Green Party Decries Biden’s Retreat on Climate in
Infrastructure Stimulus, Line 3 Pipeline
Green Party US
WASHINGTON (June 29, 2021) — The Green Party of the United States faults President Joe Biden for putting the interests of Republicans and fossil fuel donors ahead of saving life on the planet in the new infrastructure stimulus legislation, largely excluding climate action in the deal.
“We are in a climate emergency, with time rapidly running out to avoid climate collapse. Sacrificing needed action on climate in order to get sign-off from the climate-denying Republicans and their hordes of special interest donors is a crime against humanity. Biden says he understands the need to halt fossil fuels but his actions continue to prove otherwise,” said Mark Dunlea, Co-chair of the Green Party’s EcoAction Committee.
Biden’s deal with the Republicans would spend most of the $579 billion allocated on expanding fossil fuel infrastructure (airports, freeways) over five years while promoting privatization. Greens advocate for much larger investments to expand and electrify mass transit.
Biden’s deal does not include investments in green energy jobs, funds to combat the climate crisis and it omitted programs supporting energy efficiency for buildings. Biden originally asked for $213 billion to improve the energy efficiency of homes and $100 billion for energy-efficient schools.
The Green Party also slammed the Biden administration’s decision to uphold permits issued to Enbridge Energy to construct the Line 3 pipeline to bring nearly a million barrels of tar sands oil per day through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of the Anishinaabe peoples in Minnesota. The Green Party EcoAction Committee is co-sponsoring a protest at the White House on June 30.
The decision was the latest in a series of actions taken by Biden to back Trump-era approvals of oil and gas infrastructure. Greens support the call for Biden to appoint anew commissioner to FERC (Federal Energy and Regulatory Emission) who supports stopping new fossil fuel projects.
The Green Party said that they will continue to advocate for a green economic stimulus package based on an ecosocialist Green New Deal, which Green candidates first campaigned for in 2010. The Green Party supports a $2.7 trillion annual investment in climate measures along with a $1.4 trillion annual investment in an Economic Bill of Rights, including a guaranteed living wage job, single-payer healthcare, housing and education.
Greens advocate for a Just Transition and ensuring that significant funding is given to environmental justice and frontline communities. It embraces the principles of sustainability including conservation, natural measures, the precautionary principle and reduction of consumption (especially in the US).
The Green Party called on Congressional Democratic Party leaders to follow through with the claim they will seek to first pass a green stimulus reconciliation package before moving the infrastructure bill.
“We need a formal Presidential declaration of a climate emergency, marshaling all of the nation’s resources to build an energy system with zero emissions and 100% renewable energy by 2030. We need to democratically plan and control our energy future. The Democrats want to tinker with the capitalist market that has caused climate change; enriching hedge funds and private investors who put the wealth of the 1% ahead of the common good will deny future generations a livable planet,” said National Green Party Co-Chair Gloria Mattera.
The Green Party also opposes the financing mechanism for Biden’s infrastructure deal, which relies on “public-private partnerships, private activity bonds, direct pay bonds, and asset recycling for infrastructure investment” rather than raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations and enacting polluter penalties (e.g., a carbon tax).
“Asset recycling” involves the sale or lease of public assets to the private sector so the government can put that money toward new investments. For example, this would facilitate a Wall Street takeover of public services like water. The Green Party supports democratic, public ownership rather than privatization of such common goods.
As a record heat wave bakes the Pacific Northwest, a draft report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leaked last week highlighted the need for urgent climate action. It warns that unless drastic and immediate action is taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions, life on earth is poised for a catastrophic reckoning. The reports warned that humans may have already missed its opportunity to keep global warming below the tipping point.
• Green Party Calls for a $4 Trillion Green Economic Stimulus. GP.org;
• 5 Ways the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Falls Short On Climate. EverGreen Action; and
• Hundreds of Groups Demand Biden Name Climate-Focused FERC Commissioner. Food & Water Watch.
Green Party of the United States, PO Box 75075, Washington, DC 20013. www.gp.org, 202-804-2758