Energy & Environment

Stopgap funding measure omits Manchin Clean Water Act proposal

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Greg Nash
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) arrives for a hearing to examine battery and non-battery technologies for energy storage on Thursday, September 22, 2022.

A stopgap funding measure that will be taken up by the Senate omits a provision in Sen. Joe Manchin’s original legislation that would have made it harder for states to block projects like pipelines that run through their waters. 

The West Virginia Democrat’s original proposal would have codified Trump-era rules that gave states a one-year time limit to block or approve projects that run through their waters. 

It also would have put into law a Trump-era provision that clarified that water quality concerns must be the sole reason for blocking a project.

These changes, which the Trump administration instituted after several instances of blue states blocking fossil fuel projects, did not appear in the text of a stopgap funding measure that was released this week by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

That measure, known as the continuing resolution, does contain other provisions that Manchin proposed, including shortening timelines for environmental reviews and completing a controversial West Virginia pipeline. 

It is not clear why the measure restricting states’ authority to block projects like pipelines was removed. 

Spokespeople for Manchin, the Appropriations Committee and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

Senate leaders are under pressure to pass a short-term funding bill this week to avert a government shutdown, but are struggling to overcome opposition to Manchin’s proposals from both sides of the aisle, — making scrounging up 60 votes to avoid a filibuster difficult. 

Progressives oppose the West Virginia pipeline’s completion and warn that speeding up environmental reviews could result in less scrutiny of potentially polluting projects. 

While Republicans have historically backed many of the reforms Manchin is pushing for, they argue that the legislation does not go far enough. Many also said they do not wish to make a deal with Manchin after he worked with Democrats to pass their climate, tax and healthcare bill earlier this year. 

Tags Charles Schumer Charles Schumer continuing resolution government funding joe manchin Joe Manchin

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