September 27, 2022

Collin Rees,

Oil Change International: Withdrawal of Manchin ‘permitting reform’ bill is a huge win for communities, climate

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Senator Joe Manchin requested that Sen. Chuck Schumer remove Manchin’s so-called ‘permitting reform’ legislation from the continuing resolution to fund the government. 

While the bill could still reappear or be attached to some other legislative vehicle such as the National Defense Authorization Act, today is a major defeat for the Manchin and American Petroleum Institute-approved bill which would have fast-tracked the Mountain Valley Pipeline and other fossil fuel projects while gutting bedrock environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act. 

Manchin’s announcement followed the release of a new Oil Change International analysis showing that greenhouse gas emissions from gas projects with pending federal permits — which would face an easier path to approval under Manchin’s bill — would be more than five times the potential emissions reductions from transmission lines with pending federal permits.

Oil Change International analysis:

In response to Manchin’s withdrawal of the legislation, Collin Rees, United States Program Manager at Oil Change International, released the following statement: 

“Senator Manchin’s dirty deal went down in flames today because Indigenous and frontline communities raised their voices and fought back. This legislation would have had deadly consequences for communities and the climate, and we applaud all Members of Congress who stood with frontline communities and boldly opposed it. That’s real climate leadership. 

“Fossil fuel expansion and an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy approach is outdated, deadly, and has no place in our climate policy. This bill would have fast-tracked gas and oil projects at exactly the moment we must be fully committed to building out clean, renewable energy instead. Building that renewable energy with proper community consultation and consent is the only path forward. 

“Manchin’s ‘permitting reform’ is far from dead, and we will remain vigilant against any attempts to gut bedrock environmental laws by attaching this dangerous package to other must-pass legislation before the end of the Congress. But Manchin’s withdrawal of the bill is a powerful victory for the climate movement and communities threatened by fossil fuel expansion.”