Merkley, Lowenthal Lead Bicameral Push to Limit Single-Use Plastic Production and Petrochemical Expansion in Build Back Better Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is co-leading a bicameral effort calling for limitations on single-use plastic production and exclusion of any provisions that expand petrochemical infrastructure from the Build Back Better plan.

“Paired together, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID) and a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, provide a unique opportunity to create good paying American jobs while making meaningful progress towards avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis,” the members wrote. “However, if these bills do not curb our usage of single use plastic, or even worse, result in massive new investment in petrochemical infrastructure, and an expansion of plastic production, than we will have failed to meet this moment with the ambition that the climate crisis demands of us.” 

The members note that any increase in plastic production will do serious harm to greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the already devastating climate crisis. They also highlight the use of petrochemical facilities in relation to the decades-long environmental racism that negatively impacts communities of color. 

Alongside Merkley and co-lead Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-49), signatories of the letter include Senators Edward Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA-37), Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08), Jared Huffman (D-CA-02), Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Katie Porter (D-CA-45), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-05), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Ritchie Torres (D-NY-15), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), Peter DeFazio (D-0R-04), Maxine Waters (D-CA-43), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL-04), Grace Meng (D-NY-06), Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), and Mondaire Jones (D-NY-17).

You can read a copy of the letter here.