We are down to the wire on what could be the most significant legislation the US has seen to cut climate pollution.
Unfortunately, a Senator from West Virginia — the founder of a coal brokerage firm who still earns hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from the stock he holds in the company — wants to block this critical climate action. “What’s the urgency?” Senator Manchin wants to know.
Take a look at what’s going on around the country, at your fellow Americans, Senator Manchin.
Take a look at the wildfire seasons in the West and Northwest: raging out of control for far longer and destroying far more acreage. Directly linked to climate pollution from fossil fuels, according to the world’s scientists: In a warmer climate, dry areas get drier.
Take a look at the epic storms ravaging the Gulf Coast: a longer, fiercer, more destructive hurricane season is causing coastal flooding, devastating communities, upending business, and destroying energy infrastructure. Directly linked to climate change, according to the world’s scientists: In a warmer climate, the air holds more moisture, so the storms get stronger.
Take a look at the epic heat waves burning through the Southwest: People are dying of searing heat waves that don’t even break in the nighttime. They don’t have access to cooling stations without your money to buy comfort. Heat records are breaking every single year. Directly linked to climate change, according to the world’s scientists: In a warmer climate, heat waves are more frequent and more searing.
All this is happening even faster than scientists have predicted.
And finally, take a look at your own state: Take a look at the floods swamping your state, overwhelming aging infrastructure of sewage treatment plants and water pipes, flooding out power stations and roads, closing down schools and fire stations. No state is more exposed to flood damage than West Virginia, now getting record rainfall, each year worse than the last.
This, Senator Manchin, is the urgency.
We believe our children should inherit a world that is better than the world we have now. Better, not worse. Our lawmakers’ decisions in the next weeks will mark the difference between better and worse. We can’t let obstructionist senators stand in the way of protecting our families. It is time to do the right thing.
Let’s build back better, together, for the sake of safeguarding our children’s futures. And their todays.