Joe Manchin’s bill to fast-track energy permitting, including the beleaguered Mountain Valley Pipeline was not part of the short-term government funding package passed by the Senate on Tuesday. The bill — crafted by Manchin’s staff in concert with Equitrans Midstream, which owns a 48.1% interest in the pipeline that would transport methane gas from West Virginia into Virginia — faced opposition from some Senate Democrats, including Virginia’s senators (especially Tim Kaine), as well as 72 House Democrats.
The measure, which required 60 votes to overcome the filibuster, ultimately failed, however, after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell whipped his caucus against it. Environmental and clean energy advocates do not oppose the entirety of Manchin’s bill, which would facilitate the buildout of electricity transmission needed to connect renewable energy projects to the grid.
Outside of the short-term funding package, Manchin’s legislation is not completely dead. It could still be attached to a year-end omnibus government spending bill or to the annual National Defense Authorization Act. (E&E News, The Guardian, Bloomberg $, Politico Pro $, Wall Street Journal $, The Hill, HuffPost, Reuters; Equitrans: Washington Post $, New Republic; Virginia senators: Roll Call; Future prospects: E&E News, Washington Post $; Baptists and bootleggers opposition: Vox)