Pipelines & Powerlines: The Joe Manchin ‘Side Deal’

Permitting reforms would benefit the nearly completed Mountain Valley Pipeline to move fracked gas from Manchin’s home state of West Virginia to Eastern seaboard states.

VOX explains previous deal making in a September 13, 2022 story:
This summer, he [Manchin] struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: In exchange for Manchin’s backing on the Inflation Reduction Act, Schumer guaranteed a vote on permitting reforms that would streamline approval of fossil fuel and renewable energy projects. Last week, Schumer announced that he plans to attach these permitting reforms to the short-term spending bill that’s expected to fund the government through mid-December, also known as a continuing resolution (CR). The decision has prompted pushback from more than 70 House members, including many progressives, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Source

I say this as the father of four kids and the grandfather of seven: if we do not deal with the existential threat of climate change now, it will be too late.

Bernie Sanders on Twitter

Letter from House lawmakers arguing that Manchin’s reforms would make it easier to greenlight harmful oil and gas projects, and reduce constituents’ abilities to oppose such endeavors:

Group of 400 scientists, doctors, and nurses also petitioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to reject the bill:

While the legislative text for the proposed reforms is still being finalized, a memo that Manchin’s office circulated earlier this year has many Democrats and activists worried:

Yet as Reid Frazier reports in a September 23, 2022 StateImpact Pennsylvania story:

The renewable energy industry could also benefit, because less time would be required to build its projects. Many renewable energy projects are on hold or of limited use because they lack adequate electricity transmission to get their power to market. A recent Princeton University report found the U.S. needs to build transmission lines at twice the speed as it is doing today, in order to achieve long-term climate goals. 

By Reid Frazier | Joe Manchin, at clean energy event in Pittsburgh, says U.S. needs permitting reform to compete – Says ‘you can’t do’ clean energy projects if they take too long to build
“Electricity Transmission is Key to Unlock the Full Potential of the Inflation Reduction Act”

Rapid Energy Policy Evaluation and Analysis Toolkit (REPEAT)
Princeton University ZERO LAB (Source)
–Jesse D. Jenkins – Princeton University, Zero-carbon Energy Systems Research and Optimization Laboratory (ZERO Lab)
–Jamil Farbes – Evolved Energy Research
–Ryan Jones – Evolved Energy Research
–Neha Patankar – University of Bingampton
–Greg Schivley – Carbon Impact Consulting

From the U.S. Department of Energy:

National Electric Transmission Congestion Study:
Grid Modernization – Updated GMI Strategy 2020:
2020 Smart Grid System Report:
Energy Storage Valuation: A Review of Use Cases and Modeling Tools:
Find more reports here.

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