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Ramesh Ponnuru

The Democrats and Manchin: Who’s Taking Whom for a Ride?

The senator wanted expedited permitting for energy projects. Instead, his colleagues are offering a grab bag of new taxes and spending and calling it inflation reduction.

No help for high prices.

No help for high prices.

Photographer: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

In the week since he reached a deal with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer on the “Inflation Reduction Act,” Senator Joe Manchin has been everywhere promoting it. One of the West Virginia Democrat’s top selling points is the promise to speed up permits for US energy production.

It’s a worthwhile idea. Stifling domestic production to send a message to the world about climate change has never made much sense. Indeed, it’s the best idea in the deal. Too bad it isn’t in the bill itself.