Energy & Environment — Sanders opposed to Manchin permitting push

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) expressed his opposition to a Manchin-led permitting push that has the support of Democratic leaders. Meanwhile, the Interior Department removed a slur from federal place names, and the Energy Department is backing geothermal.  

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Sanders: Manchin deal is a fossil ‘giveaway’

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday blasted the side deal that Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) struck earlier this summer to pass a controversial proposal to make it easier to develop fossil fuel-based energy projects. 

Schumer told reporters Wednesday that he plans to attach Manchin’s permitting reform bill to the stopgap spending measure that needs to pass by Sept. 30 to prevent a government shutdown.   

Sanders slammed the agreement as “a huge giveaway to the fossil fuel industry” and angrily warned that it would undermine President Biden’s pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030.   

“I rise this morning to express by strong opposition to the so-called side deal that the fossil fuel industry is pushing to make it easier for them to pollute the environment and destroy our planet,” Sanders said.   

He said the legislation crafted by Manchin would make it easier for the fossil fuel industry to receive permits and complete what he called “some of the dirtiest and most polluting oil and gas projects in America.” 

Read more about Sanders’s speech here, from The Hill’s Alexander Bolton. 

WHITE HOUSE BACKS THE CHANGES 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre expressed the White House’s support for the permitting reform agreement.  

“We support the permitting reform bill, which will help us realize the benefits of the historic investments in the inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law as well. We want to see it enacted,” she told reporters during a press briefing.

“We are working with Senator Schumer and Senator Manchin to find the best path forward. We think it’s important to meet the country’s clean energy goals and to reduce costs and to promote energy security. Permitting always delays new solar and new wind projects,” Jean-Pierre added. 

Interior removes slur from federal place names

The Interior Department announced Thursday that it has completed the removal of a slur for Native American women from federal place names after announcing a review in November.  

In the announcement, the department said the federal Board on Geographic Names has voted on replacement names for more than 600 places that included the slur. The department also issued a full map of places where names were replaced.  

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to hold the position, announced the review late last year as well as a federal committee to assess the use of slurs and pejoratives in federal place names.

“I feel a deep obligation to use my platform to ensure that our public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming. That starts with removing racist and derogatory names that have graced federal locations for far too long,” Haaland said in a statement Thursday.  

The review followed similar moves to replace anti-Black and anti-Japanese slurs in place names.  

Read more about the removal here.  

ENERGY WANTS GEOTHERMAL POWER TO BE ‘WIDESPREAD’ 

The Biden administration announced a new goal to make the use of geothermal energy — renewable energy that comes from heat that’s inside the earth — “widespread” as it seeks to transition away from fossil fuels.  

In a statement on Thursday, the Energy Department said it hopes to cut the costs of geothermal energy systems by 90 percent by 2035.  

The department said that capturing even a “small fraction” of the U.S.’s geothermal resources could power more than 40 million homes. 

“The United States has a vast, geothermal energy resource lying right beneath our feet, and this program will make it economical to bring that power to American households and businesses,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.  

Specifically, the Energy Department will invest in research and development for geothermal energy. Geothermal energy can be used to heat buildings, as well as in electricity generation, food dehydrating, gold mining and milk pasteurizing. 

Read more about the push here.  

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WHAT WE’RE READING

  • Rising seas could swallow millions of U.S. acres within decades (The Washington Post
  • For Jackson and Flint, the water may be back but the trust is gone (CNN
  • Europe Says Putin’s Gas Power Is Weakening (The New York Times
  • Companies Are Buying Large Numbers of Carbon Offsets That Don’t Cut Emissions (The Wall Street Journal
  • BLM details plans for HQ move (E&E News

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.  

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