On Capitol Hill, Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders is threatening to vote down a stopgap bill to fund the federal government, unless Democratic Party leaders strip it of a measure making it easier for polluters to win permits for new fossil fuel projects. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says he included the permitting reforms in order to win the support of Senator Joe Manchin for sweeping climate and healthcare legislation known as the Inflation Reduction Act. Senator Manchin has received more campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests than any other member of Congress.
An early draft of permitting reform legislation obtained by Bloomberg was watermarked with the letters ”API” — suggesting it was written by the American Petroleum Institute. On Friday, 72 House Democrats sent a letter to party leaders warning the legislation would harm low-income people and communities of color. They write, “These destructive provisions will allow polluting manufacturing and energy development projects to be rushed through before the families who are forced to live near them are even aware of the plans.”