Tensions rise amid frustration over mystery Manchin deal

Lawmakers are frustrated about being kept in the dark as Democratic leaders strategize how to jimmy an energy deal struck with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) behind closed doors

through Congress — while also averting a government shutdown. Democratic leadership is aiming to use a must-pass government-funding bill to advance an energy permitting

proposal by Manchin by the end of the month. But with roughly two weeks standing between Congress and the critical funding deadline, tensions are simmering over the closely-kept

negotiations.  “We don’t know what it is. They haven’t released the text, they don’t give us the detailed explanation,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) told The Hill

this week. “So, I don’t know how you could ask people to vote for something they don’t know what it is.” “There’s a reason they’re keeping it secret: it’s either still

being negotiated or it’s so weak it has no meaning or it’s too strong for other people,” she added. Only a broad outline of Manchin’s plan has been released. 

It includes setting maximum timelines for the environmental review process for energy projects, which advocates say could undercut the analysis required for a project’s

approval and weaken community involvement. Other components would make it harder for states to block projects that run through their waters and require the president to pick a

“balanced” list of energy projects that should be prioritized. The outline also says that a natural gas pipeline that runs through West Virginia, known as the Mountain

Valley Pipeline, would be completed.