Sen. Joe Manchin criticized President Joe Biden’s appointee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for delays involving natural gas pipeline permits as the price of that commodity, as well as oil and gasoline generally, spike following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The moderate Democrat, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and whose state of West Virginia is among the country’s top natural gas producers, was critical of FERC’s chief, Richard Glick, over comments he made regarding stalled pipeline projects, Fox Business reported Friday, adding:
Glick, speaking at the CERAWeek by S&P Global energy conference Thursday, defended his agency’s decision to withhold permits. He said some of the pipeline delays Manchin lamented at the Senate hearing were due to FERC’s efforts to ensure projects were done “right the first time.”
A proper process, Glick added, can avoid “years of litigation and … hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars of extra cost.”
“Well, speak up and help us, Mr. Chairman Glick. Speak up and help us,” Manchin said in response to that when asked about Glick’s claims during a press briefing at CERAWeek the next day.
The Democratic senator then accused the agency of intentionally withholding guidance from those seeking permits, noting that while he was West Virginia governor, he told state regulators who worked under his direction, “If you go out with a cease and desist order before you try to help someone do something right and tell them what they’re doing wrong, shame on ya. Shame on all of you.”
He said federal agencies like FERC and the Interior Dept. should take the same advisory approach, but they are instead “throwing so many more obstacles.”
“He went way outside of his wheelhouse, and he knows how I feel about that,” Manchin noted regarding Glick’s remarks.
The senator then grew frustrated after he was asked about Glick’s comments regarding projects being pushed through too fast.
“I’m not saying push them through quickly. Just do your damn job, that’s all I told him,” Manchin responded.