Home ScienceEnvironment Joe Manchin’s Pipeline Deal Irks Both Parties, Snarling Spending Bill

Joe Manchin’s Pipeline Deal Irks Both Parties, Snarling Spending Bill

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WASHINGTON — When Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia agreed in late July to cast a crucial vote that would allow Democrats to pass groundbreaking climate change, health and tax legislation, He pulled out a promise in return. September facilitated the construction of natural gas pipelines in his state.

Now lawmakers from both parties are hesitant about a deal they say they never participated in, sparking controversy that threatens to derail a government spending bill that must pass next weekend to avoid a shutdown. ing.

Manchin argued that a law streamlining permitting for fossil fuel and energy infrastructure projects, including pipelines, in West Virginia would be tied to spending measures that are expected to keep government funding through mid-December. ing.

This is the latest chapter in the long-running tension between Mr. Manchin and liberal Democrats, with West Virginia candidate Manchin using his floating vote in a evenly-divided Senate to win over President Biden. I resent you for dropping or reducing your agenda. To comply, demanded large concessions to do so. Majority leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has said he intends to attach two bills, and the White House confirmed Biden’s support for the legislation in a statement Wednesday.

White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said in a statement: “So many energy projects are facing delays today that generate critical, cost-saving clean energy to deliver to homes and businesses across America. I haven’t been able to do it,” he said. This is an important step towards further unlocking the potential of these projects and the high-paying jobs they support. “

The permit bill, which explicitly authorized the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a controversial gas project through West Virginia, was seen as a budget adjustment bill that allowed Democrats to protect climate change. Excluded from the bill. It severely limited what could be included, as well as vast measures from Republican filibusters.

After the climate law was passed, dozens of liberal lawmakers Expressing Concerns About Licensing Measureswarnings against weakening environmental protections, including the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires governments to study the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines, or other major federal projects.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent in charge of the Budget Committee, he said against Manchin’s bill, if the rest of the Democratic Caucus endorsed it, would require at least 11 Republicans to support it in a 50-50 Senate to extend the 60-vote threshold beyond the filibuster. It means that there is a need. Most Republicans instead rallied around a more aggressive package announced by West Virginia Republican Senator Sherry Moore Capito.

“I have never seen a stranger company than Bernie Sanders or an ultra-liberal taking the side of the Republican leadership,” Manchin said at a news conference on Tuesday. “What I hear is that this is kind of a revenge politics, and basically he’s taking revenge on one person: me.”

Liberals remain bitter that Mr. Manchin single-handedly thwarted many of their proposals to expand the country’s social safety net and is now pushing laws that benefit the fossil fuel industry. I’m holding

Republicans are still angry that the West Virginia president suddenly dropped his opposition to climate change, tax and health care bills. months before the midterm elections.

“Joe Manchin is trying to hide behind the fig leaf of the deal he made with Chuck Schumer,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the third-ranked Republican in the Senate. rice field. this month. “If you’re looking for Republicans to provide more cover and support than they currently have, you’re not going to find it with us.”

Manchin’s deal further complicated the long-standing fall struggle on the Capitol to avoid a federal shutdown. Negotiations on a bill to keep federal funds flowing include emergency aid to Ukraine against its war with Russia, relief to states and territories affected by this year’s natural disasters, the coronavirus pandemic and monkeypox. Already bogged down in debates over funding to deal with


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of 91 page permit lawThe document, released Wednesday night by Manchin’s office, includes several provisions aimed at streamlining environmental permits for major energy projects. Instruct agencies to complete the environmental reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act within approximately two years for major projects, and provide a time limit for challenging courts after projects are approved. Summary provided by Mr. Manchin’s office.

Biden must also select 25 energy infrastructure projects for priority approval, including fossil fuel production and processing projects and transmission projects.

Some Democrats and environmental groups believe these changes would make it easier to build oil pipelines, liquefied natural gas terminals and other fossil fuel infrastructure, not only undermining progress on climate change but also harming communities. He objected that it would make it more difficult to take on the project.

Approving completion of the Mountain Valley pipeline would have climate impacts for 23 new coal-fired power plants and threaten nearby water quality, they said. Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat for Virginia, said “giving the MVP the go-ahead goes against the spirit of allowing reform,” citing concerns over the project, which will also pass through his state, before the deal goes through. expressed dissatisfaction with its failure to express .

But many clean energy advocates and some of the Senate’s leading climate hawks believe such changes are necessary to create the clean energy revolution promised by the $370 billion in new climate spending pledged by the law. It claims to be

Biden has promised to cut America’s carbon footprint in half by 2030, and that the U.S. economy will stop emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050. This means building wind farms as well as eliminating the burning of oil, gas and coal. , solar parks, power lines and other infrastructure needed to convert the country to clean energy.

Jules Cortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based nonprofit focused on the transition to clean energy, said:

The Progressive Policy Institute, a centrist think tank in Washington, released a study that found that renewable energy projects take an average of 2.7 years from proposal to permitting, while transmission projects take an average of 4.3 years. The pipeline sits in the middle, averaging 3.5 years. This applies not only to oil and gas pipelines, but also to pipelines that could one day transport hydrogen, which is derived from fossil fuels but has low greenhouse gas emissions.

Minority leader Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell on Wednesday urged Manchin to back Capito’s alternative and, if he didn’t, the West Virginia native would face a “massive It could mean that he wasted his vote with a liberal boondoggle,” he added. “

Some House Democrats have been asked to reaccept a deal to meet Mr. Manchin’s demands, and tied to appropriation bills they will be forced to vote to either accept it or shut down the government. Nearly 80 Democrats in the House asked for another voteWe support Manchin’s permit package, but have so far failed to threaten to oppose the spending bill. (A similar letter Circulated in the Senate. )

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Rep. from New York state, said, “The last thing we have to do is an unwise and, frankly, pretty unprecedented maneuver that will kill so many people. It’s putting our lives at risk,’ and thousands of federal workers will be affected by the shutdown. She added: They don’t want to test it. “

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