The deal approved between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on the debt limit includes new protections for a contentious West Virginia pipeline project.
Environmental activists have sounded the alarm over the deal, which features unprecedented measures protecting the $6.6 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline from judicial review and expediting its construction.
The group Climate Defiance called out Democrat Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia for accepting thousands of dollars from NextEra Energy, one of the companies behind the pipeline.
"We are in a bleak moment," Climate Defiance wrote on Twitter. "The politicians we trusted with our lives sold us out to fossil fuel CEOs. We have been stabbed in the back. We do not know if we will win but d----t we will not go down without a peaceful uprising like you've never seen. We ask you to stand with us."
White House negotiators told The New York Times that Biden was merely honoring an agreement he struck with Manchin last year to pass the Inflation Reduction Act.
Democrats believe that bill, boasting over $370 billion toward clean energy projects, far outweighs Manchin's demands for the 300-mile pipeline to be protected.
But pipeline opponents, like Climate Defiance, have argued that completion was far from determined in the wake of several critical legal challenges still pending in court.
For example, the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in favor of the Sierra Club and other environmental groups in March that argued the pipeline should be subject to stronger Clean Water Act reviews.
"This is an unprecedented end run around the courts, which have repeatedly rejected permits over MVP's failure to comply with basic environmental laws," Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous insisted to the paper. "We're exploring the legal implications of this proposal and our next steps."
Several lawmakers in the House and Senate have since attempted to strip the pipeline protections from the final legislation, including Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.
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