Sen. Joe Manchin III continued to pitch his energy permitting bill Sunday as the solution to America’s domestic energy needs, arguing in the face of bipartisan opposition that lawmakers would one day look back with regret if they kill his bid to streamline energy projects.
“If we don’t take advantage of this and come together as Americans, we’re going to look back five, 10 years from now and wonder why we’re not able to meet the demands, why we’re allowing [Russian President Vladimir Putin] to dictate the energy policies,” Mr. Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We can’t move the energy in America, whether it’s going to be new transmission lines for renewables, or basically for fossil and oil and gas, that moves the products we need today.”
He said it would be “a lost moment in history” if the opposing forces from the political left and right are successful in blocking his energy permitting proposal that will be coupled with a must-pass stopgap funding bill to keep the government open past Sept. 30.
Shortly after unveiling the official text last week, Mr. Manchin secured the support of a key Republican: fellow West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.
However, Mr. Manchin still faces strong headwinds from the far left and environmentalists, who argue it would undercut their climate law with green energy spending, and many Republicans, who feel betrayed by the Democrat over his support of the climate law and do not want to give him another win.
Sen. Tim Kaine, Virginia Democrat, has also come out against the permitting proposal because it would include approval of the Mountain Valley pipeline that would carry natural gas through roughly 100 miles of his state.
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Still, Mr. Manchin offered a pitch that he hopes will convince climate hawks who want to boost clean energy and Republicans who want to increase domestic energy production.
“This is not about me,” he said. “We can’t build anything in America, it takes five to 10 years, the developed world takes one to three years. Why should we be so far behind the developed world?”