Want to add your name to the list of signers?  Click here!  Even though we’ve already delivered a hard copy of the letter to Sen. Baldwin’s offices, it’s important to keep adding names to the petition and continue to direct phone calls and comments directly to her offices.

For a downloadable full copy of the letter, including a list of signers and individual comments, please click here

Senator Tammy Baldwin
30 West Mifflin Street, Suite 700
Madison, WI 53703

Re: Opposition to Fast-Tracking Fossil Fuel Project Approvals and Undermining the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act

Dear Senator Baldwin, 

On behalf of the people of Wisconsin, 754 frontline communities, and environmental and other organizations representing millions of members and supporters nationwide, we are writing to express our strenuous opposition to any additional fossil fuel giveaways. Despite significant opposition from lawmakers, the public, and a wide coalition of environmental justice, BIPOC and climate organizations, Senator Manchin and his allies in the fossil fuel industry continue to pursue a dirty deal that will fast track fossil fuel infrastructure, restrict judicial review, and erode the National Environmental Policy Act. Senator Manchin is now working to attach this to must-pass legislation before the end of the year. 

To garner support for his dirty deal, Manchin has proposed a package with some provisions on transmission. While we acknowledge the importance of accelerating the deployment of renewable energy, that should not come at the expense of gutting bedrock environmental laws such as NEPA and the Clean Water Act or cutting community engagement, and it should certainly not occur in a way that sacrifices environmental justice communities by placing them in harm’s way or removing their rights to legal due process or self determination. 

We call on you to unequivocally reject any effort to promote fossil fuels, advance unproven technologies, and weaken our core environmental laws. You must stand with the communities who continue to bear the brunt of harm from fossil fuels and other forms of pollution, and act to prevent wholesale climate disaster. 

This fossil fuel wish list associated with the Inflation Reduction Act side deal, the so called Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), is a cruel and direct attack on environmental justice communities and the climate writ large. This legislation would truncate and hollow-out the environmental review process, weaken Tribal consultations, and make it far harder for frontline communities to have their voices heard. It guts bedrock protections in the National Environmental Policy Act and a previous version also gutted the Clean Water Act. 

In a further affront to frontline communities and climate science’s mandate to end all fossil fuel expansion, the EISA would promote and prioritize dozens of fossil fuel projects including the incomplete fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), and dictate when and where future court cases to protect communities and the environment can be filed. Building this unnecessary pipeline could violate Indigenous sovereignty, property rights, threaten endangered species, devastate sensitive Appalachian ecosystems, further degrade hundreds of critical waterways, and disproportionately harm low-wealth communities and communities of color. The MVP is using eminent domain for their private gain leaving landowners with all the risk. Moreover, this unnecessary fossil fuel pipeline could be responsible for releasing an additional 89 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of 26 coal plants. New fossil fuel infrastructure projects, including MVP, are flatly incompatible with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In the words of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.” 

Prolonging a fossil-fueled economy exacerbates environmental racism, is wildly out of step with climate science, and hamstrings our nation’s ability to avert a climate disaster and demonstrate global leadership. Supporting the EISA would represent a profound betrayal of frontline communities and constituents across the country who have called on you via their organizing, mobilizing, and votes to prevent the multitude of harms of fossil fuels and advance a just, renewable energy future. 

The permit review process for the proposed Formosa Plastics Complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana has been critical in protecting the surrounding community, which is about 90-percent Black. If developed, it would produce 800 tons of toxic air pollutants annually, doubling air emissions in the already overburdened community known as Cancer Alley. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights called the project “environmental racism” in March and urged U.S. officials to reject the project. The proposed legislative changes to NEPA and the priority permitting list of harmful energy projects in EISA would perpetuate environmental racism.

Bold Congressional action to address the existential threat of climate chaos requires a precipitous reduction of oil, gas, and coal production which is responsible for 85% of greenhouse emissions and is the driver of the climate crisis. Relying only on large scale investments in renewable energy and environmental justice alone will not stave off climate disaster if Congress simultaneously puts its legislative foot on the gas to expand fossil fuel production and false solutions like carbon capture, hydrogen combustion, biomass, biofuels, factory farm gas, and nuclear power. Existing fossil fuel facilities already push us past climate targets; any new fossil fuel projects would be incompatible with avoiding irreversible climatic devastation. 

Moreover, we oppose tethering this legislation to any must-pass legislation. It is unacceptable to sacrifice the health, self determination, and prosperity of communities in Appalachia, the Gulf Coast, Alaska, the Midwest, the Southwest, and other frontline communities around the country. 

Truncating environmental reviews does not benefit or expedite renewable energy projects. All this legislation will do is reduce environmental protections that are needed to protect communities, wildlife, and our public lands and waters from the devastation of toxic fossil fuel projects. 

We strongly urge you to reject this fossil fuel handout and side-deal with one single Senator. Our communities, and our collective future, require the political courage to stop the fossil fuel stranglehold once and for all.  


350 Wisconsin

700+ other environmental and frontline organizations

For a downloadable full copy of the letter, including a list of signers and individual comments, please click here