Vienna, VA — Today, activists protested outside Senator Warner’s Vienna office, calling on the Senator to commit to ending the $121 billion in wasteful taxpayer dollar spending that goes toward fossil fuel subsidies.
With cash-filled oil barrels and a long pipeline signifying the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline project, protesters highlighted the role that federal taxpayer dollars play in propping up the destructive fossil fuel industry that has been harming Virginia residents for years. Food & Water Watch Virginia Organizer Jolene Mafnas said:
“Senator Warner has the power and influence needed to cut the flow of public money into the destructive fossil fuel industry. It’s time to stop paying the polluters tearing up our backyards with pipelines and locking our future into fossil fuel-driven climate catastrophe. Senator Warner must seize the opportunity presented in the infrastructure debates to end fossil fuel subsidies once and for all.”
The explosive growth of unconventional fracking techniques over the last ten years for oil and natural gas production in the U.S. has been made possible by the billions spent annually in taxpayer subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
In Virginia, fossil fuel industry growth has recently resulted in a series of dangerous new proposals for interlocking pipelines and gas plants like the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Chickahominy gas plant that will threaten to worsen climate change and harm public health, particularly in disadvantaged environmental justice communities.
As a member of both the Senate Budget and Finance Committees, Senator Warner will be a key deal broker among Senate democrats as the budget negotiations in Congress continue. Most recently, Sen. Warner has been involved with a bipartisan deal on infrastructure legislation that could add an additional $25 billion in fossil fuel subsidies to fund dirty energy projects like carbon sequestration and hydrogen energy that promise to keep the U.S. hooked on fossil fuels for decades.
“This is no time to sit on the sidelines,” said Lukas Ross, with Friends of the Earth U.S. “Senator Warner needs to take the lead on ending billions in Big Oil handouts. The budget resolution that just passed in Congress may be his last chance to do just that.”
“We want Senator Warner to know that the government should be prioritizing the planet and our people in legislation. And we can’t afford to give away any more dollars to rich fossil fuel companies,” said Kristin Hoffman, a member of Our Revolution Arlington.
“The federal government is spending about $15 billion of our tax money each year in direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Our money is funding fossil fuel expansion instead of investing in getting us to 100% renewable energy, which is desperately needed if we are to respond to the climate crisis in a meaningful way. Congress needs to pass the End Polluter Welfare Act,” said Helene Shore, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of 350Fairfax.
For photos of the event, please visit this folder.
Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]