Washington, D.C.– Today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed the “Appalachian Energy for National Security Act,” sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), which would require the Secretary of Energy to conduct a study of the national security implications of building out petrochemical infrastructure – including the controversial Appalachian Storage Hub – throughout the United States.
In response, local and national environmental groups responded with the following statements:
“With this bill, it is obvious Senator Manchin is once again putting the interests of polluting corporations over the health and safety of the people of West Virginia. Rather than listening to his constituents on the ground who want to diversify the state’s economy and have clean air and water, Manchin is siding with fossil fuel, chemical, and plastics companies to lock us into yet another toxic boom-and-bust economic cycle. Considering most of the companies so far investing in the proposed Appalachian Storage Hub are out-of-country, the idea that this petrochemical mega-complex will somehow benefit national security is laughable. We are tired of Joe Manchin leading the charge to sacrifice the people of Appalachia for corporate profit.” – Dustin White, project coordinator with the West Virginia-based Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC)
"Our national security is and will continue to be challenged at our borders as migrants flee their homelands, not because they want to, but they have no choice. They are climate refugees, forced into taking a perilous journey, risking everything because they can no longer feed their families or make an honest living from their homelands. This is happening across the world for the same reason and it's only going to get worse if our lawmakers continue to ignore the truth and let greed and hubris rule their actions. If Senator Manchin's words were true, he would be calling for these funds and more to be invested in local communities, here and across the country, that will create economic resiliency; good, clean, safe, sustainable jobs and enduring national security." - BJ McManama, a West Virginian and campaign organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network
“Senator Manchin’s attempt to cloak the buildout of more fossil fuel-fed infrastructure as a national security priority is as ironic as it is absurd. There is no doubt that our deepening climate crisis is the leading threat to American national security. Manchin’s notion that doubling down on domestic fossil fuel extraction, processing and export would somehow make our country safer is directly at odds with reality. Anyone truly concerned with national and economic security would be advocating for a just and fair transition to clean energy. Senator Manchin must be held accountable for this foolish and dangerous assertion.” – Mitch Jones, Climate and Energy Program Director, Food & Water Watch