The so-called \u0022side deal\u0022 negotiated by Sen. Joe Manchin and the Democratic leadership faced growing backlash from climate organizations on Thursday after a draft copy of the legislation confirmed that the proposal would help accelerate approval of fossil fuel projects, potentially including a fracked gas pipeline running through West Virginia.\r\n\r\n\u0022This should no longer be considered a \u0026#039;side deal,\u0026#039; it is the main event for fossil fuel polluters.\u0022\r\n\r\nOn Wednesday, Bloomberg obtained a copy of draft legislative language that has been circulating among lawmakers and lobbyists. The document is watermarked \u0022Draft — API,\u0022 the acronym for the American Petroleum Institute, an influential oil and gas industry lobbying group.\r\n\r\nBloomberg noted that \u0022API has had discussions with Manchin staff about the permitting overhaul, and the July 19 date of the document lines up with those discussions, Frank J. Macchiarola, the organization\u0026#039;s senior vice president of policy, economics, and regulatory affairs, said in an interview.\u0022\r\n\r\nMacchiarola told the outlet that API—whose members include ExxonMobil, Chevron, and other oil giants that stand to benefit from the deal—didn\u0026#039;t \u0022write or edit\u0022 the draft.\r\n\r\nThe side agreement was reached as part of Democrats\u0026#039; effort to win Manchin\u0026#039;s support for the Inflation Reduction Act, a reconciliation package that includes investments in renewable energy as well as major handouts to the fossil fuel industry, which helps fund the West Virginia Democrat\u0026#039;s campaigns.\r\n\r\nThe permitting deal, which is separate from the reconciliation bill, is expected to receive a vote later this year.\r\n\r\nCiting the \u0022API\u0022 watermark, Food and Water Watch (FWW) policy director Jim Walsh tweeted Thursday that \u0022the fossil fuel industry\u0026#039;s fingerprints [are] literally all over Manchin\u0026#039;s permitting side deal.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAs FWW summarized in a press release after reviewing the text, the draft proposal \u0022aims to fast track a variety of environmental and public safety reviews for major infrastructure projects, and requires the president to create a list of at least 25 projects deemed to be of \u0026#039;strategic national importance\u0026#039; that would be subject to the review.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022The price to be paid for Manchin\u0026#039;s vote looks more and more like an oil and gas wish list.\u0022\r\n\r\nThat project list would be updated every six months, noted FWW, which dubbed the proposal a \u0022climate disaster.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022The draft requires that at least five of the priority items \u0026#039;shall be projects to produce, process, transport, or store fossil fuel products, or biofuels, including projects to export or import those products,\u0022 the group continued. \u0022Two of the priority projects should be devoted to the \u0026#039;capture, transport, or store carbon dioxide, which may include the utilization of captured or displaced carbon dioxide emissions.\u0026#039; This fossil fuel prioritization continues well past 2030, requiring at least three projects to be fossil fuel oriented while allowing greater discretion to add more to the priority list.\u0022\r\n\r\nWalsh argued in a statement that \u0022this should no longer be considered a \u0026#039;side deal,\u0026#039; it is the main event for fossil fuel polluters that have pushed to weaken environmental reviews.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Any future White House that seeks to do special favors for the fossil fuel industry would have broad executive authority to force the construction of new fracking pipelines, power plants, and methane export facilities,\u0022 Walsh said. \u0022It would also hamstring the White House in efforts to curtail new fossil fuel infrastructure development sufficient to meet agreed upon climate goals.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Creating new wind and solar tax credits while giving fossil fuel polluters a green light is the ultimate devil\u0026#039;s bargain,\u0022 he added. \u0022Lawmakers must speak up strongly and swiftly against this massive rollback of public health and environmental protections that will fast track fossil fuel projects.\u0022\r\n\r\nJean Su, director of the Center for Biological Diversity\u0026#039;s Energy Justice Program, also slammed the agreement in a statement to Reuters.\r\n\r\n\u0022The price to be paid for Manchin\u0026#039;s vote looks more and more like an oil and gas wish list,\u0022 said Su. \u0022This backroom deal threatens communities and the environment, while shunting aside state and tribal input.\u0022\r\n\r\nWhile the draft text doesn\u0026#039;t specifically mention the Mountain Valley Pipeline—a top priority of Manchin\u0026#039;s—Bloomberg reported that \u0022there is every expectation that the Mountain Valley Pipeline provisions will be in the final bill text.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe pipeline, which could generate an estimated 89.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year if completed, was mentioned in a one-page summary of the Manchin agreement unveiled earlier this week.