Energy & Environment — Manchin hits ‘revenge politics’ amid GOP opposition


Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) condemns Republican opposition to his approval package while saying the long-awaited text will come Wednesday.

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Manchin says the text will be allowed next Wednesday

Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) condemned what he called “revenge policies” as many Republicans opposed his efforts to speed up the energy project approval process.

  • “It’s like revenge politics, basically revenge on one person: me. And I’m like, ‘It’s not about me,'” he told reporters Tuesday.
  • “I hear the Republican leadership is upset and saying, ‘We’re not going to give Joe Manchin a win’ — Joe Manchin isn’t looking for a win,” he added. “We have a good law that is extremely balanced and I think it will stand the test of time. The bottom line is how much suffering and how much pain you want to cause the American people at this time.”

Republicans felt scorned after Manchin announced his support for the Democratic bill hours after a bipartisan computer chip and science bill was passed. Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) previously threatened to pass this bill if Democrats go ahead with their bill.

Meanwhile, across the aisle, a coalition of Liberal Democrats has also banded together to oppose the effort, arguing it will undermine environmental inspections, which often drag out the permitting process.

But Manchin said Tuesday that “we are not bypassing any of the environmental assessments,” which he says is the main difference between his package and a separate proposal from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.).

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Text input: The senator told reporters that the text of his proposal would be released Wednesday and that it would specifically speed up the approval process for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Read more about Manchin’s remarks here.

WHAT THE GOP SAYS

Senate Republicans are threatening to snuff out Manchin’s side deal approving reforms, in part because they’re still angry at the West Virginia Democrat’s flip-flop on the sweeping climate, health care and tax bills passed by the Senate passed Congress last month.

  • Republican senators say an ongoing resolution combined with Manchin’s approving reform proposal is unlikely to get a 10 GOP vote in the upper chamber.
  • They say there is little appetite for giving Manchin a major political and political victory after he shocked them over the summer by announcing a deal with Schumer on the Inflation Control Act.

“I don’t think you can count on Republicans committing to vote for something they haven’t seen,” said Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), who expressed concerns about the fact that Manchin hasn’t yet voted has circulated an updated draft of its Licensing Reform Act.

Baby, now we’ve got bad blood: “In general, Republicans are in favor of allowing reforms. I think given what Sen. Manchin did in relation to the Reconciliation Act, there was a lot of bad blood,” Cornyn added.

Read more about the Republican position from The Hill’s Alexander Bolton here.

Outages in Puerto Rico call for probing

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) on Tuesday called for a federal investigation into Puerto Rican utility Luma Energy after Hurricane Fiona swept through US territory and initially knocked out power across the island.

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James sent a letter to the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) urging them to address the “frequent and protracted outages” across Puerto Rico since taking over Luma Energy to study power grid operation in 2021.

  • “While I fully support the ongoing relief efforts to help Puerto Rico, I am convinced that we need long-term structural support for the island, not just band-aids to propel us from one crisis to the next,” James said in a statement. “One of those structural challenges is the electrical grid and supplies that Puerto Ricans rely on for their basic needs.”
  • “Puerto Ricans are rightly concerned about the outages of LUMA, the island’s electricity utility,” she added.

After Hurricane Fiona made landfall on Sunday, the power for around 1.5 million customers on the island went out. The entire network eventually went down, affecting the more than 3 million residents of Puerto Rico.

More than a million customers on the island are still without power as of Tuesday, and many Puerto Ricans do not have access to potable water, according to PowerOutage.us.

Read more about The Hill’s Brad Dress here.

SENATE BRINGS THE CLIMATE AGREEMENT AHEAD

A climate deal known as the Kigali Amendment passed a procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday, suggesting it will likely garner enough support if adopted soon.

The Senate voted 64 to 30 to advance the treaty, which calls for the phasing out of extremely potent greenhouse gases known as fluorocarbons.

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Three Democrats were among lawmakers who didn’t vote, so barring changes or surprises, the treaty should pass with at least the 67 votes it needs to ratify.

In 2020, the US passed legislation mandating the phasing out of fluorocarbons.

ON TAP TOMORROW

  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on whether to move forward with several Biden nominations, including the long-awaited vote on whether to promote Joe Goffman to head of EPA’s Air and Radiation Bureau
  • The House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on water infrastructure
  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on the bipartisan infrastructure bill
  • The National Parks Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on pending legislation
  • The House Natural Resources Committee will award fisheries legislation

WHAT WE READ

  • Midwestern states agree to work together to expand hydrogen production and use (Cleveland.com)
  • Pentagon’s move to PFAS-free foam spurring a ‘tidal wave’ of change (Bloomberg Act)
  • Nigeria is battling its worst flooding in years; 300 killed in 2022 (The Associated Press)

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and reports. we will see you tomorrow

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