When I got the news last night, I took a silent, solo walk around my neighborhood. Then I buried my face in my hands and had a cry on my porch.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia last night crushed all hopes of getting a major climate bill out of Congress this year. A pro-coal extremist with blatant conflicts of interest back home, Manchin negotiated in obviously bad faith for 1.5 years. He strung along his Democratic Senate colleagues and the White House. Then, last night, at the last minute, he said NO to a climate deal.
So now we grieve. And we cry. And we pound our fists against the wall. But we’re not giving up. Keep reading this email to learn how you can vent some of your sorrow and anger later this month at a classic American setting: a baseball game.
According to the Washington Post, Joe Manchin told Senate leaders yesterday he would not vote for any new climate spending as part of the Senate budget reconciliation bill now under debate. That scuttles $550 billion in tax credits for wind and solar power as well as rebates for electric vehicles, among other climate spending. By all accounts, the 49 other Democratic Senators were ready to vote yes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden did all they could to save the deal. So we thank them all.
But honestly, Manchin is not the only culprit. There are 50 Republicans in the US Senate and not one – not one! – gives a damn about the climate crisis. A warming ocean is about to erase the lobster industry in Maine. But Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is a NO on climate spending. Alaska has warmed a staggering seven degrees F since 1970. But Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is a NO on climate spending.
At the local, state, and federal levels, it’s the Republican Party– joined by fossil fuel soaked Dems like Manchin – that is sending us over the climate cliff.
So here’s what you and I should do. First, take some time to grieve in your own way – take a walk, go camping, hug your kids. Manchin’s despicable decision is a body blow to all of us who pinned our climate hopes and dreams on Congress this summer. Let that sadness sit in your soul. We’ll all heal and recover with time, but take the moments you need now. I know I will.
Then, soon enough, let’s get back in the fight.
If you live in the DC area, you can start by joining CCAN Action Fund for a rousing protest at the annual Congressional baseball game in DC on July 28th. We’ll host a rally outside Nationals Park – open to everyone – just before the game. Then a select number of protesters will engage in peaceful, creative protests at the park to remind everyone that the climate emergency will not go away while Congress plays games.
If you’re mad at Joe Manchin and the other anti-climate members of the US Congress, click here to join CCAN Action Fund for a rousing protest at the annual Congressional baseball game in DC on July 28th.
In the weeks after the game, we’ve got to fight super hard for pro-climate state and federal candidates for office this fall. Let’s elect more pro-climate US Senators so Joe Manchin’s dirty-energy agenda is permanently left behind. Let’s elect a pro-climate majority to the US House. And the same for counties and statehouses nationwide. We’ll give you more information in coming weeks on how you can get involved in elections far and wide.
Finally, looking further down the road, groups like CCAN Action Fund must double down on our efforts to pass stronger and stronger clean energy legislation at the state and local levels. We must fill the gap left by policy inaction at the Federal level.
We have to build dramatically more offshore wind power in Maryland. We have to preserve robust climate policies in Virginia. We have to enforce new zero-carbon building standards in DC. And we must support other state-level climate initiatives from New York to California.
But again, right now, we have every right to grieve and reflect at this sad moment in history. Take some time to do so. And then, it’s back to work. We just don’t have the option to give up.
And remember, CCAN Action Fund will be here for you at every step of the way. That’s because we know something important:
Joe Manchin is not going to win.