We Can’t Allow Frontline Communities to Be Sacrificed by Catering to the Profit Interests of the Dying and Outdated Dirty Energy Industry
August 6, 2022 – After careful study of the language of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Climate Justice Alliance concludes that the harms of the bill as it is currently written outweigh its benefits. Climate Justice Alliance is opposing the reconciliation bill in its current form. We are calling on members of Congress to amend the bill to strengthen its environmental and climate justice provisions, take a stand against the expansion of fossil fuel production and the inclusion of geoengineering projects, and to reject any shady side deals that are being pushed by Senator Joe Manchin and the fossil fuel industry. Congress can’t miss the opportunity for bold action to support clean and effective climate solutions.
We compiled the threats, weaknesses, missed opportunities and the strengths that are included in the Inflation Reduction Act: http://climatejusticealliance.org/ira
Climate Justice Alliance member groups have won significant victories against polluting and extractive industries, preventing new carbon emissions from reaching our atmosphere. We are continuing our resistance to dirty energy infrastructure that is harming people and ecosystems, and we are building local alternatives that center traditional ecological and cultural knowledge to create pathways for a regenerative future. Locally, tribally, and regionally-based racial and economic justice organizations of Indigenous Peoples, Black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and poor white communities who share legacies of racial and economic oppression and social justice organizing, are already operationalizing a Just Transition in their communities, putting clean energy infrastructure on the ground, moving policy, and centering climate justice. We need the White House and Congress to follow the lead of these frontline communities. Members of Congress and the Biden administration can help to ensure economic recovery and jobs through increased support of local, community-controlled renewables that truly foster a Just Transition for all communities, especially those most impacted by the climate crisis today.
Climate Justice Alliance Member Quotes
“Cooperation Jackson supports the Climate Justice Alliance as they stand and call the insufficiency of the Inflation Reduction Act. The IRA has some strengths, but does not fully encompass an equitable or just transition that fully protects frontline communities and those who have been gravely impacted by climate change. We fear that the inflation reduction act is a consistent moment of smoke and mirrors and backdoor deals that cut out the front line communities and deeply impacted people. We feel that concepts within the IRA like the neighborhood access component may have some value if oversighted by local communities, but other concepts in the act give way for the sustaining of false solutions that have no value for impacted people.”
– Joshua Dedmond, Cooperation Jackson
“At a time when massive heat waves and wildfires are wreaking havoc around the world, we cannot afford to dump billions into expanding dirty fossil fuel infrastructure. The Inflation Reduction Act includes some worthwhile investments in renewable energy and health care, but it also brings even more harm to people living alongside big polluters and further destabilizes our climate. We need real climate solutions that transition us away from fossil fuels and invest in building healthy, life-sustaining economies in the communities most harmed by the fossil fuel industry.”
– Vivian Yi Huang, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
“In Michigan, whether we live among farm fields, forests or freeways, we all want our families to grow up healthy and thrive for generations. Unfortunately, the fossil fuel giveaways in the Inflation Reduction Act will cost us dearly: from Tribal and rural communities in imminent danger of a spill from Enbridge Line 5 to Black and Brown communities in Southwest Detroit living in the shadow of the Marathon Oil refinery. Fossil fuel corporations, and politicians that do their bidding, have negotiated a dangerous deal. Where is the money for public transit, for childcare, for lead pipe replacement? Climate investments should not be handcuffed to corporate subsidies for fossil fuel development and unproven technologies that will poison our communities for decades. Instead of false promises, Michigan deserves clean air, good jobs, and a healthy future for our children.”
– Juan Jhong-Chung, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (full Statement here)
“When climate policies allow for false market solutions, communities like ours lose the most while corporations rake in profits at our expense. The islands of Micronesia are one of the most vulnerable regions to the climate crisis. We have so much at stake; whole homelands, countries, cultures, lifeways and the vitality of our ocean. Pacific wisdom and indigenous resilience can drive true wins in global goals to combat the crisis. But our voice, ideas and solutions are absent in this legislation.”
– Micronesia Climate Change Alliance (full Statement here)
“The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has many strengths, such as $15B for deploying rooftop and community solar in low-income communities, $3B for environmental and climate justice block grants, or the $1.1B to reduce pollution near major transportation corridors. These areas of funding along with many others is a good start to not only improve quality of life in underserved communities, but to take another step on the path of reparations for BIPOC communities that have been impacted by extractive policies coming from both the public and private sectors.
Unfortunately, the weaknesses that are baked into the IRA will create a major imbalance, reversing all the good that this act could be doing for its constituents. Currently it is riddled with concessions to the big carbon-based industries that at present prey on our communities at the expense of their health, both physically and economically. Billions of dollars would be given to invest in carbon capture and hydrogen production technologies, which are being passed off as solutions to our pollution problems, when it would only be encouraging to continue with the status quo of how we utilize hazardous sources of energy production. This is in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence and research that finds these practices are what got us in the same problem that the IRA claims to be addressing.”
– Rafael Mojica, Soulardarity
Taproot Earth (formerly Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy), a global climate justice organization with a mission to build collective systems of self-governance and restoration to advance a just transition to a sustainable economy, released a statement on the Inflation Reduction Act.
Climate Justice Alliance Co-Executive Director Ozawa Bineshi Albert states “No matter what happens with the bill, we will continue to fight for what is needed for frontline communities, those who are directly impacted by the climate crisis (some for decades). We will also continue to fight against that which causes further harm. We reject any notion that any community should be sacrificed. The burden of resolving this climate crisis needs to be the responsibility of us all and not be disproportionately held within low-income and communities of color. we have to do better. We call on and challenge Congress to do better. We call on President BIden to declare a climate emergency. Let’s move with the urgency that is needed for frontline communities.”
Climate Justice Alliance is a member-led organization of 84 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and support networks in the climate justice movement. We work to build real solutions to the climate crisis through building local, living, regenerative economies while pushing back against false promises from corporate controlled interests.