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Manchin’s Energy Amendment Is Worse Than Doing Nothing

Just as we suspected. Joe Manchin cut a deal with Chuck Schumer and he didn’t even get a lousy tee shirt.

The Manchin “deal” with Chuck Schumer actually further undermines fossil fuel development in the U.S. – despite the minor permitting provisions and the West Virginia pipeline – which we predict will never get built as long as Democrats control Washington.

The fatal provision of the deal is it forces electric utility customers in red states to bear the high prices of blue-state green energy transmissions on the electric power grid – whether the red state residents want it or not.

The WSJ explains:

The Manchin bill… gives FERC the power to permit an interstate transmission line if the Energy Secretary says it promotes “national energy policy” or the ability of “intermittent energy to connect to the electric grid.” FERC could override states and approve a line merely because it reduces CO2 emissions or encourages renewable power…

States today consider how transmission lines affect their power supply when they decide whether to permit them or not. FERC wouldn’t be required to. West Virginia could be forced to take power from New Jersey offshore wind farms that drives its coal plants out of business. Worse, under the bill FERC could order a utility to build a transmission line.

The bill would also allow FERC to stick the costs of transmitting renewable power on states that don’t want it. FERC would have broad discretion to socialize costs based on “reasonably anticipated benefits,” however it defines them, such as reducing CO2 emissions.

We note that National Journal last night printed an almost comical heads-I-win-tails-you-lose story – almost surely at Schumer’s request – repositioning for a likely failure of the bill.

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