Statement on Inflation Reduction Act 2022

The Frontlines refuse to accept the least bad option!



CONTACT: Kendall Dix,, 434-442-0179

SLIDELL, LA – This week, Congress will consider the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, an attempt to address the climate, health, and economic crises we face. 

We acknowledge this Act offers some important investments in renewable energy, housing efficiency, and health. However, this legislation predictably sacrifices communities on the frontlines of climate disasters, from the Gulf South to Alaska. 

Once again, the interests of the Gulf South are subsumed by the oil and gas industry that makes profits on the backs of communities already threatened by sea level rise, extreme weather, and rising heat — all symptoms of a warming planet and changing climate. 

Furthermore, this process unveiled agreements to advance “permitting reform” in a future bill, which contain significant cuts to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) — one of the few tools that Black, Indigenous, rural and poor people have to try to prevent their communities from becoming sacrifice zones for dirty energy. 

We refuse to settle for the compromises that produce a “least bad option” at the expense of the frontlines. The “urgency of the moment” is not a free pass to ignore the communities who will be harmed by these decisions. 

This moment requires bold vision, strong leadership, and accountable processes. We are clear that solutions must include divesting from extractive industries, investing in just transitions that center labor and community, and transforming our political and economic systems that allow for a new way forward.


From Taproot Earth Vision & Initiatives Partner Colette Pichon Battle, Esq.:

Once again, the only climate proposal on the table requires that the communities of the Gulf South bear the disproportionate cost of national interests bending a knee to dirty energy — furthering the debt this country owes to the South. We say no more. What feels like a “win” for the rest of the country, appears to be a line drawn in the sand for the Gulf South. 

We either fight for what we love, or we let the negotiators of this deal sacrifice us again. We choose now to do better than what this bill delivers.


From Taproot Earth National Policy Director Kendall Dix: 

For too long, Congress and its allies have made decisions about frontline communities in the Gulf South and elsewhere without consulting them, let alone being a part of the negotiations or the drafting of these policies. For the world to address the climate crisis and to achieve climate justice, this has to change, and it has to change now. 

One of the most harmful provisions of the bill would essentially mandate the leasing of public lands and waters to extractive industries for the next decade. With 95% of all offshore oil production happening in the Gulf, this provision guarantees that dirty energy development targets  areas of the country with the highest proportion of Black people. From drilling disasters to toxic air pollution at refineries to the devastating impacts of climate disasters, fossil fuels cause harm at every point of their lifecycle. And because it can take up to 10 years to develop an offshore oil lease, this provision could lock in offshore drilling in the Gulf for generations. This is on top of other money that has been earmarked for dirty energy projects such as hydrogen and biofuels — at a time when Gulf South communities are demanding investments in justly sourced renewable energy such as offshore wind. 


From Taproot Earth Strategy Partner Anthony Giancatarino

Our current reality demands more from us — and more of us. We know that federal legislation alone will not solve our climate, economic, and social crises. Solutions require much deeper changes rooted at the local to state levels. We know that we need to transform how we publicly govern our lands, water, and energy systems rooted in sustainability rather than extraction.

Despite continued attempts by those in power to put the climate frontlines in a position of disposability and sacrifice, communities will continue to rise, resist, and cultivate solutions that will benefit us all.

Now is the time to amplify frontline voices, invest in frontline leadership, and commit to a deeper practice of accountability, participation, and inclusion in decision-making processes. 



 Taproot Earth (formerly Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy) is a global climate justice organization with a mission to build collective systems of self-governance and restoration to advance a just transition to a sustainable economy. 

Taproot Earth
PO Box 521217  | Tulsa, Oklahoma 74152
(504) 224-7639 |

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