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Screenshot: Axios

Getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate to pass legislation with a simple majority will lead to "serious problems," Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Wednesday during an Axios event.

Why it matters: Manchin has repeatedly said that he does not support eliminating the filibuster. His stance reduces President Biden's chances of pushing through his agenda, including passing climate change legislation, by limiting Senate Democrats' legislative power.

What he's saying: "If you give up on democracy, if you give up on the republic, if you give up on filibuster, I tell you we're in serious problems," Manchin said.

  • "When it comes to the Senate, [it] is expected and it was designed for us to come together and find a pathway forward and that pathway forward," Manchin added, referring to how the Senate should work in a bipartisan manner.
  • "What goes around comes around," Manchin added. "I remember when Donald Trump was beating up on all the Republicans to get rid of the filibuster from 2017 to 2020. That was a daily occurrence."
  • Manchin also suggested that due to heavy partisanship, it has become more difficult to pass legislation, but that does not excuse eliminating the supermajority.

Worth noting: The senator also said during the event that he does not support using infrastructure spending to tackle climate change policy.

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Updated Apr 21, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on the renewed promise of climate solutions

On Wednesday, April 21, Axios managing editor Margaret Talev and energy reporter Ben Geman kicked off Axios' Energy Forward series with a virtual event on the politics and policy surrounding sustainability impact the groundwork for advancements in energy efficiency and new technologies, featuring Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Southern Company chairman, president, and CEO Thomas Fanning and GE Chairman & CEO Larry Culp.

Sen. Manchin discussed bipartisan consensus on energy and environmental policy, and highlighted the need for innovation in technologies that are cleaning up the environment.

  • On investing in new technology and research: "Through innovation, [we should] create new technologies so that fossil [fuels] can be used in the cleanest fashion and in the most prudent way without emitting greenhouse gases. If you really care about the climate, you better make sure that we have the research and technology...that's going to give us the answers."
  • On his view that more than a majority in the Senate should be needed to pass energy or climate legislation: “You have to on the legislation that’s good for our country.”

Larry Culp discussed the private sector's approach to energy challenges like climate change, as well as the U.S.'s evolving approach to a range of energy sources.

  • On supporting decarbonization through policymaking: "I think our hope would be that we'd focus on technology-neutral policies that allow us to move as rapidly as we can toward decarbonization...Longer-term, clear investing in technologies like hydrogen, like carbon capture, advanced nuclear are going to be part of further abating those emissions."
  • On a mixed approach to energy sources: "Gas, in concert with renewables and in addition to the grid technologies...will help us not only in the U.S. but more broadly around the world, reach the climate objectives that we have."

Thomas Fanning unpacked the upcoming infrastructure package and its impact on the energy sector, as well as meeting national climate goals.

  • On renewables in Southern Company's energy approach: "By the time we get to net-zero, you should expect to see about half of our generation being renewables. The lion's share of that is going to be solar...Gas will either be managed with carbon capture technology or we will still emit some carbon, but we will offset that carbon with a net negative carbon strategy."
  • On needing federal support to meet climate goals: "[If] reaching net-zero by 2035 becomes the policy of the administration, we're going to need all the help of the federal government to achieve this worthy goal. I don't think it's something we can just do on our own."

Thank you GE for sponsoring this event.

CDC says fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

The CDC announced in new guidance Thursday that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

What they're saying: "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will say at a White House press briefing.

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.