Statement of The People’s Justice Council on The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 10, 2022
CONTACT: Rev. Michael Malcom, email@example.com, 678-913-7477
BIRMINGHAM, AL — The People's Justice Council (PJC), an interfaith environmental justice organization, has announced its opposition to a bill that sacrifices and silences our most vulnerable residents. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) is a $750 billion spending package that addresses healthcare and the climate crisis as well as the deficit. However, concessions to money-and-energy interests that are fueling our climate crisis have led to the Gulf South becoming part of the areas sacrificed by the bill.
“I am deeply hurt and saddened by the tone-deaf celebrations by many of our allies in the fight for Creation,” says PJC Executive Director Rev. Michael Malcom. “Our inability to center care means that no one gets what they need. This must be acknowledged.”
Many large national environmental organizations — often referred to as “big greens” — acknowledge these problems in the IRA, but wave them away with “we have work to do” statements. “Such statements have become dog whistles to protect the status quo,” says Malcom. “I no longer care to hear such statements. It's time to show, not tell.”
“Every major religion embraces some variant of The Golden Rule (‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’),” says PJC Program and Policy Director Kyle Crider. “If you are sacrificing folks, even for a so-called ‘greater good,’ you are making human sacrifices to the golden idol of predatory, profiteering capitalism.”
PJC is a member of America’s first Justice40 Accelerator cohort, an outgrowth of Executive Order 14008, signed by President Biden on January 27, 2021. The executive order created the federal Justice40 Initiative with the goal of delivering at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from Federal investments in climate and clean energy to “disadvantaged communities.”
But, “What does it mean to get 40% of ‘benefits’?" asks Malcom. “We need 40% of INVESTMENTS. If you give us 40% of investments, we will get the benefits.”
“Show us the money,” says Crider. “Where your treasure is, your heart is. Is your money on climate- and people-killing oil and natural gas, or is your money on a safe, clean, renewable energy future for everyone? The road to global warming hell is paved with fossil fuel concessions. Play with the devil, gonna get burned.”
PJC’s vision is to create a just, equitable, and sustainable world that places people and planet over profit.