Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and one of the most powerful political players in Washington, announced on November 9 that he wouldn’t be running for reelection.
Following Manchin’s announcement, several lawmakers noted that the loss of Manchin in the Senate would mean the loss of a bipartisan power player and would up the pressure to get something done on permitting reform before the end of the Congress.
Bracewell Policy Resolution Group Senior Principal Frank Maisano told the Washington Examiner that Manchin’s departure will be big shoes to fill for the next Energy Committee chairman.
“It is a big loss because he was a real leader on the issue [permitting reform] and very knowledgeable,” stated Maisano, who worked with Manchin to build wind projects in West Virginia. “He was also one who could bring both sides together and both renewables and fossil fuels.”
Maisano noted that Manchin’s announcement could ignite a final push from the West Virginia Democrat, along with others, to get permitting reform across the finish line before the next Congress begins in 2025. However, it’s still a tall hill to climb, as election-year politics could slow movement on any substantial piece of legislation.