In a stunning reversal, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced in an interview on Fox News Sunday that he would not support President Biden’s Build Back Better Act. In response, Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen issued the following statement:
“Build Back Better is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to combat the climate crisis and advance environmental justice through transformative investments that only the government can provide. The urgency couldn’t be greater. As communities across our country are displaced by weather disasters and others breathe polluted air and drink poisoned water, political leaders like Senator Manchin cannot continue denying the crisis before us.
“The people of West Virginia know the cost of inaction. For decades, they’ve endured worsening floods and extreme weather events while coal barons have carelessly polluted their water, land, and air with toxic coal ash. West Virginians, and all Americans, desperately need the transformative investments that Senator Manchin appears hellbent on blocking. Each day we fail to pass Build Back Better, the cost of inaction grows.
“The Build Back Better Act is overwhelmingly popular with the American people. Whether it’s removing dangerous lead pipes from our water infrastructure, investing in clean transportation to decrease harmful air pollution, or accelerating our transition to clean energy, Build Back Better will benefit us all. The greatest threat facing our country and the world is the climate crisis, which is already exacting an incalculably high price on Americans. Failure to act is not an option. We hope Senator Manchin will reconsider his place in history. No matter what, we will only push harder on our elected officials at all levels of government to do their jobs and protect us from the deadly reality of accelerating climate change.”