The snag in the Manchin energy deal – POLITICO


Along with Sen. Joe Manchin’s endorsement of the climate bill comes a delayed string: loosening permits for fossil fuel projects.

The West Virginia Democrat made several demands during negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) on the $369 billion clean energy deal.

Authorizing the reform is the only one that is not included in the bill itself. Instead, lawmakers plan to attach it to a government funding bill in September. The measure must be passed by September 30 for the government to continue functioning, and Democrats are hoping the authorizing bill can stall.

But exactly what the permit package contains is up in the air, and it could be a difficult political road to the 60 votes needed in the Senate.

Why is the permit important?

To become reality, energy projects of all stripes must navigate a host of federal and state environmental rules in a process that can take years. Manchin is particularly interested in clearing the backlog of fossil fuel projects, but clean energy developers also have to navigate the maze.

That’s the hook for many Democrats. Although they are not keen on easing the path to fossil fuels, they do raise the prospect of removing bureaucratic barriers to clean energy and transmission.

That could be significant, since the proposed investment tax credit for power line projects fell outside the final climate deal.

The political perspective

Republicans, meanwhile, have long supported allowing the reforms, and the eventual bill could mirror proposals that date back to the Trump administration.

GOP lawmakers haven’t shut the door, but they’re bitter that Democrats are succeeding in passing the Manchin-Schumer clean energy bill. They are also waiting to see if the content of the bill matches their views.

“If it passes something else that we’re going to vote for, and if not this bill is based on its merits, of course I would support it,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) Last week.

The permitting agreement could also find itself in tension with the goals of environmental justice progressives: to give communities more information about the location of polluting facilities and a better ability to sue if something goes wrong.

This is unlikely to derail the legislation. Still, House of Natural Resources Speaker Raúl Grijalva (D-Arizona) said he would try to influence a bill he says could harm communities in the rush to build energy projects. .

“You want to like someone to get a vote, I understand that,” he said. “But don’t take us with you.”

It’s Monday – thanks for listening POLITICO power switch. I am your host today, Nick Sobczyk. Arianna will be back soon! Power Switch is brought to you by the journalists behind E&E news and POLITICO Energy. Send your advice, comments, questions to [email protected]

A wildfire in northern California blazed over more than 52,000 acres over the weekend, according to the US Forest Service, becoming the state’s largest wildfire so far this year.

The McKinney Fire in the Klamath National Forest forced some 2,000 evacuations. Two people were found dead in a car near California Highway 96 on the way to the fire, the The Siskiyou County Sheriff said.

Extreme drought fueled by climate change is contributing to the lengthening of the western wildfire season. Persistent dry conditions and gusty winds helped the McKinney Fire grow over the weekend, the Forest Service said.

Heat threatens the network
Extreme heat across the country this summer is straining the grid, offering insight into new risks to the country’s power supply in a hotter world, write a team of five E&E News reporters.

High temperatures can cause problems for both fossil fuel and renewable energy generation.

The drought is also stunting hydroelectric generation and means less supply of fresh water for coal, nuclear and natural gas plants that need it for cooling and generating steam. Read the story here.

The campaign to seduce Manchin
Businesses, environmental groups and unions embarked on a lobbying crusade when Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) appeared to kill Democrats’ climate bill earlier this month, write Zack Colman, Josh Siegel and Kelsey Tambourrino.

With $369 billion for clean energy, manufacturing and electric vehicles on the line, companies with interests in West Virginia have launched a campaign to push for a deal.

This included calls from Bill Gates and economist Larry Summers, as well as conversations with other Democratic senators. Here is the story.

Coal is the new gas
The war in Ukraine threatens Europe with a shortage of coal in a region that is already struggling to supply itself with gas before winter, writes VictorJack.

EU countries have tried to avoid fuel in their efforts to cut emissions, but several are bringing coal power back online or increasing capacity amid the energy crisis.

While sanctions against Russian coal are due to begin on August 10, Poland and Germany could feel the effects. Learn more here.

Oil money: Oil companies have given a higher share of their campaign contributions to Democrats so far this election cycle than they did in 2018 or 2016, despite attempts by Biden administrations to switch to cleaner energy.

Charcoal fire: Fires started in coal seams are increasingly causing large wildfires in Montana’s Powder River Basin.

Today in the POLITICO Energy podcast: Josh Siegel and Ben LeFebvre talk about “easter eggs” for the oil and gas industry in the “Cutting Inflation Act”.

The science, politics and politics behind the energy transition can seem miles away. But we are all concerned at the individual and communal level – warmer days and higher gasoline prices to home insurance rates and food supply.

Want to know more? Send me your questions and I will provide you with answers.

A showcase of some of our best subscriber content.

State officials say they are struggling to comply with federal guidelines for electric vehicle charging infrastructure amid the Biden administration’s efforts to decarbonize transportation.

A new lawsuit filed by the White Earth Band of Ojibwe against the Line 3 pipeline, alleging tribal rights violations, ran into trouble in court last week.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the design of NuScale Power’s Small Modular Nuclear Reactor, the first to be licensed in the United States and a major milestone for the industry.

That’s all for today, friends! Thanks for reading.

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