sen. Joe Manchin has asked Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to remove his pipeline permitting reform bill from a Standing Resolution (CR) to fund the government.
Schumer, DN.Y., had agreed to tie Manchin’s pet project to a bill to fund the government in exchange for its vote on the Inflation Reduction Act. But amid bitter opposition from Republicans and the progressive left alike, Manchin realized that a pipeline exit could potentially lead to a government shutdown.
“It is unfortunate that members of the United States Senate are allowing politics to jeopardize our country’s energy security,” the West Virginia Democrat said in a statement. “A failed vote on something as crucial as allowing reforms only serves to encourage leaders like Putin who want to see America fail.”
“For that reason and my firm belief that we should never come to the brink of a government freeze because of politics, I have asked Majority Leader Schumer to remove the language of the permit from the continuation resolution we will vote on tonight,” he added. .
Lawmakers must first break a stalemate over a consent agreement brokered between Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin
Under the pipeline law, the president must select 25 projects for priority review, create a “target” review time of 1-2 years, and automatically green-light Manchin’s Mountain Valley pipeline in West Virginia
Congress has until midnight Friday to agree on the ongoing resolution to avoid a shutdown and fund the government until Dec. 16.
Under the pipeline law, the president must select 25 projects for priority review, create a “target” review time of 1-2 years, and automatically green-light Manchin’s Mountain Valley pipeline in West Virginia.
The chief moderate senator said he would not give up on reforms.
“Over the past few weeks, there has been broad consensus on the urgent need to address our country’s flawed licensing system. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to move forward with this crucial legislation to address the challenges of providing affordable, reliable energy that Americans desperately need. We should never depend on other countries to provide the energy we need if we can produce it here at home.’
Republicans had labeled the bill a “political payback,” although Manchin had pointed out that they’ve advocated allowing reforms for years.
“This isn’t about me,” Manchin told Fox News earlier this week. “My Republican friends, I’ve been working with them for 12 years, and I know their main point they’ve had, the first priority they’ve had is to allow reform.”
“We can’t build anything in America. It takes five to ten years. The developed world takes one to three years.’
Moments before Manchin’s announcement, Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell referred to the bill as a “poison pill,” a “fake fig leaf,” and “allowing reforms in name only.”
“The poison pill is a false attempt to tackle an important issue, which is to allow reforms,” he said.
“What our Democratic colleagues have produced is a false fig leaf that would reverse the cause of a real licensing reform,” he added. “Amazingly, our Democratic colleagues have managed to write language that — listen to this — would make things worse.”
McConnell said Manchin’s plan would do nothing to address the bureaucratic hurdles without amending the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to speed up the approval of energy projects.
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