When he voted to pass historic climate legislation this summer, West Virginia senator Joe Manchin demanded something in return: a subsequent bill that would reform and expedite the federal permitting process for big energy projects. Manchin’s view is that federal red tape constrains fossil fuels and renewables alike, preventing the U.S. from producing cheap domestic energy.
Now, after one failed attempt to pass the followup bill, leading Democrats in Congress are maneuvering to pass Manchin’s energy permitting legislation in the coming weeks by attaching it to a critical annual defense spending bill, sources told E&E News and the Washington Post.
The maneuver represents a last-ditch effort by Democratic leaders to force through the West Virginia senator’s controversial energy legislation before they lose unified control of Congress next month. If this effort fails, any future permitting bill will have to clear a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Such a bill would likely look a lot different than what Manchin and his fellow Democrats intended, foc... Read more