IN-DEPTH: Manchin Vows to Stop Biden’s ‘Radical Climate Agenda’

IN-DEPTH: Manchin Vows to Stop Biden’s ‘Radical Climate Agenda’
By: Posted On: April 26, 2023 View: 50

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday accused the Biden administration of ignoring domestic energy security provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and pledged to do everything in his power to push back against the administration’s “radical climate agenda.” “The Biden administration is breaking its word to the American public by ignoring the text of the #InflationReductionAct to pursue its radical climate agenda,” Manchin said in a tweet Tuesday. “Let me be clear: If this continues, I’ll do everything in my power to stop them—including voting to repeal the IRA.” Manchin on Monday accused the Biden administration of focusing on the clean energy and environmental parts of the IRA while slow-rolling the parts that call for investing in fossil fuels to bolster domestic energy security. “They broke their word to the American public. This legislation was balanced,” Manchin tox Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview Monday. “In the next 10 years, we are going to have enough fossil fuel to run our country and to help our allies around the world. We will also be investing in new technology for the future.” “Now, the Biden Administration has disregarded this completely,” Manchin continued. “This was about energy security, and we have not heard a word about energy security out of their mouths since it was passed. It’s all about the environment.” Manchin’s vote was key to the party-line passage of the IRA, which features energy security-related language that the West Virginia Democrat pushed to be included in the bill in order to boost investment in fossil fuels. ‘Dependable and Affordable Fossil Fuel Energy’ Manchin, in July 2022, announced he had reached a compromise with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the wording of the IRA and that he would vote for the bill. “I support a plan that will advance a realistic energy and climate policy that lowers prices today and strategically invests in the long game,” Manchin said in a statement at the time. “As the superpower of the world, it is vital we not undermine our superpower status by removing dependable and affordable fossil fuel energy before new technologies are ready to reliably carry the load,” he added. Provisions in the IRA mandate that the Interior Department offers at least 2 million acres of public lands and 60 million acres of offshore waters for oil and gas leasing each year for 10 years before any new solar and wind projects could be built on public lands or waters. The energy-related parts of the IRA are expected to cost around $370 billion, with Manchin saying that the measure “invests in the technologies needed for all fuel types–from hydrogen, nuclear, renewables, fossil fuels and energy storage–to be produced and used in the cleanest way possible.” “It is truly all of the above, which means this bill does not arbitrarily shut off our abundant fossil fuels,” he said. But Manchin says that the Biden administration is failing to honor its commitments in the area of energy security by slow-rolling investment in fossil fuels while dialing up spending on green projects. “Instead of implementing the law as intended, unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security,” he wrote in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. “Specifically, they are ignoring the law’s intent to support and expand fossil energy and are redefining ‘domestic energy’ to increase clean-energy spending to potentially deficit-breaking levels. The administration is attempting at every turn to implement the bill it wanted, not the bill Congress actually passed,” Manchin added. “Ignoring the debt and deficit implications of these actions as the time nears to raise the debt ceiling isn’t only wrong, it’s policy and political malpractice,” he continued, referring to the deadlock on Capitol Hill over raising the U.S. government’s borrowing limit, currently capped at $31.4 trillion. “I believe the only person who can rein in this extremism is Mr. Biden,” Manchin said. ‘Repeal My Own Bill’ The IRA includes provisions to support the coal and oil and gas industry, such as $5 billion in energy infrastructure loan guarantees for upgrades to help West Virginia fossil fuel plants extend their life and utility. Manchin said in his Monday interview with Hannity that a total of around $384 billion of the IRA was allocated for energy investments—including in fossil fuels—but that the Biden administration’s fixation on green energy threatens to swell the overall amount severalfold while starving fossil fuels of their due investments. “Let me make it very clear. If this administration does not honor what it said it would do and basically continue to liberalize that where $384 billion is what we’re supposed to invest over 10 years, and they blow that out of the water, and it’s six or seven or eight hundred [billion dollars], I will do everything I can in my power to prevent that from happening,” Manchin said. “And if they don’t change, then I would vote to repeal my own bill,” he said, referring to the IRA. The White House did not immediately return a request for comment on Manchin’s allegation that the Biden administration is failing to implement the energy security provisions of the IRA as written and on his threat to repeal the legislation. The chance of repealing the IRA seems slim, however, as Democrats control the White House and Senate. ‘Sacrificing Security for Climate Goals’ During a recent hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which Manchin chairs, the West Virginia senator stressed the need for energy permitting reform and greater energy security. Manchin expressed frustration during the meeting about what he described as the Biden administration’s failure to comply with the letter of the law in the IRA. “We need the federal government to signal with both words and actions that the United States is prioritizing our energy security and reducing geopolitical risk,” Manchin said during the hearing. “This means implementing the energy bills we’ve passed responsibly, lawfully, and consistent with Congressional direction and intent—not re-interpreting these laws to try to make them fit a climate-only agenda.” The IRA includes definitions around eligibility for electric vehicle tax credit. To be eligible for electric vehicle tax credits, the critical minerals must be extracted and processed in the United States or from reliable free trade agreement partners, and the battery and its components must be manufactured in North America. Manchin said that the administration’s failure to adhere to the IRA’s definitions could lead to the manufacturing of electric vehicle components in other countries rather than in the United States. “As the superpower of the world, we are reliant on China, Russia, and other foreign adversaries for far too many of our energy needs—whether it be oil, solar wafers, nuclear fuel, or, increasingly, electric vehicles. These are all things we can and should be producing start to finish in North America or sourcing from our allies,” Manchin said. “In an effort to decarbonize, we need to be honest about the dirty supply chain secrets that come with various energy resources and technologies, or we’re simply sacrificing security for climate goals,” he added. Adblock test (Why?)

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