenue of opposition to fight this dangerous project.

“House extremists tried to force unconscionable roll backs in protections for low-income communities and people of color on the frontlines of environmental hazard and harm. Instead, they forced changes that may only serve to weaken and confuse the current project review process, rather than clarify it. 

“We elect members of Congress to serve the public interest and advance the common good. Disagreement, debate, and compromise are healthy and core to the process. Holding the government’s ability to pay its bills hostage to the reckless demands of a radical few is playing with fire. It’s not the way our democracy is supposed to work.

“No group of representatives has any right, ever, to make its case by threatening to tank the economy, throw millions out of work and turn U.S. leadership to sand. The House majority has driven the country to the brink of disaster to force disadvantaged communities to suffer even more injustice. We can only hope we don’t go over the edge - and then work to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”


NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.