We’re celebrating the recent defeat of US Senator Joe Manchin’s “Dirty Deal.” This was a proposal to undermine environmental reviews and fast-track fossil fuel projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Today, we’d like to lift up the board members of the Labor Network for Sustainability who fought tooth and nail to oppose this Dirty Deal. LNS Board Members Jennifer Krill and Edgar Franks recently joined an action in the Hart Senate Building in Washington DC, in which Jennifer was arrested in an act of civil disobedience to oppose the deal.
Jennifer Krill stated: “Prioritizing the climate crisis means prioritizing environmental justice. Legislation that leads to more drilling and mining is precisely the kind of political side-dealing that has set us back from meeting our urgent climate goals. We’re grateful that members of Congress have taken action to stop the exploitation of frontline communities and stand up to the fossil fuel and mining industries. Congress has sacrificed people for corporate profits for far too long.”
Edgar Franks stated: “We as a farmworker union want to stand on the side of environmental justice. We are one of the communities that are bearing the brunt of climate change and also some of the most disenfranchised politically. The Dirty Deal was filled with mechanisms that further widen the divide where we will continue to be sacrificed for profits to the fossil fuel industry. We look for the time where we will not have to pit environment over jobs. As unions we need to be present and demand real solutions that are led by affected communities.”
But of course, this victory does not belong to us. It belongs to the many environmental justice leaders from across the country who’ve taken a stand against the Dirty Deal. It belongs to the communities in the Gulf of Mexico and coastal Alaska and everywhere in between. And it belongs to you.
To every member of the Labor Network for Sustainability—thank you. Whether you signed a petition, emailed or called your Senator, marched in a rally, risked arrest, or donated to support the cause, this is your victory.
We know the fight’s not over. Manchin will stop at nothing to cater to the fossil fuel industry, and we expect him to try to force through a similar deal later this year. But in the meantime, we can celebrate this moment and take stock of all we hold dear.
Thanks for being part of this movement.
Larry Williams, Jr.
Executive Director, Labor Network for Sustainability