Manchin says opposition to his permitting plan is ‘revenge’ for backing Inflation Reduction Act

Bernie, the extreme liberal left, AND Republicans want revenge on me, Manchin says: Democrat says opposition to his permitting plan is payback for backing the Inflation Reduction Act and American people shouldn’t suffer as a result

  • Manchin said the text of his permitting reform bill will be released Wednesday as Congress considers passing a continuing resolution to keep government funded
  • ‘I’ve never seen stranger bedfellows than Bernie Sanders and the the extreme liberal left siding up with Republican leadership’,  Manchin said Tuesday
  •  ‘What I’m hearing is it’s like a revenge politics,’ Manchin said. ‘Basically revenge towards one person – me. I’m thinking, this is not about me’
  • Republicans have opposed Manchin’s permitting reform bill before the text has even been released
  • They have put forth their own permitting reform bill, led by fellow West Virginian Sen. Shelley Capito, R

Sen. Joe Manchin tore into Republicans and the liberal left for seeking ‘revenge’ on him by opposing his permitting reform plan as he announced the final text of the bill will be released Wednesday. 

‘I’ve been around for a long time and state politics and federal politics. I’ve never seen stranger bedfellows than Bernie Sanders and the the extreme liberal left siding up with Republican leadership’, the West Virginia Democrat said in a news conference Tuesday. 

‘What I’m hearing is it’s like a revenge politics,’ Manchin said. ‘Basically revenge towards one person – me. I’m thinking, this is not about me.’ 

He called out his Democratic colleague from Vermont specifically: ‘Bernie has never supported anything about permitting reforms,’ Manchin said. He held up a piece of paper that had been passed around the room showing common permitting timelines for energy and minerals projects throughout the world. In the U.S., it typically takes 5-10 years to obtain a permit; in Canada and Australia it only takes 1-3 years. 

Sen. Joe Manchin tore into Republicans and the liberal left for seeking 'revenge' on him by opposing his permitting reform plan as he announced the final text of the bill will be released Wednesday

Sen. Joe Manchin tore into Republicans and the liberal left for seeking ‘revenge’ on him by opposing his permitting reform plan as he announced the final text of the bill will be released Wednesday

He called out his Democratic colleague from Vermont specifically: 'Bernie has never supported anything about permitting reforms,' Manchin said

He called out his Democratic colleague from Vermont specifically: ‘Bernie has never supported anything about permitting reforms,’ Manchin said

The permitting process takes 5-10 years in the US

Natural gas and gasoline costs have skyrocketed over the last five years

Manchin’s team passed out documents to the press conference showing the increase in fuel cost and how lengthy the U.S. permitting process is 

‘You look at basically states that have countries that have vigorous environmental oversight, one to three years. And then if you look at what’s happening now because of the energy crisis we have in the Ukraine war, you have the EU [European Union] is considering emergency bypassing of all environmental reviews. And we don’t think we’re in a crisis. And we’re not going to do anything about it,’ Manchin griped. 

‘Republican leadership is upset and they’re saying, ‘We’re not going to get the victory to Joe Manchin.’ Joe Manchin is not looking for victory. We’ve got a good piece of legislation is extremely balanced. I think it’ll prove itself in time,’ he added. ‘How much suffering and how much pain do you want to inflict on American people?’

Republicans have opposed Manchin’s permitting reform bill before the text has even been released, with Sen. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va., telling Manchin it is a ‘messaging bill.’ Others have expressed concern that they can’t vote for a bill they haven’t seen. 

‘They’re going to see it tomorrow,’ Manchin said. ‘Which is probably a week before we vote.’ 

Manchin will release the text of his pipeline permitting reform bill on Wednesday

Manchin will release the text of his pipeline permitting reform bill on Wednesday 

But the main reason of their ire is that the permitting deal was brokered for Schumer to pay Manchin back for his vote on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Manchin dropped his bombshell IRA vote only after enough Republican senators had voted with Democrats in favor of the $280 billion Chips Act. 

‘Given what Senator Manchin did on the reconciliation bill, [it’s] engendered a lot of bad blood,’ Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Politico. ‘There’s not a lot of sympathy on our side to provide Sen. Manchin a reward.’ 

‘I will not vote for a resolution that is part of a political payback scheme,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said last week. 

Republican senators, led by Capito, have released their own permitting reform legislation supported by nearly the entire caucus. Manchin claimed that bill was ‘pretty much in line with what we’re doing.’ 

‘Now [Republicans] are going to say, “Well, I’m so sorry. It’s just not perfect enough and has Joe mansions name on it,” whatever the reason. How do you go home and — I couldn’t even go home and explain that,’ Manchin said. 

Manchin said the bill was a necessity to bring down 8.3 percent inflation and rising energy costs. 

‘If you’re waiting for the Fed to put rates so high it discourages you from spending or buying anything [to decrease inflation], I’m not in that camp.’ 

The West Virginia Democrat claimed the bill would not ‘bypass’ any environmental reviews but would simply ‘accelerate’ them.  Asked what he would say to progressives concerned about the environmental costs, Manchin replied: ‘What’s doing damage right now is dirty fuel being produced around the world.’

He and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are pressing forward with the Democrat version of the bill and attaching it to a continuing resolution to keep the government open, as Congress has just 10 days to take action before government funding runs out at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. 

That bill is likely to fund the government through Dec. 16, though Republicans have said they will vote against any bill that does not fund it through the start of the next Congress. If funding only lasts through Dec. 16, Democrats would have another chance to work out a budget that includes their priorities before the next Congress, when Republicans potentially take back control. 

The White House wants additional money for Covid-19 and Monkeypox added to the CR, while Schumer wants to attach another $12 billion in aid for Ukraine, which would bring the total up to $60 billion. 

Manchin’s pipeline legislation is expected to make it tougher to oppose such projects under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act and could make changes to environmental laws by putting two-year time limits on project reviews. Early drafts of the legislation also sought to shorten the amount of time the public can comment on project analysis and require the president to give priority status to a list of 25 fossil fuel and mining projects.

The deal, which won the approval of the White House, could offer speedy approval for Equitrans Midstream Corp.’s stalled $6.6 billion Mountain Valley gas pipeline.

Although construction of the 303-mile Mountain Valley pipeline is more than 90 percent complete, construction work stalled after a federal court turned down a permit for a national forest crossing.

The bill would also hand authority for permit issuing to federal regulators for power lines and transmission projects deemed in the national interest.

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