Republican Polluter Priorities Bill Worsens Climate Change and Environmental Injustices
Earthjustice urges House of Representatives to reject H.R. 1
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act. The bill would greenlight harmful fossil fuel and poorly regulated mining projects, lock in decades of dependency on dirty energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas, and undermine the clean energy and climate investments of the Inflation Reduction Act. It would also push dangerous changes to the permitting process that would silence communities most impacted by energy development, limiting the opportunities for them to have a say in the projects constructed in their neighborhoods.
In anticipation of the floor vote, Earthjustice Vice President of Policy and Legislation Marty Hayden issued the following statement:
“It’s telling that H.R. 1 in the previous Congress protected our democracy, while this one puts polluters over people. At a time when we should be urgently tackling the climate crisis and addressing environmental injustices, House Republicans remain intent on eviscerating environmental protections and locking us into fossil fuel development for decades to come.
“This bill is nothing more than a wish list for polluting industries. It rapidly expands oil and gas drilling on our public lands and rubber stamps dirty mining projects without meaningful reforms. By gutting landmark environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act, it seeks to take us back to an era before strong environmental protections, when our cities were choked in smog and our waterways poisoned by toxic chemicals. Environmental protections exist for a reason and are critical to ensuring dirty industries cannot pollute our air, water, and land with impunity. The health and well-being of our communities are more important than polluter profits, and the House must reject this disastrous industry giveaway.
“Now is not the time to double down on fossil fuels and undercut our clean energy transition. From worsening floods and droughts to stronger storms, we’re already seeing the impacts of climate change. We need to rapidly transition to clean energy to meet our climate goals, and we can do that while keeping environmental laws that protect our communities. The same is true for this bill as it is for any future legislation: Any proposal that sacrifices environmental and community protections for the sake of development is a false choice. We can speed up our transition to clean energy and protect our communities at the same time but unfortunately, this bill does neither.”
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