Former Manchin Aide, Key in Biden’s Energy Law, Joins Top Firm

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TL/DR –

Peter Stahley, a former senior staffer for Senator Joe Manchin who helped craft energy provisions in President Biden’s $1.2 trillion Inflation Reduction Act, has moved to a senior vice president role at lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates. This move is highlighted as an example of potentially problematic “revolving door” transitions, where congressional experience can be financially lucrative but also pose conflicts of interest. Stahley’s move follows a trend of former Manchin aides moving to the private sector, including Sam Runyon to Exxon Mobil and Lance West to the American Petroleum Institute.


Former Manchin Staffer Joins Major Lobbying Firm

Peter Stahley, a former key staffer for Sen. Joe Manchin, who shaped energy provisions in President Joe Biden‘s $1.2 trillion Inflation Reduction Act, has taken an energy policy role at Cassidy & Associates, a top lobbying firm, according to records.

Stahley advised Manchin on energy policies during his tenure in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, earning a six-figure salary. He is now a senior vice president at Cassidy & Associates, working on energy-related issues, the firm’s website states.

Craig Holman, an ethics expert and lobbyist for Public Citizen, notes the potential for conflicts of interest. Ex-senior Senate staffers must undergo a “cooling off” period before contacting former colleagues with intent to influence actions, according to 2012 guidance.

However, Holman says enforcement is challenging due to informal access outside groups obtain with congressional offices.

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Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act have benefitted left-wing groups tied to Democratic policies on energy and climate.

Cassidy & Associates, which earned $23 million in 2023, represents Perkins Coie in connection to Mountain Valley Pipeline, approved in 2022 thanks to a Manchin-led provision.

Meanwhile, Stahley isn’t the only ex-Manchin aide facing recent scrutiny. Ex-spokeswoman Sam Runyon joined Exxon Mobil in 2024, and Manchin’s former chief of staff Lance West took a role with the American Petroleum Institute in 2023.

Last year, Manchin announced he will not seek reelection in 2024. Marine Corps veteran Zach Shrewsbury is running on the Democratic side to fill the seat, while Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) and Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) are running as Republicans.

Requests for comment from Stahley, Manchin’s spokespeople, and Cassidy & Associates were not returned.


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