For Immediate Release: August 12, 2022
Rapid City – In response to today’s news that the House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, NDN Collective released the following statement:
“To say this moment is bittersweet is an understatement,” said Jade Begay, climate justice director at NDN Collective. “On one hand, the IRA – which puts us on track to meet national climate goals by 2030 and will provide much-needed support around health care, jobs, and infrastructure – was only made possible by the tireless organizing of frontline and Indigenous communities, young people, and climate justice advocates. On the other hand, the IRA dismisses fundamental, decades-long demands by Indigenous, Black, Brown, and low income communities to end fossil fuel expansion and invest in a just transition to renewable energy.
“Now, climate justice advocates will double down on our work in the Gulf Coast and Arctic to protect people, land, and water from dangerous oil and gas industries. We will continue pressuring President Biden to declare a climate emergency. Last but not least, we will ensure Tribes and Native communities know how to access the resources included in the IRA, to continue strengthening climate resilience in our Nations and ancestral homelands.”
“While first acknowledging that some pieces of the IRA are truly historic, it is critical to underscore that negotiations took place behind closed doors – it is not the people’s climate bill,” said Kailea Frederick, climate justice organizer at NDN Collective. “The act’s provisions that tie renewable energy development to oil and gas leasing and place NEPA in jeopardy create even more sacrifice zones that will disproportionately impact the lands and water of Indigenous and Black communities.
“A true climate justice bill would aim to mitigate current harm that frontline communities face, while also committing to a full just transition by stopping emissions at the source. Instead, the IRA provides another piecemeal response to the climate crisis by failing to divest from the fossil fuel industry. The blatant contradictions within the IRA leave us disappointed and concerned.”
Last week, NDN Collective wrote formal letters to President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi. The letters expressed support for the meaningful climate justice investments proposed in the Inflation Reduction Act, but ultimately asked them to reject all new fossil fuel projects, including onshore and offshore drilling. They also specifically asked President Biden again to declare a climate emergency to unlock critical defense funding.
NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.