Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and other state-based coal industry groups lambasted the tax and climate deal he signed to last week, warning that it will “severely imperil American coal” and an estimated 381,000 jobs.
Slamming Sen. Manchin for “zigzagging” in the energy issue, the groups said in a stinging statement, “It leaves those of us that name Sen. Manchin a friend, astonished and dismayed”.
“Sen. Manchin appears to have fought against various climate policies advocated by the national democratic establishment over the past year,” the organisations added. Manchin’s repeated mantra, “We must ‘innovate not eliminate,'” has been questioned by the current Schumer-Manchin draught deal on climate and energy.
Manchin and Schumer’s plan “would quickly shrink our coal generating operations and all but negate any need to innovate coal assets,” according to the environmental groups that have been warning about the deal for months.
Democratic leaders have dubbed the bill the Inflation Reduction Act, and they aim to adopt it this weekend. According to the groups, the law does “nothing for coal” or “coal generating,” and it will have no effect on inflation or home energy prices.
The groups cautioned that “by turbocharging the exorbitant incentives that now extend to renewable energy, our nation’s baseload (reliable) coal power production assets would continue to be undervalued and forced into rapid decline,” they said.
Statement signed by West Virginia Coal Association President Chris Hamilton as well as the leaders of mining groups in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio as well as Texas and Wyoming.
On Tuesday, Manchin said he disagreed with forecasts that his state’s coal plants will close as a result of the measure.
In an interview with reporters, he said, “I don’t believe that at all.” “We need a thriving fossil fuel business. There are many coal plants that are quite old in our country.”
A coal-fired power plant will be necessary to supply the country’s minimum domestic demand, according to him.
In addition to the energy and climate provisions in the budget plan, Manchin emphasised reforming the permitting process as a way to benefit fossil fuel businesses.