West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin released a plan Wednesday afternoon to speed up authorizations for energy projects, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to add to a short-term spending bill he must pass by the end of the month to avoid a government shutdown.
Schumer agreed to renew authorizations in negotiations to win Manchin’s support for last month’s $750 billion health, tax and climate bill, known as the Inflation Relief Act.
But progressive Democrats, especially in the House, have scoffed at the concept, and Republicans are hesitant to hand Manchin a victory and are drafting their own alternative proposal.
“No matter what you want to build, whether it’s transit pipelines or hydroelectric dams, most of the time, it takes too much time and drives up costs,” Manchin said Tuesday. “We have good legislation that is very balanced. And I think it will be proven in time.”
“I have never seen a stranger bedfellow than Bernie Sanders and the far-right liberals are making for the Republican leadership,” Manchin added of the expected opposition to the bill. “So what I’m hearing is that this is a policy of revenge against one person, me. And I’m thinking, this is not about me.”
According to the West Virginia Democrat’s office, Manchin’s authorization renewal legislation – the Energy Independence and Security Act – would: set a two-year goal for “major” energy and natural resource projects and a year for other projects, 150. -The statute of limitations for court appeals to resolve disputes try to streamline the process and appoint a lead agency to coordinate project reviews.
Sanders, the Vermont senator who opposes Manchin’s proposal on environmental issues, told reporters Wednesday that he would do “everything in his power” to kill the short-term government spending bill.
“I’m going to do everything I can to keep that provision from being in a permanent fix,” Sanders said.
In a brief interview Wednesday, Manchin sounded confident he would defeat Sanders’ effort, saying he respected Sanders but that his proposal would be part of the spending legislation that must pass.
“It’s going to come in,” Manchin told CNN.
The bill would also require the federal government to “issue all approvals and permits necessary for the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” according to Manchin’s summary of the bill. The pipeline is intended to send natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia.
Sen. Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said he supports renewing the permits, but said he opposes the provisions of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in part because he was not consulted about them.
“Over 100 miles of this pipeline is in Virginia, but I was not included in the discussions about the MVP provisions and therefore was not given an opportunity to share the concerns of Virginians,” Kain said. “In that sense, I am in the same position as many of my constituents who have felt left out along the way.”