Manchin Unveils Sweeping Permitting Reform Bill Again After Bipartisan Opposition Doomed Previous Attempt

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Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Tuesday introduced legislation to reform the permitting process for energy and mining projects, after a similar proposal of his failed to pass last year.

The legislation — known as the Building American Energy Security Act of 2023 —would implement a two-year limit on environmental reviews for energy projects, have the president designate 25 high-priority energy projects for expedited permitting and secure permits to conclude the $6.6 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 300 mile natural gas pipeline in Manchin’s home state, according to Reuters. Manchin said in a statement that he believed there to be “overwhelming bipartisan recognition” of problems in the current permitting process, and he expected there to be “equally bipartisan support” for legislation reforming the process, according to E&E News. (RELATED: ‘Follow The Law!’: Manchin Tears Into Biden Energy Secretary Over Budget Busting Tax Credits)

“It is clear that without comprehensive permitting reform we will never ensure lasting American energy security and independence and will delay progress on environmental goals,” said Manchin, according to The Washington Post.

Manchin’s previous efforts to implement permitting reform faced opposition from some Democrats, which they criticized for easing the permitting process for fossil fuel projects, while Republicans opposed the measure out of frustration with the West Virginian’s support of President Joe Biden’s signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), according to Reuters. Manchin has since criticized the Biden administration’s implementation of the IRA for granting significant tax breaks to foreign firms.

However, a shifting political climate means that Democratic climate advocates may be willing to support Manchin’s permitting legislation to speed the implementation of the IRA, while Republicans in energy-rich states might support the legislation, according to Reuters. In late March, the Republican-controlled House passed the GOP’s signature energy package, the Lower Energy Costs Act of 2023, in a roughly party-line vote, which includes several of Manchin’s permitting proposals from 2022.

Manchin’s office and the White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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