In the wake of Sen. Joe Manchin's repudiation of the Build Back Better climate and social investment bill, campaigners on Monday implored President Joe Biden to take executive action to meaningfully address the planetary emergency.
"At the end of the day, Manchin cares less about his constituents than he does about the fossil fuel industry."
Climate, environmental, Indigenous, and other activists joined progressive U.S. lawmakers in condemning Manchin over his announcement Sunday on Fox News that he would oppose his own party's flagship legislation.
Greenpeace USA climate campaign director Janet Redman said that "Manchin is a fossil-fueled sociopath on a Maserati joy-ride while he lets the world burn," a reference to the lawmaker's family ties to the coal industry and his Italian sport-utility vehicle.
"When negotiations got tough, Manchin chose to walk away rather than pass a bill that would help millions of families put food on the table, make life-saving medicine affordable, and build a livable future because it threatened the fossil fuel industry that sends him dividend checks," she continued.
"The reasons for which Manchin claims he does not support the Build Back Better Act don't add up. West Virginians support the legislation," Redman added. "At the end of the day, Manchin cares less about his constituents than he does about the fossil fuel industry."
"President Biden now has a mandate to pull out all the stops to confront a rogue fossil fuel industry in 2022," she asserted. "We expect a full-court press of executive actions to end fossil fuel expansion the source of the industry's power in Washington, D.C."
"While disappointing, Manchin laying his cards on the table is also a liberating force," Redman insisted. "Biden must go all-in with executive authority to address the climate emergency and do what he promised."
Jennifer K. Falcon, communications coordinator for the Indigenous Environmental Network, said that "if the Biden administration wants to achieve anything to tackle the climate crisis, they must stop capitulating to the fossil fuel industry's favorite senator and take urgent executive action now."
"If Biden wants to be the 'climate president' he told us he would be, he needs to actually take climate action."
"The administration," she said, "has spent a year putting the priorities of fossil fuel executives first, hurting the Black, Indigenous, and communities of color that are already shouldering the unjust burden of pollution and the climate crisis."
"Our communities are dying from the impacts of climate chaos every day, we will not wait," Falcon declared. "If Biden wants to be the 'climate president' he told us he would be, he needs to actually take climate action by using his executive authority to reject new fossil fuel infrastructure and rapidly deploy renewable energy."
"Taking executive action is the only path he has left," she added. "Use it or lose it."