Republican AGs call on Senate leadership to oppose Manchin permitting reform bill
A coalition of Republican attorneys general voiced opposition to an energy-permitting reform bill spearheaded by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in a letter to Senate leadership Monday.
In the letter, the 18 officials called the proposal a federal overreach due to its expansion of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) authority.
The letter specifically takes issue with provisions in text released by Manchin’s office that would allow FERC to order the construction of new transmission facilities where there is deemed to be a national interest.
“This would create the scenario where FERC would have the authority to determine the national interest and require companies to build what it orders and where,” they wrote. “This is a massive expansion of FERC’s authority which currently only allows FERC to order public utilities to physically connect their existing transmission lines.”
Signers of the letter include the Republican attorneys general of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Arkansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Texas, Kentucky, Utah and Virginia.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey (R), the lead plaintiff in a multi-state lawsuit that led the Supreme Court to block an Obama-era renewable energy plan, was not among the signers.
Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the bill in exchange for Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act, the White House-backed climate and infrastructure bill signed into law in August.
Republican leadership is already reportedly whipping votes against the measure, but Manchin’s fellow West Virginia senator, Shelley Moore Capito (R), has announced her backing for the measure, which would also fast-track the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project that runs through their state and Virginia.
The Hill has reached out to Manchin’s office for comment.
This story was updated at 5:55 p.m.