Joe Manchin of West Virginia has called on US president to shut down US coal-fired power plants
US Senator Joe Manchin, one of the most powerful lawmakers in Joe Biden’s own Democratic party, has criticized the president for vowing to shut down US coal-fired power plants, and unleashed an unusually candid rebuke from the leader just three days before the election. congressional midterm elections.
“President Biden’s comments are not just outrageous and disconnected from reality,” he said. Manchin said in a statement on Saturday: “they are ignoring the severe economic pain the American people are feeling from rising energy costs. Comments like this are the reason the American people are losing faith in President Biden.”
Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, responded to a speech Biden gave Saturday in California, where the president said of the country’s coal-fired power plants: “We’re going to close these plants across America and get wind and solar power.” The senator said Biden had never made such a comment to him.
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“To be Cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who are literally risking their lives to build and strengthen this country is offensive and disgusting,” said Manchin. “The President owes these incredible workers an immediate and public apology, and it is time he learned a lesson that his words matter and have consequences.”
It seems that his positions change daily depending on the audience and politics of the day.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden’s speech… “twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended.” She added, “The president commented on an economic and technological fact: As it was from the earliest days as an energy superpower, America is once again in the midst of an energy transition.”
West Virginia is the second largest coal-producing state, behind only Wyoming, and it relies on fuel for 89% of its power generation. Nationally, coal fueled nearly 22% of electricity production in 2021, nearly double the combined output of wind and solar, according to data from the US Energy Department. Only natural gas scored 38% higher as a fuel source.
Parts of the US are experiencing power shortages. For example, the grid operator in New England has warned that the region may experience power outages this winter. Some states are having trouble transitioning to renewables, given the intermittent output of wind and solar farms. California is forced to impose rolling blackouts from time to time during periods of rising power demand.
As the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, Manchin is overpowered because he is often the biggest impediment to passing partisan legislation that needs unanimous support from the party. Colleagues called him “irritating” for forcing compromises on Biden’s agenda.
The senator’s sharp criticism of the party’s leader comes as Democrats try to rally support in the expectation that they will lose control of Congress in Tuesday’s midterm session. Manchin won’t be up for re-election until 2024.
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