Manchin withdraws energy bill and warns Putin he will continue to ‘weaponize’ resources

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said that the Senate’s failure to vote on his proposed energy reform will only “encourage” world leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin “who want to see America fail.”

The statement, released Tuesday on Manchin’s Twitter account, follows news that the moderate Democrat asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to scrap the energy bill that Manchin proposed as part of a short-term government spending package the Senate later discussed should vote on the day.

The package, which includes $12 billion in aid to Ukraine as well as funds to deal with the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, passed the Senate by a 72-23 vote, the report reported The Washington Post.

“It is unfortunate that members of the US Senate allow politicians to jeopardize our nation’s energy security,” Manchin wrote on Twitter. “Over the past few months, we have seen firsthand the destruction that is possible if Vladimir Putin continues to power arm.”

Manchin is leading the hearing in the Senate office
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, chairs a hearing September 22, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Manchin called on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to amend his Energy Permits Act from a spending package by the Government passed to strike later on Tuesday.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Manchin, who serves as chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released the energy permit package last week as part of the ongoing resolution that, if not passed, could have resulted in a government shutdown beginning Oct. 1.

Manchin said in his statement that he asked Schumer to abolish the permit reform to avoid the possibility of a shutdown. Politico reported that Schumer said on the floor Tuesday that he and Manchin “will continue to have discussions about the best way forward” to advance the reform of permitting efforts before the end of the year.

The bill drew backlash from both sides of the aisle when it was first introduced by Manchin on Sept. 21, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called Manchin’s addition to the spending package a “poison pill,” Reuters reported. Several Republican leaders had threatened to block further resolution if Manchin’s energy proposal were part of the larger spending bill.

McConnell also criticized Manchin for voting in August for President Joe Biden’s anti-inflation bill in exchange for helping Biden, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pass his energy reform package.

Environmental leaders were also concerned that Manchin’s bill would encourage fossil fuel projects, such as guaranteeing permits within 30 days of passage for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which has been long delayed by environmental regulations.

Among the most vocal critics of the bill was the youth-led environmental advocacy Sunrise Movement, which had repeatedly tweeted “#StopTheDirtyDeal” and urged other senators to pledge to block the bill.

“Today, human power has won, big oil has lost, and @Sen_JoeManchin can go home and cry on his yacht,” according to the Sunrise movement tweeted Tuesday after the bill was cut.

So did independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders released a statement celebrated the removal of Manchin’s “side deal” from the spending package on Tuesday night, arguing that big oil majors have benefited from the bill at the expense of environmental efforts.

“I want to congratulate the more than 650 environmental groups and community organizations that have made it clear that amidst the terrible climate crisis we are facing, the last thing we need is a side deal that would build more pipelines and fossil fuel projects that would reduce the CO2 Sustainably increase emissions,” said Sanders.

news week Manchin asked for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/manchin-pulls-energy-bill-warns-putin-will-keep-weaponizing-resources-1746848 Manchin withdraws energy bill and warns Putin he will continue to ‘weaponize’ resources

Rick Schindler

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