Biden-McCarthy Deal Hands Joe Manchin A Victory In Pipeline Permitting Battle - Daily Caller

The debt ceiling deal between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden would speed up approval of the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, a long-sought win for Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

The 99-page package — which Biden on Sunday said was ready for Congressional approval — would require the Secretary of the Army to authorize all permits related to the West Virginia pipeline within 21 days and shield the project from legal challenges which have stalled the project. While the deal falls short of Manchin’s full permitting reform wish list, which was shot down by bipartisan opposition last year, the proposal’s limited action on transmission line deployment and significant changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) could lead some House Democrats to oppose it, according to E&E News.

The agreement makes what a White House official described as “modest” changes to NEPA as part of a “bipartisan compromise” to streamline the permitting process for clean energy and fossil fuel projects by mandating a one-year deadline for new energy projects to receive environmental impact assessments, with a two-year maximum otherwise, according to E&E News. The official argued that the deal was a win for environmental interests since it blocked Republican efforts to repeal the significant tax breaks for clean energy projects offered by the Inflation Reduction Act.

The bill also includes an updated version of Republican Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana’s Builder Act, which originally allowed energy projects’ sponsors to conduct their own environmental reviews, a measure that Democrats consider a nonstarter, according to E&E News. The new version of the bill would only allow project sponsors to prepare such assessments with the approval and supervision of the relevant federal agencies.

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People: Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Joe Manchin Garret Graves 

Tags: Debt Ceiling Inflation Reduction Act Environmentalism Legislation Pipeline Builder Act National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Mountain Valley Pipeline 

Type: Headlines