Countless members of Manchin’s own party strongly oppose the bill, and Republicans are unsurprisingly disinterested in signing onto a Democrat-introduced bill. Yet Manchin said he’s “proud” to release the bill text at the 11th hour.
Despite holding no press conferences following the release of the bill text, Manchin still found a way to whine about politics, too:
“Let's look at our constituents. If my Republican friends and colleagues are attacking me personally, take it away from me personally, because that's going to be hard to go home and explain. To say, ‘We did this and we voted against it because of Joe Manchin’ makes no sense whatsoever. None whatsoever. So, we're in this quandary right now. They're going to vote and it 's going to be in the CR. And if they're willing to say they’re going to shut down the government because of a personal attack on me, or by not looking at the good of the country, that is what makes people sick about politics. It makes me sick about politics. You know me, if it looks good, I don't care whether it was a Republican or Democratic idea. I'm for it. As long as I can go home and explain it, it makes sense.”
Swap “the good of the country” with “the good of oil and gas companies” and you’ve pretty much got an accurate statement of what Manchin actually wants to accomplish, which is enriching himself through a dangerous pipeline spanning about 303 miles that runs from West Virginia to Virginia. The Mountain Valley Pipeline is all Manchin cares about, which is why it gets its own section in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022. There’s a load of crap about reducing emissions and helping the greater good leading up to the bill’s real purpose: forcing multiple agencies to get the Mountain Valley Pipeline fully approved no matter the actual cost to the planet and Manchin’s constituents.
Even if Manchin’s little bill—which will be included in the Continuing Resolution that prevents a government shutdown—doesn’t come to pass, there are still plenty of lawmakers and other bad actors invested in the future of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Manchin’s inability to take the L is more of a distraction than anything. Forget the failing lawmaker: Call on Congress to take a stand against the projects he champions, which would lead the U.S. that much further from its net-zero goals.