As the White House sells Big Oil’s pipeline bill as a progressive environmental cause to “ensure long-term clean energy supply,” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin just admitted the truth about the still-secret legislation being pushed by the fossil fuel industry.

In a little-noticed West Virginia Metro News passage flagged by Hill Heat, Manchin said the bill — whose early draft apparently featured the watermark of the American Petroleum Institute — is primarily a Republican Party priority. The coal baron senator then seemed to include himself as part of that party when explaining the plan to hold the government hostage for his donors:

As part of an agreement between Manchin and Democratic leaders, Congress will consider changes to the permitting process once lawmakers return to Capitol Hill next month. Related legislation will include steps to speed up approval of energy projects as well as the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 303-mile system capable of transporting natural gas from West Virginia to southern Virginia once complete. The project has been marred by legal challenges.

Manchin said the language will be in a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

“This is something the Republican Party has wanted for the last five to seven years I’ve been with them,” he said.

“It either keeps the country open, or we shut down the government. That’ll happen Sept. 30, so let’s see how that politics plays out.”

In the same article, the head of the United Mine Workers union defended Manchin’s previous work adding fossil fuel industry gifts to the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The senator got all kinds of grief here because he mainly was defending the coal industry and other fossil fuel industries to preserve jobs,” said UMW president Cecil Roberts.

Manchin is Congress’ top recipient of oil and gas industry campaign cash, and has been vacuuming in cash from the company leading the West Virginia pipeline project that would benefit from his bill.