Far-Left Dems Could Sink Joe Manchin’s Energy Permitting Reform Bill

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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Climate activist lawmakers are opposing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia’s push to expedite permitting for critical energy infrastructure projects, The Washington Post reported.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who regularly works alongside Democrats, and Democratic House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva said that they will vote against Manchin’s permitting reform bill because it will threaten the planet, according to a press release. The bill, which is supported by Democratic leadership, will speed up the environmental review process that all energy infrastructure projects must undergo. (RELATED: Some Democrats Are Ready To Torpedo Manchin’s ‘Dirty Deal’ On Permitting Reform)

Sanders argued on Thursday that it will lead to more carbon emissions and called it “a huge giveaway to the fossil fuel industry,” according to a Senate floor speech. He stated that Manchin’s bill will increase fossil fuel production and allow energy producers to “pollute … and destroy our planet.”

Sanders also claimed that at least 59 House Democrats plan to produce a letter outlining their opposition to speeding up federal permitting for energy infrastructure projects, according to a press release. Grijalva, who is heading the letter, previously said that he feels no obligation to help Manchin, according to The Hill.

President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi all promised in July to help pass the bill in exchange for Manchin’s sponsoring of the Democrats’ immense climate, tax and healthcare spending bill. The permitting bill aims to reduce environmental review timelines and protect energy projects from legal as well as federal challenges, according to a preliminary summary of the measure.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – APRIL 23: Congressman Raul Grijalva, house of representatives speaks at the Fight For Our Future AZ: Rally For Climate, Care, Jobs And Justice at the state capital on April 23, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jason Wise/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network, Climate Action Campaign)

The proposal will also direct government agencies to help complete the construction of West Virginia’s Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, a project that Manchin supports. Manchin and Schumer plan to attach the bill to a Congressional funding measure which must pass by Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown, according to E&E News.

“Permitting reform is part of the [Inflation Reduction Act], and we will get it done,” Schumer said Wednesday, E&E news reported.

The Biden administration has often opposed policies that would increase fossil fuel production to meet its aggressive climate targets that aim to cut 50% of national carbon emissions by 2030.

The offices of Manchin, Sanders and Grijalva did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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