In Washington, D.C., Capitol police arrested 11 environmental and community leaders Thursday as they nonviolently blockaded the entrance to the Senate Office Building. The sit-in protest came a day after West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin unveiled a permitting reform bill that would speed federal review of energy projects. The legislation would limit environmental and community review of oil, gas, coal and mining projects, while fast-tracking approval of the Mountain Valley fracked gas pipeline and other fossil fuel projects. The bill has the support of both the White House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has pledged Senate passage ahead of a September 30 deadline to fund the government. On Thursday, protesters gathered outside Senator Schumer’s office. This is David Galarza Santa, lead organizer with Emergency Action on Puerto Rico.
David Galarza Santa: “We are sick and tired of Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, being in cahoots and doing these side deals with one of the most destructive senators in the United States — Manchin. He stands to gain, as do the carbon industry and the fossil fuel industry that puts money in his pockets, even as they kill people around the world. And we say, 'No!'”