Joe Manchin on a roll with some big moves certain to irk Dems

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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is on one heckuva a roll this week, slamming President Joe Biden for his “hypocritical” reliance on Russian petroleum while also casting the deciding vote to block the Democrat bill to codify Roe v. Wade protections into law.

Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, released a statement urging the president to take the necessary measures to ensure American energy independence and security.

“The entire world is watching as Vladimir Putin uses energy as a weapon in an attempt to extort and coerce our European allies,” Manchin said. “While Americans decry what is happening in Ukraine, the United States continues to allow the import of more than half a million barrels per day of crude oil and other petroleum products from Russia during this time of war. This makes no sense at all and represents a clear and present danger to our nation’s energy security.”

“The United States can and must ramp up domestic energy production and increase access to our abundant resources and technologies to both protect our energy independence and support our allies around the globe,” he added. “If there was ever a time to be energy independent, it is now. I am calling on the Administration and industry partners to take action immediately, up to and including banning crude oil imports from Russia. To continue to ask other countries to do what we can do for ourselves in a cleaner way is hypocritical. To continue to rely on Russian energy as they attack Ukraine is senseless. In the coming days and weeks, the strategic value of American energy and what can be done to better position our nation on the global stage will be an ongoing topic in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.”

Amid the sanctions levied against Putin for the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Biden specifically excluded Russia’s oil and gas industry — the key motivation reportedly being the fear of even higher gas prices. Meanwhile, the president has refused to step up U.S. oil production.

Manchin said it’s “totally ridiculous” that “we’re buying over 600,000 barrels a day of crude from Russia,” and poses a “clear and present danger to our nation’s energy security.”

When Biden took office, he immediately reversed a number of energy policies enacted by Trump that reduced oil production in the U.S., including revoking the federal permit for the continued construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and temporarily stopping granting permits for oil and gas operations on federal lands. Under Trump, the U.S. supplanted Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer and gas prices plummeted. The price of gas has steadily risen under Biden.

Meanwhile, the Senate voted 46-48 Monday to block a bill pushed by Democrats to codify abortion rights into federal law ahead of an expected Supreme Court decision that could limit access to the procedure, NBC News reported.

The Women’s Health Protection Act failed to garner the needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and with Manchin joining with Republicans in opposition, Democrats did not have the 50 votes needed for passage anyway.

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