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Manchin Bid On Energy Permitting Fails; Capito Sees A Path Forward

Keystone XL pipeline sections sit on a train near Glendive, Mont.
Nate Hegyi
/
Yellowstone Public Radio
Permitting changes that would have helped the Mountain Valley Pipeline move forward fell through in the U.S. Senate.

An attempt to enact permitting reforms for energy projects failed in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin wanted to attach his permitting legislation to a government spending bill that needs to pass this week.

Republicans and some Democrats opposed Manchin’s bill, so he withdrew it on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, his fellow West Virginian, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, said there would be new opportunities to get it done. Capito has a similar bill, and it has Republican support.

“We’re going to keep working and try to get a bipartisan product,” she said, “because even if it’s a new Congress and even if Republicans take over, we still need to have a bipartisan product here in the United States Senate.”

With only weeks before the midterm elections, it’s not clear when lawmakers might strike a deal.

Manchin and Capito both want to fast-track the Mountain Valley Pipeline. When completed, the 300-mile pipeline will transport natural gas from West Virginia to markets in the mid-Atlantic.

Environmental groups oppose it, and federal courts have struck down several of its permits.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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