September 20, 2022

ICYMI: Manchin Makes the Case for Permitting Reform

Senator Manchin spoke on the Senate Floor and held a press conference today to discuss the need for commonsense permitting reform

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) spoke on the Senate Floor and held a press conference to discuss the need for permitting reform. As part of the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law on August 16th, 2022, Senator Manchin secured a commitment to pass a comprehensive permitting reform package before the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, 2022. Permitting reform will increase American energy production to provide relief at the pump and on energy bills while bolstering national and international security.

On the need for permitting reform: “No matter what you want to build, whether it's transmission pipelines or hydropower dams, more often than not, it takes too long and drives up costs. You can double your cost within a five to six, seven-year period from what the original cost may have been. Look here at the energy prices, look what the people in America are facing right now. 200% increase in natural gas, increases to regular gasoline is up 67%, residential electricity is up 15%. We've got a good piece of legislation that is extremely balanced. And I think it'll prove itself in time. The bottom line is how much suffering and how much pain do you want to inflict on the American people for the time being? I can assure you, the longer the time goes on, the more the price goes up. That's what we're facing in America today with energy. I've always said the energy we produce in America is cleaner – and can be even cleaner – than energy produced around the world…But yet, we have a situation where we've been looking at other countries to do it and we won't do it for ourselves. I couldn't accept that.”

On opposition to permitting reform from far-left Senators and Republican leadership: “I guess the old saying goes that politics makes strange bedfellows. I have to be honest with you, I've been around for a long time in state politics and federal politics. I've never seen stranger bedfellows than Bernie Sanders and the extreme liberals siding with Republican leadership. In the Democratic caucus, I've never seen this happen. So, what I'm hearing is that this is revenge politics towards one person, me. And I'm thinking, this is not about me.”

On Republicans’ unwillingness to support critical permitting reform: “Let's look at our constituents. If my Republican friends and colleagues are attacking me personally, take it away from me personally, because that's going to be hard to go home and explain. To say, ‘We did this and we voted against it because of Joe Manchin’ makes no sense whatsoever. None whatsoever. So, we're in this quandary right now. They're going to vote and it's going to be in the CR. And if they're willing to say they’re going to shut down the government because of a personal attack on me, or by not looking at the good of the country, that is what makes people sick about politics. It makes me sick about politics. You know me, if it looks good, I don't care whether it was a Republican or Democratic idea. I'm for it. As long as I can go home and explain it, it makes sense.”

To learn about more permitting timelines and energy prices, click here.
To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s Senate floor speech, click here.
To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s press conference, click here.
To learn more about the permitting reform legislation, click here.
To learn more about the Mountain Valley Pipeline, click here.