Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, referred to criticism of his energy permitting plan as “poison” in a Weekend Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY told the moderate that legislation speeding up the clearance process for energy projects would pass congress in trade for Manchin’s backing for the Inflation Reduction Bill. In order to prevent a government shutdown on September 30th, Schumer is putting Manchin’s measure, the Energy Independence and Security Act, in the federal funding package. Dems may force a govt shutdown instead of supporting Manchin’s proposal, according to left-wing members of Congress, including Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Democrat Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva.
“The American people, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or independents, are suffering as a result of the global oil battle,” Manchin wrote. “By establishing deadlines and requiring concurrent agency assessments, as we did for public-works projects in the bipartisan infrastructure package, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022 and the permitting change it lays out that would help ensure America’s energy economy more rapidly.”
The Mountain Valley Pipeline, a pipeline for natural gas connecting Virginia and West Virginia, has been slowed down by bureaucratic red tape. The Energy Freedom and Security Act will hasten its development. Additionally, within one or two years of the initial application, agencies would have to decide whether to accept or deny solar projects. The law covers both carbon and renewable power initiatives.
“This reform will aid the United States in achieving its goals, no matter whether you favor more clean energy, more fossil fuels, or a balanced approach like I do,” Manchin continued.
Manchin fueled the fight between the two senators by calling Sanders’ opponents “oblivious to reality.” Sanders penned an opinion piece for Manchin’s local newspaper during discussions over the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better social spending plan urging him to back the bill. Manchin was accused of sabotage by Sanders as well.
The Republican Party, many of whom have said they won’t back the measure, came under fire from the West Virginia senator as well. Just hours after Seventeen Republicans voted in favor of the CHIPS and Science Act, which GOP leader Mitch McConnell stated the GOP would not back if Dems sought reconciliation, Manchin revealed his backing for the Inflation Reduction Act. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, a Republican, claimed that the statement caused “bad blood” to develop between Manchin and the GOP. Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, a Republican, has declared her support for the inclusion of the permitting change in a government funding bill.
“Extreme politics are making some people blind to the realities of what we need to do to ensure the security of our energy future for future generations. What other reason is there for a Republican to even consider endorsing the same energy policy that Sen. Sanders does?” Manchin enquired.