Climate Protesters Invade The Stage, Shout Down Joe Manchin Event Over Permitting Deal

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Nick Pope Contributor
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A group of climate protesters disrupted Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s remarks at Semafor’s permitting reform summit Tuesday.

Nearly two dozen protesters from Climate Defiance interrupted Manchin’s comments, chanting about the Manchin-backed “dirty deal” to expedite the Mountain Valley Pipeline project in his home state. The group also unfurled a banner and sang John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” to convey their displeasure at Manchin’s support for the project, according to Semafor.

As part of the recent bipartisan debt ceiling negotiations, lawmakers agreed to fast-track the pipeline project in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, according to NPR. The pipeline carries a $6.6 billion price tag and has encountered years of delays from administrative sluggishness and environmental reviews, according to the Washington Examiner. (RELATED: Climate Group Behind Headline-Grabbing Protests Is A ‘Cult,’ Former Member Says)

Manchin eventually returned to the main stage to conclude his remarks, adding that “what these people did today helps me tremendously in my state,” according to Bloomberg News. There were no further disruptions after Manchin resumed his remarks, according to Semafor. (RELATED: Video Shows Annoyed London Driver Pushing Through Climate Protest Blockade)

Climate Defiance has attracted significant media attention in recent months for several disruptive public protests against individuals and organizations it considers complicit in the perceived climate emergency. The group made headlines in late April when they disrupted a speech from a high-ranking climate and energy official in the Biden administration and blockaded the White House Correspondents Dinner, an act for which they claimed responsibility on Twitter. A group of its members also heckled Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar off the stage at a May event promoting her newest book.

Climate Defiance aims to “make complicit climate cowards’ lives f*cking miserable,” according to an online fundraiser it launched. It describes its membership as “young” and “livid” about perceived environmental negligence, according to its website. The protest group describes climate change as “an existential crisis that threatens every fiber of every being in every corner of the world.”

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