September 22, 2022

Collin Rees,

Oil Change International: New ‘permitting reform’ text from Sen. Joe Manchin would devastate communities and climate

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Senator Joe Manchin released the text of his so-called ‘permitting reform’ legislation. The legislation closely mirrors the American Petroleum Institute-influence draft circulated in mid-July, with additional provisions to attempt to mandate the completion of the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline. The text of the legislation can be found here

In response to the release of this text, Collin Rees, United States Program Manager at Oil Change International, released the following statement: 

“Manchin’s new legislation is even more reckless and dangerous than previous drafts. The bill would devastate communities and the climate while making a mockery of Congress and the Biden administration’s commitments to environmental justice. ‘Permitting reform’ that drastically reduces public input and regulation is an attack on bedrock environmental laws and critical protections.”

“This entire exercise is a vehicle for Manchin and his fossil fuel donors to lock in new fossil fuel infrastructure and force through a massive gas pipeline. The Mountain Valley Pipeline project is stalled, lacking permits, and facing multiple lawsuits because its developers couldn’t follow the law and can’t prove any demand exists for the climate-warming fossil gas it would carry. Senator Manchin has repeatedly lied about the pipeline and what it would do.”

“Majority Leader Schumer must immediately reject this dangerous legislation and advance a continuing resolution to fund the government without attaching Manchin’s newest package of deadly fossil fuel giveaways. All members of Congress should speak out publicly to stand with frontline communities and reject this dirty deal.” 


Notes to Editors

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is considering using an otherwise routine U.S. government funding bill as a vehicle to advance a legislative package that would weaken environmental review processes and speed permitting processes for Big Oil & Gas projects, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The U.S. Senate and U.S. House must vote on a continuing budget resolution by Sept. 30 to keep the government funded and functioning. 

Opposition to this so-called “dirty deal” is widespread and growing across the environmental community. Over 650 organizations signed a letter calling on Congress to oppose Manchin’s side deal, and nearly 80 members of the U.S. House sent a letter to leadership urging the package to be detached from a must-pass budget bill. Members of the U.S. Senate are preparing to send a similar letter to leadership. On Sept. 8, People vs. Fossil Fuels, the Stop MVP coalition, and Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights organized a major demonstration in Washington, DC against the dirty side deal and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

To date, the Mountain Valley Pipeline project has remained unfinished, has had several key federal and state permits vacated, and is facing multiple pending lawsuits regarding deficiencies in its construction. Despite Manchin’s claims, the Mountain Valley fracked gas pipeline will not alleviate energy woes and does not align with the predicted drop in gas demand across the Southeast region and the United States, as demonstrated in a recent Oil Change International analysis. 

Oil Change International Analysis: “Why Everything Manchin Says About the Mountain Valley Pipeline Is Wrong