Manchin outlines energy policy objectives

Source: BY RACHEL FRAZIN, The Hill • Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2022

Manchin outlines energy policy objectives

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a key swing vote in the Senate, on Wednesday laid out some energy policies he supports. 

During a meeting of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, Manchin touted a tax credit for clean energy manufacturing, known as 48C, and legislation that would replace fossil fuel generation with advanced nuclear power. 

“People in states like mine, that the energy transition has hit the hardest, want meaningful work and are looking for a hand up, not a handout,” said Manchin, the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

He also expressed support for hydrogen energy, as well as the use of carbon capture — still developing technology that would aim to prevent climate-warming gases from fossil fuels from going into the air.

And he reiterated recent skepticism over a transition to using electric vehicles. The Biden administration and House and Senate Democrats have sought to advance this transition through the use of tax credits included in the climate and social spending bill that passed the House but was held up by Manchin in the Senate.

“I’m very much concerned about the supply chain,” he said. “I am very much concerned about … relying on China to supply the necessary resources we need to have that transition happen.”

The comments from Manchin follow a report that he is ready to negotiate on the broader package. 

E&E News reported on Wednesday that Manchin hopes for a deal to be reached during the Senate’s April and May work period on a slimmed down climate and social spending bill. According to the news outlet, there is text circulating, but it is at an early stage. 

Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon told The Hill that Manchin is “always willing to engage in discussions about the best way to move our country forward.”

She reiterated his concerns about inflation, saying the senator thinks it should be the country’s “first priority,” but also said he hopes to promote U.S. energy and lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

“We must maintain energy independence by advancing an all-of-the-above energy policy to continue producing energy cleaner than anywhere else in the world. Additionally, he continues to believe we can and must lower the cost of prescription drugs for working Americans to ensure no family has to choose between life-saving medications and putting food on the table,” Runyon said.