The Black Hive Demands the Senate Reject Toxic, Racist Debt Ceiling Deal

After the House of Representatives voted to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Act on May 31, The Black Hive – the Movement for Black Lives’ climate and environmental justice initiative – issued the following statement:

“Any ‘deal’ on the debt ceiling that fast-tracks toxic fossil fuel projects like the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and guts bedrock environmental protections is a bad deal for Black communities. The House of Representatives just passed the ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act,’ (FRA), which forces the construction of the MVP against the repeated objections of communities in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina fighting to protect their land and water from poisonous toxic fossil fuel byproducts. The FRA also makes it easier to pollute in Black communities by rolling back key provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act. It needlessly increases food insecurity and poverty by cutting essential social safety programs. 

Black people are already facing staggeringly high rates of cancer, birth defects, asthma, heart disease, and COVID deaths due to disproportionate exposure to fossil fuel air pollution. Fast-tracking more fossil fuel infrastructure will only make those health disparities worse. The FRA, coupled with fossil fuel infrastructure projects already approved by this administration, including Willow and Liquified Natural Gas projects in the Gulf South, will prevent the U.S. from meeting its climate goals at a time when Black communities across the world are also hit first and worst by the impacts of climate change, including hurricanes, heat, droughts, and floods – due to extreme weather events and sea level rise. Ultimately, this ‘debt ceiling deal’ perpetuates fossil fuel racism.

In 2020, the Democratic Party campaigned for Black votes on a promise to advance environmental justice. Now ahead of 2024, the White House and leading Congressional Democrats are close to codifying environmental injustices into law that will harm Black communities and Black lives.” 

This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We need people to call their Senators and let them know that they must support Senator Kaine’s amendment to remove the Mountain Valley Pipeline from the deal, and Senator Merkley’s amendment to protect the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Instead, Congress must pass a clean debt ceiling without poisonous provisions that will harm Black Lives. 

Our demands: 

  • Senators must support Senator Kaine’s amendment to remove Mountain Valley Pipeline and Senator Merkley’s amendment to protect NEPA
  • Congress must reject this deal favoring fossil fuels and pass a clean debt ceiling without poisonous provisions.

Our Call to Action: 


The Movement for Black Lives is a national network of more than 150 leaders and organizations creating a broad political home for Black people to learn, organize and take action. M4BL includes activists, organizers, academics, lawyers, educators, health workers, artists and more, all unified in a radical vision for Black liberation and working for equity, justice and healing.