Schumer-Manchin bill

Let’s toast to some success! However, here are critiques of the new bill from Rachel Fazio of the John Muir Project and Dominick DellaSala of the Wild Heritage Project, both sponsored by the Earth Island Institute:

Old growth forest

Dominick DellaSala <> wrote:

it’s missing mature forest protections – a major problem – it has tax credits for biomass – a major problem – there are other issues too – but those are two biggies! And I have to snicker at the $50,000,000 price tag to do the mature/OG inventory – as we already did this for a tiny fraction of the cost – they will spend down this amount and drag their feet for the next year!

From: Rachel Fazio:

This bill is not a good bill for forests or the climate. An extra $3B for logging (with limited restraints and no prohibition about what gets logged in the areas where logging can occur (expansive definition of WUI under HFRA) – ie mature and old forest, burned forest, as well as large trees, can be logged – and while it designates $50M for old growth including mapping- the language allows the forest service to use the money to develop and carry out “tactics” for the protection of old growth forests (not mature)- nowhere defining old growth or what it is being protected from.  If the EO is any indication these would involve tactics, including logging, to ostensibly “protect” the old growth from fire, insects or disease.  So I would not say this bill will specifically protect any old-growth forests outside of areas where it is already somewhat protected (wilderness and roadless- though less so lately, lots of proposed logging in roadless these days).

In addition to all the logging funds the vast majority of the rest of the bill is just propping up or propagating more fossil fuel development.

I am not in favor of big wind or solar on public lands but this act requires onshore oil and gas leasing as a prerequisite to the issuance of any right of way across federal lands for wind or solar.

It also mandates the sale of several offshore oil leases that would otherwise have expired in 2022.

The claimed emissions reduction must be built on the false claim that carbon capture and storage will be our savior due to all the tax breaks/credits for this handout to the fossil fuel companies. Because most everything else in this bill will increase emissions over the next eight years, add that to all the emissions that will flow from Manchin’s bipartisan infrastructure bill – there is no way you have a 40% reduction by 2030.

Yes, there is some money that could actually help environmental justice communities and up the percentage of wind and solar – but it pales in comparison to the investments in fossil fuels. And there is no prohibition I could find on all the new fossil fuel infrastructure and ccs being placed directly in environmental justice communities, further exacerbating harm and climate change.

Read the Schumer-Manchin bill aka The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

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