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Fri Aug 5, 2022, 09:05 PM

Surprise Senate vote would overturn Biden environmental rule

WASHINGTON (AP) In a surprise victory for Republicans, the Senate on Thursday voted to overturn a Biden administration rule requiring rigorous environmental review of major infrastructure projects such as highways, pipelines and oil wells an outcome aided by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin, a key player on energy and climate issues and a swing vote in the closely divided Senate, joined Republicans to support the measure, which was approved 50-47. The vote comes as Manchin has proposed a separate list of legislative measures to speed up federal permitting for major projects in return for his support of a Democratic bill to address climate change.

Republicans voted unanimously to overturn the Biden permitting rule, while Manchin was the only Democrat to do so. Three senators were absent: Republican John Cornyn of Texas and Democrats Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Jeff Merkley of Oregon. The vote sends the measure to the Democratic-controlled House, where it is unlikely to move forward.

Still, the vote signaled strong Senate support for action to reform the often onerous federal permitting process, which can take up to eight to 10 years for highways and other major projects. Streamlining federal review is a top Manchin and GOP priority that is not shared by most Democrats.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/surprise-senate-vote-overturn-biden-211555253.html

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