Big Business Lobby Backs Manchin Effort to Salvage Fossil Fuel Permitting Deal

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest corporate lobbying organization, endorsed federal permitting reforms on Monday as Sen. Joe Manchin made his last-ditch push to salvage a proposed overhaul that has drawn fierce opposition from grassroots climate groups, frontline communities, and Democratic lawmakers. Ahead of an expected procedural vote on Tuesday, the Chamber’s Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said in a statement that Manchin (D-W.Va.) “has crafted thoughtful legislation that makes material improvements to the permitting process and can pass Congress right now.” Bradley added that the Chamber, which has a long history of lobbying…

Sanders, Warren Say Manchin Big Oil Deal Would “Steamroll” Frontline Communities

As environmental groups and experts express fury and frustration over coal millionaire Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-West Virginia) fossil fuel permitting overhaul deal released on Wednesday, Senate Democrats are highlighting concerns that the deal could set environmental justice advances back by years. In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) on Thursday, eight senators, led by Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), wrote that they share concerns expressed by environmental justice groups in recent weeks. They emphasized that the deal, which would blow open the permitting process for federal fossil fuel projects and fast track dangerous projects like the Mountain…

Manchin Asks Big Oil CEOs to Help Push Through Dirty Deal as Opposition Grows

Facing mounting opposition from environmentalists, frontline communities, and fellow Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Joe Manchin is reportedly asking oil and gas executives to help him build Republican support for permitting legislation that aims to weaken bedrock environmental laws and ease the review process for dirty energy projects. Bloomberg reported Monday that Manchin’s outreach “has included companies in the mining, utilities, and oil and gas industry,” all of which stand to benefit from a federal permitting overhaul — and all of which donate to the West Virginia Democrat’s political campaigns. “Passing the legislation would mark a big win for the industry and…

Private Equity and Hedge Fund Industries Pour Over $347 Million Into Midterms

Federal committees reported receiving nearly $347.7 million during the 2022 midterm election cycle from private equity and hedge fund employees and PACs, an OpenSecrets analysis of Federal Election Commission disclosures available on Aug. 15 found. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) made headlines in August for her stalwart opposition to a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act — signed into law by President Joe Biden on Aug. 16 — that would have closed the carried interest tax loophole. The existing loophole allows private equity executives and some hedge fund managers to claim large portions of their income as investment gains at a…

Sanders Says He’ll Vote Against Budget Bill If Manchin Pipeline Deal Is Included

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) announced on Thursday that he will vote against an upcoming bill to fund the government if Democrats include a deal to fast track the approval of a fracked gas pipeline in order to appease conservative Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (West Virginia). “Combating climate change is more important than fossil fuel profits. I will not vote for any bill that makes it easier for Big Oil to destroy the planet and that includes approving the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “The Continuing Resolution must not be held hostage by Big Oil.” Congress will soon be…

Mainstream Press’s Initial Coverage of Climate Bill Was a Lazy Distortion

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson once compared the behavior of much of the national press corps to a wheeling flock of birds. Each bird follows the other birds in search of The Story, until they all move generally in the same direction. Though it tends to have a deleteriously narrowing effect on how people understand the world, the phenomenon is rarely nefarious. It’s just lazy, and more than a little chickenshit (speaking of birds): No one wants to get too far out front, no one wants to fall too far back, so everyone reports essentially the same thing,…

650+ Progressive Groups Vow to Fight Manchin Deal “With Everything We’ve Got”

A broad coalition of more than 650 climate and progressive advocacy groups Wednesday called on congressional Democratic leaders to reject Sen. Joe Manchin’s “alarming” demands for U.S. fossil fuel projects contained in a “dirty” side deal that the West Virginia Democrat secretly negotiated to gain his support for his own party’s historic but watered-down package on climate, taxes, and drug price reforms. “We are writing to express our strenuous opposition to any additional fossil fuel giveaways,” states the coalition’s letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), noting that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)…

Schumer: Inflation Reduction Act Has Votes to Pass After Concessions to Sinema

Conservative Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) announced on Thursday that she will support the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) after Democratic leaders agreed to take out proposals to raise taxes on businesses and the wealthy in order to fund the bill. Sinema said in a statement that, after the Senate parliamentarian reviews the budget package, she will “move forward” with the bill. With Sinema’s support, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says that the Senate now has all 50 Democrats on board to pass the bill via a simple majority vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris’s vote being the 51st.…

Sanders Slams Manchin for Swapping Paid Leave for Oil Handouts in Reconciliation

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to point out glaring problems and inadequacies with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which Democratic leaders recently announced after months of negotiations with coal millionaire Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia). Warning about looming fascism and runaway capitalism in the U.S., Sanders harshly criticized Manchin and Democrats for excluding crucial provisions in the bill that were part of last year’s Build Back Better Act (BBBA), while inserting massive handouts to the fossil fuel industry in the face of a worsening climate crisis. The roughly $433 billion bill, which was crafted…

Dems’ Deal With Manchin Would Expedite Approval of Climate-Harming Gas Pipeline

Environmentalists raised grave concerns Monday over newly reported details of a side deal between the Democratic leadership and Sen. Joe Manchin that would reform the permitting process for energy projects and clear the way for final approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry fracked gas through West Virginia. The agreement was reached as part of an effort to secure Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act, a proposed budget reconciliation bill that includes renewable energy investments, drug price reforms, and a number of giveaways to the fossil fuel industry. Because its provisions fall outside the bounds of reconciliation,…

Belarus: Sham “conspiracy to seize power” trial against prominent political activists starts

Responding to news that a court in Belarus has begun a “conspiracy to seize power” trial against prominent political activists, including the leader of the Belarusian Popular Front party, Ryhor Kastusyou, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “Today, another show trial begins in Minsk with the sole purpose of […] The post Belarus: Sham “conspiracy to seize power” trial against prominent political activists starts appeared first on Amnesty International.

Russia: Charging 92 members of Ukraine’s military with ‘crimes against humanity’ brazenly undermines fair trial rights

Responding to the news that 92 members of the Ukrainian armed forces have reportedly been charged with “crimes against humanity”, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “In charging these 92 members of the Ukrainian armed forces in proceedings that lack transparency and rely on, and seek to feed, […] The post Russia: Charging 92 members of Ukraine’s military with ‘crimes against humanity’ brazenly undermines fair trial rights appeared first on Amnesty International.

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