The Letter Lies

This blog post was written by POWHR’s Communications Director Denali Nalamalapu. 

The Biden administration is once again double-dealing. 

On the same day as President Biden’s environmental justice executive order, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm issued a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. She says her department “takes no position” on the pipeline but asks FERC to “expedite” its decisions related to the project and claims MVP will “enhance” our energy future.

This is the hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from the Biden administration. They recently approved the Willow Project in Alaska despite fierce opposition from the people that got them elected.

To say they have let us down is an understatement. For communities who are on the frontlines of this project, these decisions have visceral consequences. The MVP threatens the wellbeing of people, endangered species, streams, rivers, farms, national forests, and the planet.

Here are three falsehoods spread by the Biden administration’s letter.

1. MVP is necessary for national security. 

An economy tied to fossil fuels during a climate crisis is unpredictable and makes us vulnerable to foreign governments and the greed of corporate CEOs. This country’s energy independence can only come from a swift renewable energy transition. This will help protect us from foreign supply chain disruptions and conflicts, as well as deliver lower costs.

2. MVP is necessary for an energy transition. 

There is no documented need for gas to be transported by the pipeline. Since there is no local need for the gas, companies backing the pipeline are making plans to ship the fracked gas abroad

3. MVP will help us withstand extreme weather.

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are more reliable and cheaper than fossil fuels. The MVP will only intensify the climate crisis – which increases extreme weather conditions. If the pipeline were to be completed and put into service, the greenhouse gas emissions may be equivalent to 19 million passenger vehicles, 23 coal plants, and account for at least 1% of all greenhouse gasses from the US energy sector. 

The MVP is a fracked gas pipeline. Methane is the primary component of fracked gas. Methane is at least twenty-five times more warming than carbon dioxide. The MVP is a climate nightmare.

President Biden campaigned on climate change in order to secure the votes of young people and people of color. But he wants to have it both ways: dupe us into thinking he’ll save our planet and maintain the norm of fossil fuel influence in politics. We are not going to stand for this.

UN Secretary Antonio Guterres has been crystal clear: the price of entry for the Climate Ambition Summit in New York in September is for countries to take action to stop fossil fuel expansion. If Biden is going to this summit in his own country, he must stop endorsing unnecessary fossil fuel projects like the MVP.