The Flint amendment is on hold, for the moment - so is the dirty Senate Energy Bill. But this is only a reprieve, not a real victory. Can you make a call to the Senate, and ask all your friends to do the same to tell our Senators: Don't Use Flint As a Political Chess Piece. Click here to call & call again.
Here's what's been happening: A group of well-meaning Senators tried to attach an amendment to the SERIOUSLY dirty Senate Energy Bill that would have raised about $400 million to clean up Flint's failed water infrastructure. Over 1,200 of us called to express our disapproval of that idea, and to tell them they can't use Flint as a political pawn in their climate-killing negotiations.1
Dozens of amendment votes have been tried and mostly failed including: GOOD news - an amendment to build more fracked gas pipelines and an amendment blocking new federal rules on climate change and clean water (among other things); BAD news - also defeated were amendments to phase out Big Oil's ridiculous tax breaks, and to require fossil fuel companies to disclose their election spending. Overall, the bill is about the same (BAD) or maybe a little worse since new amendments support burning our forests for energy, and may further weaken energy efficiency plans.2
Now, breaking news out of the Senate says that the Republican leadership has REJECTED the Flint amendment out of hand, and the entire bill is on hold.3 This is the most important moment for us to be heard. Whether you've already called, or have been meaning to get to it, will you please click here and make a two minute phone call to tell the Senate they shouldn't even think of partaking in a classic case of Quid Pro Flint. Click here to make the call.
The Senate Energy Bill remains a bad deal for our planet: The Secretary of Energy would be forced to expedite exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) only 45 days after the famous rubber stamp called the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) reviews. The dying coal industry would be propped up by hundreds of millions in new subsidies at a moment scientists tell us we must leave 80 percent of fossil fuels in the ground. New amendments have done nothing to improve those elements while arguably making the bill worse.4
Flint deserves justice, clean water and a 21st Century infrastructure, but the Senate shouldn't take our climate hostage to make it happen. The Senate should instead ditch this dirty Energy Bill and consider a clean bill that addresses Flint's infrastructure. That way we can do what's right without climate killing emissions that disproportionately impact low-wealth communities of color like Flint in the first place.
That's what's on the table right now, as the Senate Energy Bill is stuck in limbo over the issue of Flint's pipes. Click here to call your senators and let them know you want justice for Flint without this climate killing bill, then tell all your friends to call as well.
Thank You for Sounding Off,
Drew and the climate abolitionists at Environmental Action
PS - while response to the calls has been great, we also need your support to keep our Senate Hotline FREE and available to everyone. If you can, please chip in $5 or more to help us deliver justice for Flint and our climate with no compromises.
1. Anthony Rogers-Wright, Don't Let The Senate Play Political Chess With Flint, MI, Environmental Action, February 2, 2016
2. Timothy Cama, Senate rejects partisan amendments to energy bill, The Hill, February 2, 2016
Eric Wolff et all. Politico Morning Energy: House hearings open on Flint water crisis, February 3, 2016
3. Jordain Carney, Flint crisis threatens to derail energy bill, The Hill, February 3, 2016
4. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, Section-by-Section Analysis. September 2015.