Manchin Reveals Permitting Reform Act – Help May Be on the Way for MVP

What’s the issue?

On Wednesday, Senator Joe Manchin revealed the text of his proposed permitting reform bill that he intends to attach as a rider to a continuing resolution that will be introduced later this month to fund the federal government through at least the coming election and possibly until the new Congress takes office early next year.

Why does it matter?

The bill addresses many of the provisions found in the one-page summary that Senator Manchin had released following the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act. Interestingly, this bill may represent the best opportunity for either party to pass permitting reform for at least the next two years, yet both the progressives in the House and the Republicans in the Senate have vowed to block the measure from being enacted.

What’s our view?

The bill is almost identical to a draft bill that was leaked in mid-summer that had the watermark of the American Petroleum Institute on it. Given that heritage, and the baggage that goes with it, one would expect the bill to be very favorable to the oil and gas industry. But other than for specific provisions that direct the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and extension of the Natural Gas Act to hydrogen pipelines, the bill is not that supportive of natural gas infrastructure and would more likely benefit the buildout of renewable energy rather than fossil fuel infrastructure. With both progressive Democrats and most Republicans vowing to fight the bill’s passage, its future remains highly uncertain.

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