As part of the deal, offshore wind lease approval would be contingent on allowing additional oil and gas lease sales. Credits will also be earmarked for carbon capture and sequestration technology. Additionally, a consideration that may pend on Manchin’s continued support is streamlining the pipeline approval process. According to The Hill, following the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage, the Senate could alter the National Environmental Policy Act with legislation that would allow for pipeline projects to be approved much faster. This is certainly on Manchin’s radar, given the stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline project the senator claims will benefit his home state.
Naturally, environmental groups in West Virginia have pushed back on that characterization that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is even necessary. “We should not be planning for increased capacity when investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy can supply our needs with much less environmental cost,” Sierra Club West Virginia Conservation Chair James Kotcon previously told Public News Service. The company behind the natural gas pipeline insists it will be completed during the last half of 2023, potentially owing to concessions made by lawmakers to get Manchin on board with the Inflation Reduction Act. It’s a frustrating compromise, but the data does bear out that Democrats aren’t stumbling backward on climate goals even if the Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law in its current state.
The only thing potentially missing from the Inflation Reduction Act is Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s support. Sinema—who, like Manchin, stood in the way of the Build Back Better Act—has yet to express much of anything about the Inflation Reduction Act and her office earlier on Wednesday said the Arizona Democrat was still reviewing the text. Axios reports that Sinema may actually request a few changes, such as upping funding for her drought-stricken state and the rest of the Southwest.
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