Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in a new op-ed is calling for his colleagues in both parties to back his permitting reform bill.
“At such a consequential moment in our nation’s history, now is the time for those fortunate enough to be elected leaders to push away the noise of partisan politics that is drowning out common sense. We must ignore the toxic ‘all or nothing’ legislative approach that has made it hard to discern what is truly essential for our nation,” Manchin wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
Manchin in the op-ed hit back at critics on the left and right to his plan to fast-track the approval process for U.S. energy projects, expediting environmental reviews of the proposals.
“Contrary to the radical agenda of Sen. Bernie Sanders and his allies, who seem oblivious to the reality of the global and domestic energy challenges we face, the common-sense permitting reforms contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022 will help cut costs and accelerate the building of the critical energy infrastructure we need,” Manchin wrote, referring to the independent Vermont senator.
“Some have said the legislation was crafted without Republican input or that it would make it harder for fossil fuels to be permitted. They are simply wrong. They aren’t being honest about what’s in the bill and how it came to be,” he added.
The West Virginia senator also argued the bill would increase energy supply, bring down energy prices and bolster American energy independence — and underscored his position on the necessity of bipartisan support.
“Even during this historic moment, some say it isn’t enough. They stand in the way of major progress on realistic reforms. Instead they offer a wish list with no chance of passing an evenly divided Senate. We’ve seen this story before, and inaction is no longer an option, for the energy crisis will only get worse the longer we wait,” Manchin wrote.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) promised to include the Energy Independence and Security Act to a crucial government funding measure in exchange for Manchin’s vote on the multi-billion dollar Inflation Reduction Act. The sweeping tax, climate and health care bill passed the Senate and became law last month with the help of the West Virginia Republican’s across-the-aisle support.
But Manchin’s permitting reform bill now faces challenges from both parties. A number of Republicans are saying the bill doesn’t do enough, and some Democrats have raised concerns about climate change and fossil fuels.
Many are urging the bill to be separated from the continuing resolution that would secure government funding.
Congress must pass the continuing resolution by the end of this month to prevent a government shutdown, giving the Senate just days to grapple with whether to include Manchin’s bill in the measure.