4 Regulations Biden Must Push Across the Finish Line ASAP

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The clock is ticking on President Joe Biden’s first term. The administration has made progress on several regulations that would defend our health, economic well-being, and environment. But these regulations would be right in the crosshairs of a second Trump administration, in the dire event he returns to the White House in 2025.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can more easily overturn regulations passed by the president in the previous 60 legislative days. It would just need presidential approval. That means, with Trump in charge, we could see swift rollbacks of anything Biden finalizes after May of this year.

These next few months must be a sprint for his administration. Despite setbacks and missteps, Biden has taken massive strides to protect our food, water, and climate. To fortify this progress, the administration needs to move fast. These four things should be at the top of its to-do list.

1. Stem the Flood of Toxic PFAS Forever Chemicals

PFAS, a class of toxic chemicals, pose one of the most widespread public health threats of today. For decades, corporations made and sold PFAS while knowing the harms, with hardly a slap on the wrist. 

So far, Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed several measures to address this crisis. It proposed enforceable drinking water limits for two of the oldest and most common PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, as well as four other forms of PFAS.

It also proposed designating PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” under the Superfund program. This would allow the EPA to direct polluters to clean up their messes and pay for it — insulating everyday people from picking up the tab. Companies must be held accountable, and these rules, when finalized, would be an important first step.

2. Protect Communities from Dirty Infrastructure Projects

One of our bedrock environmental laws is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This law directs agencies to consider environmental impacts and frontline community voices when deciding whether to permit a new project. 

In 2020, Trump gutted NEPA. His rules sidelined community participation and removed important factors, like climate, in agency assessments. 

Thankfully, Biden began working to roll back Trump’s changes in 2021. Notably, the first new rule includes provisions that restore the Act’s definition of “indirect” and “cumulative” impacts, allowing agencies to examine the full consequences of proposed projects. The second, currently under review, cements environmental justice as a key consideration for agency assessments.

In order to lift up community voices, defend environmental justice, and protect the climate, Biden needs to finalize this rule.

3. Rein in Corporate Abuses Against Farmers and Growers 

In our meat industry, just a handful of processing companies reign supreme. Because of this, many farmers have no choice but to sell to Big Meat. That has allowed these companies to dictate prices, labor conditions, supply chains, and more — and they’ll do almost anything to cut costs, even at the expense of families, farmers, and workers.

The Packers & Stockyards Act was passed more than 100 years ago to prevent this, but weak rules and enforcement have enabled Big Meat’s abuses to grow.

The Biden administration announced in 2021 that it would release new rules to strengthen the Act and rein in the meat giants. However, it has finalized only one rule so far, requiring basic transparency from poultry giants to the farmers contracted to grow their chickens. Three more rules are at various stages and each is critical to restoring competition and protecting farmers.

4. Get The Lead Out of Our Drinking Water

Last fall, the Biden administration announced groundbreaking rules that finally start to address our country’s lead-in-water crisis. For decades, communities across the country have been plagued by lead pipes that leach the toxic heavy metal into their drinking water. 

Biden’s new rules set a deadline for most cities to replace lead service lines in the next 10 years. They also ban most partial lead service line replacements, which can actually increase lead levels in drinking water.

To protect our water and our health, Biden must finalize these rules ASAP and go further. He needs to pair them with funding to make sure low-income families don’t bear the cost of these replacements and include measures that ensure lead pipes aren’t replaced by PVC plastic, another toxic material.

Biden Needs to Act Fast to Keep His Promises

Biden has made important progress in protecting our food, water, and climate. Now, he needs to continue this progress and finalize vital rules in the next several months. 

While we are fighting tirelessly against a second Trump presidency, we need to prepare for any outcome. We know that Trump is terrible on our issues. In his last term, he plowed through our regulatory system, gutting protections for our families and our planet. Currently, his allies and advisers are scheming toward even more rollbacks and cuts in a prospective second term.  

To prevent this from happening again, we need every defense possible. And that means Biden must keep his promises and finish what he started. 

You can help us defend our progress on food, water, and climate. Volunteer with us!

2024: The Good, the Bad, and What Comes Next

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by Mia DiFelice

As we head into another election year, it’s no secret we face massive challenges. Our warming climate is plunging us into dangerous, unknown territory. More climate- and election-denying extremists are grasping for even more power. 

But at the same time, we’re gaining incredible ground. The past few years have seen exciting progress and amazing victories. Our movement is growing, and so is our power.

In 2024, Food & Water Action has a strategy for building on those victories and securing new ones. With your help, we can fight to defend a livable future and elect the leaders we need to support us.

Here, we’re breaking down the good we’re building on, the bad we’re fighting, and how exactly we’ll do both.

The Good: A Growing Movement for Climate Action and Progressive Champions

When Food & Water Action began this work, climate was on the margins of politics. Over the past few years, that has changed dramatically.

This progress was on full display in the 2020 presidential elections. All the major Democratic candidates tried to outdo each other on who had the boldest climate plan. Then, climate — especially fracking — played a central role during Trump and Biden’s general election contest. 

The ground swelling of grassroots organizing and growing popular support for bold climate action made this possible. In the streets and at the polls, people are enthusiastically supporting climate action and climate champions. 

We saw this last summer when Biden approved Willow, a carbon bomb drilling project in Alaska. Online and in-person organizing, especially from young people, condemned the administration. And though Willow went through, we’re seeing the administration re-evaluate its drilling policy and slow down approvals.

Fights like Willow have shown the power of people showing up and making noise. We’re confident we can build on that momentum in the 2024 elections. Already, we are proud to endorse Laura Friedman in California and Jamal Bowman in New York in this year’s Congressional races. And our work on this front is only beginning. 

Climate isn’t just big on the national level—the number of climate champions winning at all levels of government is growing. Last year, we were proud to support Sara Innamorato for Allegheny County Executive, one of the most powerful positions in Pennsylvania.

With her win, we built on the ground we laid in 2022, as we helped Western PA Representatives Summer Lee and Chris Deluzio get to Congress. And we proved again that we could get a climate champion elected in the heart of fracking country. 

The Bad: Rising Stakes for Our Planet and Democracy

We face so many intertwining crises that threaten our health, our livelihoods, and the planet we share. Global average temperatures are reaching new heights, and new fossil fuel projects continue to gain steam. Private companies are poaching our water, and corporations are polluting and draining it. Meanwhile, Big Ag and Big Oil continue raking in profits, while families struggle to make ends meet.

Right now, Congress has way too many lawmakers poised to worsen these problems. In fact, they’ve made their plans clear. If they had their way, they’d cut funding to renewable energy and grid expansions, gut environmental protections, and drill even more.

That’s in great part because of the millions they’re pocketing from polluting corporations. And that same cash is already flooding this election cycle.

The oil and gas industry alone has so far sent $11.4 million to Congressional candidates, and it spent $30.9 million during the last election cycle. As a result, many lawmakers are more concerned with preserving profits than serving the people.

What’s more, the Republican Party — which currently controls the House — has proven itself incapable of productive policymaking. Last year, it pushed the House to the teetering edge of a government shutdown. Then, it ground lawmaking to a halt by booting Speaker Kevin McCarthy and bickering for weeks over his replacement.

And as Congress approaches its new deadlines for must-pass spending bills, we’re bracing ourselves for more chaos.

To defend our food, water, and climate, we need to boot right-wing extremists from office and elect leaders that have our interests — not corporations’ — in mind.

What Comes Next: Building Power in the 2024 Elections

Since it’s an election year, we can expect most lawmaking to stall. However, Congress must negotiate several of last year’s must-pass spending bills in 2024. We can make a difference by advocating to embed our priorities in these bills.

For example, Congress extended the 2023 Farm Bill deadline to September of this year. With the extra time, we’ll continue working with our Fair Farm Bill Action Team, pushing for a Farm Bill that puts families and farmers before Big Ag.

Additionally, we’re helping to pave the way for victories up and down the ballot in November. We’re going all-in on Get-Out-the-Vote. Door-knocking, phone calls, and even everyday conversations with family and friends are crucial to this work.

With your help, we can take back power from right-wing extremists, end the chaos in the House, elect more progressives and climate champions, and defend our democracy.

We also need to keep the focus on state and local races as well as the national ones. Many of these races, like Sara Innamorato’s, can have immediate impacts in people’s backyards. They can shut down factory farms, defend water systems, and ban fracking and other polluting industries at the local level. And they build the necessary foundations for sweeping, national change.

This year, we’re fighting to keep climate deniers, fossil-fuel puppets, and corporate authoritarians from taking power nationwide. But we’re not just playing defense.

We know that to truly change our climate trajectory and protect our food and water, we need folks in the halls of power who will stand with us and work with us. And we know we can build even more people power to make that happen.

We’re making 2024 our year.

What Rep. Mike Johnson’s Rise to Speaker Means for Our Climate

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Mike Johnson photo CC-BY-SA 2.0, Gage Skidmore, Flickr
by Mia DiFelice

This past fall, amid growing climate chaos, chaos within the Republican Party reached fever pitch. Internal dysfunction nearly ground our government to a halt, entangling must-pass spending bills. An eleventh-hour deal by then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sent the GOP into a tailspin, and the Party booted McCarthy from leadership. Then, to elect a new Speaker, it went through three weeks of infighting and three failed nominees before finally settling on Rep. Mike Johnson.

Johnson’s rise to Speakership represents the rise of a far-right wing of an already right-wing party. It’s also a terrible sign for our food, water, climate, and democracy. Johnson is a climate denier, an election denier, and firmly in the pockets of Big Oil and Big Agribusiness.

But Johnson is no outlier — he was unanimously elected by House Republicans and embodies the current Republican Party. His election clarifies and highlights all the challenges we face, the dire state of politics, and the urgency of electing Democrats and progressives in this year’s elections. 

Johnson’s Track Record Is Bad News for Climate And Democracy

Despite mountains of evidence and what’s happening in their own backyards, Republican members of Congress continue to undermine climate science and the solutions we need to avoid climate chaos. Rep. Johnson is no exception

In 2017, he went on record saying, “The climate is changing, but the question is, is it being caused by natural cycles over the span of the Earth’s history? Or is it changing because we drive SUVs? I don’t believe in the latter. I don’t think that’s the primary driver.” 

With his climate skepticism, Johnson brushes aside the experiences of his own constituents; Louisianans are facing unprecedented, climate-fueled floods, heat, and wildfires. This is part of the GOP’s wider trend toward politicizing and discounting the climate crisis, instead of tackling it as an existential threat for everyone.

Given this, Johnson’s voting record comes as no surprise. Since becoming a representative in 2016, he has served as a staunch ally to the oil and gas industry. In 2022, he received a 100% approval score from the pro-fossil fuel American Energy Alliance. Johnson’s record also includes opposing regulations on toxic PFAS “forever chemicals,” slashing funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, and much more. Additionally, as chair of the Republican Study Committee, he railed against the Green New Deal and sponsored an anti-Green New Deal resolution. 

Climate change isn’t the only thing Johnson’s denied. He’s also a prominent figure among Congressional election deniers. In November 2020, he urged Trump to “exhaust every available legal remedy” to overturn the outcome of the election. Then, he voted against certifying President Biden’s win in the electoral college.

His election to Speaker is a disturbing sign of what Congressional Republicans support — with chilling implications for 2024’s presidential election.

Johnson Is a Textbook Case of Corporate Capture

Rep. Johnson’s record on energy and climate makes even more sense once you see his main donors. Over his past seven years in the House, he’s received more money from oil and gas than any other industry, taking more than $300,000 in donations. He’s also received over $180,000 from Big Ag throughout his tenure. 

Polluting corporations have Mike Johnson snugly in their pockets. In fact, the oil industry cheered on his Speakership. It knows it can count on Johnson to keep their interests central for the entire Republican caucus.

And he’s far from the only Congressmember taking corporate cash. From 2021-22, the oil and gas sector alone donated more than $30.9 million to Congress, with $24.6 million going to Republicans.

Mike Johnson is a shining example of how corporate dollars have corrupted our political process. As a result, many of our elected leaders would rather put profits over their constituents.

We Know What Johnson Wants for Congress, and It Isn’t Pretty

In his previous term, Mike Johnson served as chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee. During that time, he helmed a 300-page playbook for a Republican-majority Congress.

This “playbook” included several initiatives that threaten climate action and environmental protections. Notably, it suggested changes to the National Emergencies Act that would prevent President Biden from declaring a national climate emergency. This would block the possibility of one of the strongest policy tools we have to address climate change. (With an emergency, Biden could use executive powers to severely cut fossil fuel production and ramp up clean energy.)

In the same document, Johnson and the Republican Study Committee advocate for gutting the National Environmental Policy Act. This bedrock environmental law mandates environmental review and community engagement processes for potentially harmful projects. Johnson may angle to alter NEPA in budget negotiations this year.

Already, under Johnson’s leadership, the House passed a bill that would cut $5 to $6 billion in funding for renewables and home electrification rebates. The bill also includes bans on funding for several of the Biden administration’s environmental justice initiatives.

It’s unlikely to pass into law; but with bills like this one, Johnson and the GOP are staking their positions and goals as budget negotiations continue.

What This Means for the GOP and 2024 Elections

Mike Johnson not only bodes ill for the current Congress and budget negotiations — his unanimous election to House leadership is a weather vane for the winds of the whole GOP. In the words of Mitch Jones, Food & Water Action’s Deputy Director:

“In lining up behind Mike Johnson, House Republicans have uniformly embraced his dystopian vision and made it clear they are only interested in tearing things down — things like our fundamental clean air, clean water and public health safeguards.”

With House Republicans veering harder right than ever, the 2024 elections are more important than ever. We need to elect Democrats and defend against Republican extremism in races across the country. 

Food & Water Action has already endorsed two great candidates, and we’re gearing up to work on even more races across the country. We’ll be going door to door, making phone calls, and writing postcards to voters. It’s critical that we elect bold progressive climate champions and wrest control of the House from Johnson and his band of corporate cronies. 

Johnson’s record underscores the importance of organizing ahead of 2024. We face candidates across the country who refuse to prioritize our health, safety, environment, climate, and futures. But as we’ve seen in recent victories, we have the power to elect climate champions. We can fight corporate interests at the polls and win. And with your help, that’s just what we’ll be doing in 2024. 

Progress is possible when we work together. Volunteer with Food & Water Action!

The Next Big Climate Fight: CP2 and Liquefied Natural Gas

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by Mia DiFelice

Last year, the Biden administration faced major blowback for approving the Willow drilling project. It was widely decried as a carbon bomb, set off at a time of growing climate chaos. But Willow pales in comparison to CP2, a gas export facility proposed for the coast of Louisiana. CP2, currently awaiting final approvals from the Biden administration, will have 20 times the climate impact of Willow.

Biden has the power to stop CP2 and dozens of other planned export projects. In refusing to do so so far, the administration is choosing corporate profits and climate chaos over the American people. 

CP2 and LNG Poses a Monumental Threat to a Livable Climate

CP2 is part of a gold rush around the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry, which only began recently. After decades of exporting near-zero oil and gas, the U.S. has become the world’s top LNG exporter in a few short years. This growth has been driven and buoyed by a boom in LNG facilities that promise dangerous climate impacts.

The LNG industry cools fracked gas to a liquid form and ships it overseas. This creates a long supply chain that makes LNG at least 24% worse for the climate than coal, even in the best-case scenarios. Moreover, LNG creates new markets for fracked gas and drives the drilling of more wells.

The CP2 facility, running at full volume, would have the same impact as adding 197 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. And if Biden continues approving proposed projects in the Gulf Coast, they would emit an estimated 3.2 billion tons of greenhouse gasses each year.

To make matters worse, companies buy and sell LNG under long-term contracts, and infrastructure will last for decades. CP2’s owner, Global Ventures, has asked the Biden administration for a permit to operate until 2050. LNG threatens to lock us into decades of more pollution and climate-wrecking emissions.

CP2 Threatens the Public Health of Nearby Communities

The LNG boom has already hit the Gulf Coast hard. New export facilities have plagued the region with hazardous air pollution, ruined environments, and constant fears of explosion.

In fact, CP2 is the second Venture Global LNG terminal proposed for Cameron Parish, Louisiana. It will sit beside the first, Calcasieu Pass, which began operating in 2022. But Calcasieu Pass has been rife with malfunctions, including ones that expose its neighbors to dangerous pollution. In just a year, Calcasieu Pass exceeded its air permit limits over 2,000 times.

On top of the air pollution, the concentration of gas facilities puts nearby towns at great risk of catastrophic accidents. Four of the five LNG export terminals on the Gulf Coast have seen a leak or blast. Cracks in pipes and other malfunctions have been disturbingly common.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new for the region. Polluting industries have long set up shop in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, with horrible consequences for their neighbors. Now and historically, Black and low-income communities disproportionately bear the brunt of the impacts.

Biden’s environmental justice policies — including a much-touted executive order — were supposed to protect these communities. His support for LNG severely undermines these goals and clears the way for more harm.

LNG Industry Prizes Profits Over Families

Along with climate, health, and environmental justice impacts, LNG will also hurt families in their wallets. On the local level (besides the high costs of health impacts), CP2 threatens the livelihoods of shrimpers and fishers. That’s because export facilities require dredging, which ruins local waterways and ecosystems.

LNG’s growth also contributes to nationwide inflation and the rising cost of living. While many families have to choose between buying food and medicine or paying their energy bills, growing LNG exports raise home energy costs because they squeeze domestic gas supplies.

Meanwhile, the LNG industry is raking in cash. U.S. LNG exports have doubled in the past four years and are projected to nearly double again in the next four. And as the gas export industry exploded, U.S. LNG companies profited handsomely. Local communities, environments, families nationwide, and our climate are all paying the price.

Biden Can and Must Stop CP2 and All LNG

The case against CP2 and LNG is obvious. Nevertheless, the Biden administration has greenlit every single LNG export project that has come its way. But right now, the administration has a golden opportunity to reverse course.

CP2 is facing its final permitting hurdles with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy. So far, federal processes to evaluate LNG have failed to account for its outsized harms. The Biden administration can change this, deny CP2, and set a powerful precedent for future LNG proposals. 

The science is clear. CP2 and the entire LNG industry will be disastrous for the climate, and for our chances at a livable future for all. Biden must stop this and all LNG projects.

Join our fight for a livable future! Volunteer with Food & Water Action.

Big Oil and Gas’s Dangerous Plan to Keep Us Hooked on Fossil Fuels

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by Mia DiFelice

A record-breaking summer of heat waves, wildfires, floods, and other disasters has underscored our urgent need for climate action. But rather than make the changes we need, Big Oil and Gas are pushing technology that will prolong the status quo. To add insult to injury, the industry will spend billions of our taxpayer dollars and endanger our health and safety in the process. 

Carbon capture and storage technology aims to take carbon emissions from polluting industries or out of the air itself and store them deep underground. We know this is a climate scam, yet boosters are cynically pushing it as a climate “savior.” They know it will allow them to pollute our planet for decades to come.

Big Ag is in on it, too. It’s proposed thousands of miles of pipelines carrying captured carbon. These pipelines would cut through farms and rural communities to prop up the ethanol industry.

We can’t let them get away with it. The safety of our communities and the future of our planet depends on it. So for the past year, Food & Water Action has mobilized around this issue. We’re calling on Congress to oppose carbon capture funding, and we’re urging President Biden to reverse course and stop supporting Big Oil and Gas’s carbon capture scam.

Big Oil and Gas Has Gathered Support for Carbon Capture

Many of our leaders and lawmakers are following the fossil fuel industry’s lead. In recent decades, they’ve shelled out tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to try and develop carbon capture.

But these efforts have a track record of failure. In fact, carbon capture projects in the U.S. have emitted more climate pollution than they’ve captured. Nevertheless, in the past few years, the federal government has sent billions more in federal subsidies to carbon capture. 

To make matters worse, these programs are ripe for fraud. There are few measures to ensure that companies are actually capturing the carbon they claim. And there is overwhelming evidence that they are not. In an especially egregious example, the Department of Energy wasted $300 million on four carbon capture facilities that were never built.

Corporations Are Barreling Forward Despite the Dangers

Not only is carbon capture wasting our money; companies are bowling forward with projects without the safety regulations we need. Now, carbon capture projects and their related infrastructure (including as many as 65,000 miles of new pipelines) threaten communities across the country.

Crucially, U.S. pipeline regulations aren’t strong enough to protect communities from captured carbon dioxide. Accidents, like the 2020 carbon pipeline rupture in Satartia, Mississippi, would be disastrous. 
That incident hospitalized dozens of people, many of whom are suffering lasting injuries. Moreover, it showed just how much we don’t know about carbon pipelines, how to prevent accidents, or how to respond to them. 

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is drafting regulations for carbon pipelines. However, drafts of these rules likely won’t be released until early next year, and companies are moving fast to avoid tighter regulations. 

Congress can strengthen CO2 pipeline rules through the reauthorization of PHMSA, which expired this year. But general dysfunction — including House leadership fights and right-wing extremists calling for government shutdowns — has delayed this. It now looks like PHMSA reauthorization might not happen until sometime next year. 

Tell your representative: Protect our communities and stop carbon pipelines!

Our Leaders and Lawmakers Can Help Stop the Buildouts

Big Oil and Gas and its backers are trying to cash in on carbon capture as quickly as possible. We’ve got to slow them down by strengthening the public and political opposition.

That includes engaging with lawmakers to push for stronger rules in the PHMSA reauthorization and pressuring President Biden. With an executive order, he can stop carbon pipelines and infrastructure until PHMSA finalizes its updated safety guidelines. 

We’ve joined allied organizations and allies in Congress to gather support for a carbon pipeline moratorium. This fall, we’ve endorsed a letter released by Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), and a dozen more Congressmembers calling on President Biden to declare a moratorium.

At the same time, we need to stop the deluge of taxpayer dollars flowing to carbon capture. This issue is even more pressing in light of the current budget battles going on in Congress. 

As lawmakers negotiate spending for the coming year, some are suggesting huge cuts to social, health, and environmental programs and agencies. Yet, Congress is willing to send huge giveaways to the fossil fuel industry through carbon capture subsidies.

Our taxes shouldn’t be funding climate scams. They should be supporting the renewable energy transition we need to stave off the worst of the climate crisis. 

Join Food & Water Action in Fighting Carbon Capture

Food & Water Action has been working with members and allies to make our demands heard. So far, our volunteers have sent hundreds of calls directly to President Biden, demanding a moratorium on carbon pipelines. We’ve also delivered dozens of letters to representatives, calling on them to stop funding carbon capture and support a moratorium on carbon capture infrastructure like pipelines.

We’ll continue this work until Congress and Biden respond. The urgency of the climate crisis underscores the need for investments in real solutions. That means renewable energy, batteries, and energy efficiency — not Big Oil and Gas’s scams.

We’re gathering a new team of volunteers to build power around the biggest climate issues of our time. From calling on Biden to declare a climate emergency, to stopping carbon capture, you can help us fight for a livable future!

The Not-So-Secret Republican Plan to Destroy Our Climate Future

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by Peter Hart

It’s fair to say that President Biden has been a disappointment in confronting the climate crisis — especially given his record of approving new fossil fuel projects. But the policies championed by the Republican Party are a stark reminder of how much worse things could get if they prevail in the 2024 elections.  

This was underscored by a debate between GOP presidential hopefuls, which included an upsetting display of climate denialism. Nearly all of the contenders refused to even acknowledge the science of human-caused climate change, and they were united in their calls to increase drilling and fracking. 

Despite the rising pitch of the crisis, climate deniers and Big Oil’s cronies dominate the Republican Party. They’re threatening to plunge us deeper toward climate chaos and tear down vital health and environmental protections.

And their plans are not exactly a secret — making the stakes of the next election crystal clear.

Republicans’ Abysmal Stance on Climate, Brought to You By Big Oil

Republican leaders would rather see polluters profit than listen to science and many of their constituents. August’s presidential debate emphasized as much.

The moderator asked candidates to raise their hands if they believed in human-caused climate change, and (perhaps) one candidate did (albeit briefly). Candidates took the opportunity to deflect, downplay, and even declare the “climate change agenda” a hoax. And they were united in their support for more fracking and drilling as part of an “energy dominance” agenda.

That’s no surprise when Republicans are receiving huge contributions from fossil fuel corporations. So far this year, fossil fuel donors sent $4 million to two Congressional Republican super PACs. This follows tens of millions of dollars donated ahead of the 2022 midterms — on top of the many millions they send to individual candidates each year.

All this is paying off handsomely for Big Oil and other dirty industries. Just two months after gaining control of the House in 2023, Congressional Republicans introduced dozens of bills endangering our environment and our climate. These bills aimed to gut environmental protections, slow climate action and infrastructure, and encourage more oil and gas production. 

In March, House Republicans passed a huge energy bill that would clear the way for even more drilling, refineries, and pipelines. While the bill was dead-on-arrival in the Senate, it’s a major indicator of Republican priorities: doubling down on dirty energy.

The Republican Climate Plan Is a 900-Page Nightmare  

Right now, House Republicans are quietly adding anti-climate provisions to spending bills — a dozen so far, according to The Lever. Fossil fuel-backed lawmakers are trying to stop the administration from spending money on climate action.

Their measures would block research on how climate change impacts the fishing industry, eliminate a National Science Foundation climate program, and end funding for a variety of international climate programs.

Supporters of these legislative maneuvers intend to create short-term headaches. They have little chance of actually passing, as spending bill negotiations move ahead with the Senate.

But the more substantial version of the Republican climate plan — which is nothing short of a nightmare — comes in the form of something called Project 2025

Project 2025 is a 900-page blueprint for a Republican president’s presumptive first 180 days in office. The plan was crafted by former Trump officials and a right-wing think tank linked to notorious oil baron Charles Koch.

If carried out, Project 2025 would:

  • Halt efforts to expand the country’s power grid to accommodate new clean energy; 
  • Cut funding for government agencies working on environmental justice and renewable energy;
  • Call for granting more regulatory powers to state officials, allowing Republican states to weaken or toss protections;
  • Block states from adopting standards to reduce car pollution; and
  • Fully repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, while giving an additional boost to fossil fuel drilling and exploration. 

Project 2025 aims to shift the federal government away from protecting our public health or environment and toward smoothing the path for polluting industries to grow. It may even challenge the very notion that federal agencies can do anything at all to reduce climate pollution.

Their “Battle Plan” Must Be a Call to Action

Though Project 2025 is bad enough on its own, Republican frontrunners may have even more in mind. For instance, Donald Trump recently mused about the need to rein in an array of independent government agencies — a list that would include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FERC). 

While that agency has been historically very friendly to fossil fuel interests, Trump’s obvious intent is to make it even more so. Even observers who doubt Trump’s ploy would be successful are worried about the chilling effect it may have on FERC.

Broadly speaking, Republican climate plans are about sending a clear message. The director of Project 2025 is not exactly subtle about their goals — as he told Politico, “We are writing a battle plan, and we are marshaling our forces.” 

That much is clear. The task for the rest of us — who want a livable future for ourselves, our communities, and the planet — is to make sure they lose. 

Join our efforts toward a livable future by volunteering with Food & Water Action!