Wily WV Senator takes advantage of his Leverage to Cut Old-Fashioned Political Deal to Get What He Wants for Fossil Fuels by giving Left some of what it wants for Green Agenda
READ UPDATE: Did Manchin threaten to join Republicans and flip the Majority in the Senate if Democrats try to double cross him in his "Deal"???
by Geoff Earle, DailyMail.co.uk, July 28, 2022
The deal that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin reached with Majority Leader Charles Schumer that contains billions for clean energy programs also would mandate offshore oil and gas drilling in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
Additionally, the package commits Democratic leaders to moving new legislation to streamline permitting process for pipelines and other projects – a move Manchin called essential to his own backing for the package, which would include $433 billion in new spending as well as $739 billion in new revenue over a decade.
'Without what you just mentioned there is no bill,' Manchin told MetroNews in West Virginia.
'Without permitting reforms, without the ability for America to do what it does best, produce, there is no bill,' he said. He predicted among the first projects to move would be a LNG pipeline through parts of West Virginia and southern Virginia.
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Many environmentalists are cheering a deal that Schumer estimates would lower greenhouse gases by 40 per cent by 2030 based on 2005 levels.
Former Vice President Al Gore gushed on Twitter: 'The Inflation Reduction Act has the potential to be a historic turning point. It represents the single largest investment in climate solutions & environmental justice in US history.'
The deal also contains leasing provisions that would contribute to more greenhouse gas emission over the medium term, even as the package pours billions into solar and battery technology.
The deal would require the Interior Department to offer up for leasing 2 million acres of offshore lands over a decade. It would be required to offer up for leasing three sales it had previously cancelled for waters in the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska's Cook Inlet. The agency nixed them in May. It also would require a Gulf lease that the Biden Administration stalled and that has been the subject of litigation to go forward.
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'This is a climate suicide pact,' fumed Brett Hartl, the top lobbyist for the Center for Biological Diversity.
'It's self-defeating to handcuff renewable energy development to massive new oil and gas extraction,' he said in a statement. 'The new leasing required in this bill will fan the flames of the climate disasters torching our country, and it's a slap in the face to the communities fighting to protect themselves from filthy fossil fuels.'
According to the group, fossil fuel production on public lands accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.
Manchin, who chairs the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, repeatedly pointed to fossil fuel provisions in touting the bill during Thursday's interview.
'Fossil energy is recognized to be a major driving force and player in this legislation,' he said.
He cast the agreement as taking on Russian President Vladimir Putin who has 'weaponized' energy.
'We have to fight that with better energy, more energy and much more cleaner producing energy.'
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Other climate experts are focusing on the investments in battery technology, solar, nuclear, and other provisions meant to bring down greenhouse gasses.
'It's an absolutely transformative package,' Leah Stokes, a professor of climate and energy policy at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who counseled Democrats, told Reuters.
The baseline for the cut was 2005, , who advised Democrats on the bill.
Funding the spending and its $369 billion in energy and climate spending is a new 15 percent corporate minimum tax.
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The bill is also expected to produce $300 billion in deficit reduction, while extending for three years subsidies for the Affordable Care Act.
Manchin pitched the permitting deal on a press call with reporters Thursday.
'How many times have you heard you can't build anything in America? It takes you 10 years to get a permit …whether it be pipelines or whatever that we can start moving this energy immediately,' he said.
He told reporters the permitting changes would help the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry liquid natural gas across about 300 miles of northwest West Virginia and southern Virginia.
'I would like to think that Mountain Valley would be the top of the heap,' he said, referencing a project that has been caught up in litigation.
Here’s what’s in the agreement, with estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office:
Total raised: $739 billion
$313 billion — The legislation will raise revenues in part by imposing a corporate minimum tax of 15 percent.
$288 billion — The agreement calls for prescription drug pricing reform, which will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Out-of-pocket costs will be capped at $2,000, the agreement summary says.
$124 billion — This revenue will be raised through Internal Revenue Service tax enforcement.
$14 billion — The two senators said the bill would raise these funds by closing the carried interest loophole. In the agreement, they note that there will be no new taxes imposed on families making $400,000 or less and that they are making the “biggest corporations and ultra-wealthy pay their fair share.”
Total investments: $433 billion
$369 billion — The legislation would contribute this amount in energy and climate provisions, which Manchin and Schumer said would “invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030.”
$64 billion — The remaining investment is the estimated cost of three years of subsidies for Affordable Care Act premiums — an increase from the two-year extension Manchin had originally agreed to.