The revealing opposition to Manchin’s permitting proposal

The clock is ticking and Joe Manchin is no closer to getting the energy permitting reform he was promised when he signed on to a slimmed-down spending bill early in the summer.

Talking at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh today, the West Virginia senator said that “by next week we’ll either have a permitting process that accelerates and lets us compete on a global basis of how we do things and brings things to market or not and politics gets in the way.” Getting his legislation passed will, he added, take “an awful lot of heavy lifting.”

Over to you, Chuck Schumer. The Senate majority leader must once again grapple with a coalition broad enough to include Manchin to the right and hardline environmentalist opponents to the left, to hold up his side of the summer bargain and avoid a government shutdown. (If you want a colorful demonstration of the left’s energy tensions that mean Schumer is in such a pickle, look no further than my colleague Teresa Mull’s latest, which contrasts yoga-pant-burning hipsters with the blue-collar coal men of West Virginia.)

While the main political risk for Democrats is that a deal doesn’t get done, the fact that such a standoff is even taking place is damaging enough. Manchin’s legislation sticks to exactly the sort of yes-and logic that is a political winner in the middle of a global energy crisis. It makes it easier to get hydrocarbons out of the ground, and easier to hook renewable energy sources up to the grid. And yet, in Democratic circles, it is highly controversial.

The mood among a large chunk of the left was demonstrated by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s questioning of bank CEOs on the Hill this week. “Please answer with a simple yes or no, does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products?” she asked. Most executives minced their words, saying that while they still funded fossil fuel projects, they were helping their clients transition to clean energy. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon was less diplomatic. “Absolutely not,” said Dimon, “and that would be the road to hell for America.”

And so even if Schumer manages to broker a deal, it will be in the face of opposition from his own side: opposition that sends a clear message about the Democratic Party and energy policy.

It’s a similar story on public safety. Yesterday, the House passed a bipartisan bill to boost funding for the police. Long after “defund the police” has been recognized as terrible politics, sixty-four Democrats voted against the legislation. Democrats want to project an image of sensible moderation ahead of the midterms. They’d have an easier job doing so if fewer in their party adopted such out-there stances on the issues that are among voters’ top priorities.

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McCarthy’s pared back midterm platform

Kevin McCarthy unveiled a Republican agenda ahead of the midterms this morning. The House minority leader’s “Commitment to America” has obvious (and deliberate) echoes of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract with America. McCarthy’s is a far less extensive offering and sticks to the bread-and-butter issues on which Republicans basically agree are winning issues ahead of November. McCarthy’s “commitment” has four parts: “an economy that is strong,” “a nation that is safe,” “a future that is free” and “a government that is accountable.” The focus is on the economy, the border, crime, education and healthcare. And for all that the announcement was billed as a substantive agenda, it remains, first and foremost, an oppositional platform.

McConaughey says it would be ‘arrogant’ not to consider POTUS run

Actor Matthew McConaughey, who stepped into the political limelight after the Uvalde shooting earlier this year and very publicly toyed with running for Texas governor, said that a presidential run in the future may be “inevitable.” Speaking at a Salesforce annual convention, McConaughey said it would be “arrogant” not to consider running for the job of leader of the free world. Stay humble, Matthew!

What you should be reading today

Peter Van Buren: The ‘jail Trump’ mania reaches its sad end
John Pietro
: Russia isn’t just losing influence in Ukraine
Jonathan Bydlak: More rail trouble could be on the horizon
Matthew Continetti, Washington Free Beacon: Iran on the brink
Zachary Karabell, Politico magazine: The other scandal revealed at Mar-a-Lago
Nicholas Clairmont, Washington Examiner: Why nothing seems real

Poll watch

President Biden job approval
Approve: 43.0 percent
Disapprove: 53.4 percent
Net approval: -10.4 (RCP average)

Utah Senate race
Mike Lee (R): 36 percent
Evan McMullin (I): 34 percent (Deseret News/Hinckley Institute)