Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday that the OPEC decision to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day shows that the U.S. needs to invest more in its own resources, a week after his energy permitting reform bill was stalled in the Senate.
Today's announcement from OPEC confirms that the United States must be energy independent and energy secure, so we can't be intimidated by foreign adversaries, Manchin, D-W. Va. told Fox News Digital. We have been blessed with an abundance of domestic energy resources, which we can produce cleaner than elsewhere in the world, and with that we have the ability to ensure energy independence and security for ourselves and our allies. He said that this announcement should be used to motivate my colleagues in Congress to pass comprehensive bipartisan permitting reform to lessen our dependence on these foreign nations. Manchin made a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. last month to vote for Democrats' social spending and taxation bill in exchange for Schumer bringing energy permitting reform for a Senate vote. They wanted to attach a permitting reform proposal from Manchin to temporarily fund the government after the elections.
TOSS-UP Republicans angry at Manchin for backing the Social Spending and Taxation bill, and Progressives who don't want to make energy projects easier, joined forces against the bill. They had enough votes to prevent the funding bill from getting over the 60-vote filibuster threshold as long as Manchin's proposal was there.
Manchin says he will continue to seek ways to pass permitting reform, and some senators believe that the chamber could use the upcoming defense funding bill as a vehicle to do so.
The permitting reform bill isn't the only major energy issue that Manchin has taken up in recent months, and he's often willing to criticize President Biden when other Democrats aren't.
Manchin said at a March hearing with members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that we can't take this seriously. To deny or put up barriers to natural gas projects and the benefits they provide while Putin is actively and effectively using energy as an economic and political weapon against our allies is beyond the pale. Days later, Manchin lit into Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick for allegedly slow-walking energy pipelines and demanded that Glick do your damn job, despite the fact that he was at an energy conference in Houston.