Politics Cutting Any Environmental Projects in Biden's Plan Would Be Devastating, Activists Say
'Use your soapbox': Activists urge Biden to step up voting rights push as latest bill fails in Senate
Biden has resisted calls to 'use the bully pulpit' to push Senate Democrats to nuke the filibuster, even as Trump allies push false election claims.But nine months into his presidency, Biden and Democrats have made no headway to overcome Republican opposition to reform voting, failing to override voting restrictions that several GOP-led state legislatures adopted after the 2020 election.
Democrats have set out to trim down President's $3.5 trillion spending proposal that includes tens of billions of dollars for environmental justice initiatives, worrying activists about just how much will be cut.
Around the country, environmentalists and climate advocates watch intently as lawmakers undergo negotiations with Republican representatives who want the bill to be reduced in time for an Oct. 31 voting deadline.
Coast Guard had earlier notice about California oil spill
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The Coast Guard received multiple reports of a possible fuel spill off the Southern California coast earlier than previously disclosed and asked local authorities to investigate about 15 hours before its own personnel confirmed a large oil slick, which came from a leaking undersea pipeline, records show. The initial reports of a possible spill north of the Huntington Beach pier came into the Coast Guard about 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 1, according to an Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s memo provided Wednesday to The Associated Press.
"When we hear that the $3.5 trillion will be watered down ... it's honestly unacceptable," said Ellen Sciales, communications director for Sunrise Movement, a national, youth-led environmental group.
Congressional leaders said no one can venture an estimate as to how much of the proposed $80 billion in environmental justice spending will be cut from the reconciliation bill, but the overall amount certainly will be less, said congressional aides.
Some of the biggest spending proposals were $20 billion for replacing America's lead water pipes, and nearly $15.5 billion for a greenhouse gas reduction fund.
The budget cuts worry activists considering the U.N.'s International Panel on Climate Change called the warming planet a "code red for humanity."
Big changes in White House ideas to pay for $2 trillion plan
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — In an abrupt change, the White House is floating new plans to pay for parts of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion social services and climate change package, shelving a proposed big increase in corporate tax rates though also adding a new billionaires' tax on the investment gains of the very richest Americans. The reversal Wednesday came as Biden returned to his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, to highlight the middle class values he says are at the heart of the package that Democrats are racing to finish. Biden faces resistance from key holdouts, including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
"Ifdoes not pass a full deal, ... it would be devastating," said Juan Jhong-Chung, policy associate with the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition.
Voters for Biden have been depending on his election promise to pass "the most ambitious environmental justice agenda ever." The cuts "would represent another broken promise by our elected officials," said Jhong-Chung.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Local and regional environmental activists have held protests across the nation for several weeks, calling onto pass the entire $3.5 trillion package. With a reduction in the package looming, activists worry environmental justice projects that could improve the health of their communities will be sacrificed.
"Our people are already struggling," said Jhong-Chung. "And now with the climate crisis, things are getting worse here in Michigan. We just experienced this summer of record-breaking flooding."
Over 2M Californians Live Near Oil Drilling Sites, State Called On to Expand Buffer Zones
Studies show living near oil drilling sites can cause increased risk for birth defects, cancer, respiratory problems and additional health issues.Low-income residents of California and people of color in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley are disproportionately affected by nearby oil drilling. Thursday's proposal wouldn't ban wells already running in those areas, but it would tack on new controls to curb pollution, the AP reported.
He was speaking at a news conference in Flint, Michigan, where residents have been dealing with a lead contamination crisis in its water systems since 2014.
Water sanitation and scarcity issues top of the list of pressing needs for many in disadvantaged communities as rural areas countrywide lack modern sewage and sanitation systems, and the West deals with a megadrought.
Catherine Flowers, who serves on Biden's White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and long has advocated for clean water and sanitation systems in rural areas, is concerned for places like predominately Black Lowndes County, Alabama, where many residents have to release their wastewater directly into the environment.
"When people talk about environmental justice, they never talk about sanitation," she said. "The assumption was that rural communities have always had it, and that's not true."
At U.N.'s COP26 climate summit, Indigenous voices are calling for more than lip service .
The lesser-heard voices of Indigenous people plan to make their presence known at the U.N. climate summit, or COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland.The Line 3 replacement project, first announced by Enbridge in 2014, had been fiercely opposed by Native American tribes, environmental activists and celebrities — who more recently urged President Joe Biden to yank its permits — arguing the pipeline would only aggravate climate change and threaten waters where the Ojibwe people harvest wild rice. Already, he said, he's seen chemicals and muck foul what should be pristine wetlands and water.