MORGANTOWN – In the face of strong opposition to her permitting reform bill, Sen. Joe Manchin announced late Tuesday afternoon he was pulling it from inclusion in the continuing resolution before the Senate for passage to keep government funded when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.
Manchin said in a release, “It is unfortunate that members of the United States Senate are allowing politics to put the energy security of our nation at risk. The last several months, we have seen firsthand the destruction that is possible as Vladimir Putin continues to weaponize energy.”
His bill is called the Energy Independence and Security Act.
He said, “A failed vote on something as critical as comprehensive permitting reform only serves to embolden leaders like Putin who wish to see America fail. For that reason and my firmly held belief that we should never come to the brink of a government shutdown over politics, I have asked Majority Leader Schumer to remove the permitting language from the continuing resolution we will vote on this evening.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito had come out in favor of the bill, which would have led to completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia and Virginia, but that wasn’t sufficient to draw more GOP support.
Manchin said, “Over the last several weeks there has been broad consensus on the urgent need to address our nation’s flawed permitting system. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to move forward on this critical legislation to meet the challenges of delivering affordable reliable energy Americans desperately need. We should never depend on other countries to supply the energy we need when we can produce it here at home. Accelerating the construction of energy infrastructure is critical to delivering that energy to the American people and our allies around the world. Inaction is not a strategy for energy independence and security.”
Earlier in the day, Gov. Jim Justice took a question on the Senate’s expected procedural vote to move forward with Manchin’s permitting reform bill and the continuing resolution.
Justice said, “He got hoodwinked in the whole thing, did he not.” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer failed to deliver the votes. “It’s the ultimate hoodwink.”
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