Manchin fights methane leaks fine pushed by Dems

Manchin says Dems 'need to pay for' their multitrillion-dollar spending plans - POLITICO

“You’re not going to be able to penalize yourself” to a cleaner environment. (Sen. Joe Manchin)

The above statement is very telling in what West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has to say about the Democrats’ proposed methane fee on oil and gas companies’ leaks.

It’s reported and claimed by some to be dead in the water as conservative Democrats like Manchin and the more liberal element of the party argue over what will be included in the climate and social spending reconciliation bill that remains stalled on Capitol Hill.

As chairman of the Senate Energy committee, Manchin hopes to have a framework finished this week but Democrats are still arguing over the top figure of reconciliation. Manchin wants a $1.5 trillion cap while the more progressive leaders of the party want a figure closer to $2 trillion.

Manchin acted on behalf of some more “moderate” House Democrats from Texas in arguing against methane fees.

Here’s how POLITICO’s Morning Energy Report described the uncertainty of the topic.

“One person familiar with the talks said the wrangling over the fees was “all but over,” with the oil industry winning its argument that the fee would be a camel-breaking straw when added to the tougher methane regulations the EPA is expected to announce any day now. But two others said talks were ongoing. “Nothing real yet,” said one person connected to the White House on the outcome of the negotiations, while a Congressional aide said the fees were “still being negotiated.”

POLITICO reported that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democrat from Rhode Island contends “a robust methane fee is a fair and essential part of meeting our targets ahead of Glasgow.” He also charged that “letting corporations pollute for free is not a climate solution.”

Manchin argued the fee would only add costs to fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sen. Manchin repeated Monday he has no interest in punitive measures as part of the climate plans pushed by Congress.

On Tuesday, he reiterated his response to calls for him to switch parties, saying he had no immediate plans to do so.

“Do you think by having a D or an I or an R is going to change who I am? I don’t think the R’s would be any more happier with me than D’s are right now,” Manchin said during an Economic Club event in Washington, D.C. “I mean that’s about as blunt as I can put it so I don’t know where in the hell I belong.”

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Source: POLITICO/Just the News

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