UPDATED 8:55 AM PT – Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said his own party has left his state of West Virginia behind.
At a National Press Club event Monday, Manchin criticized the Democrats for pushing their so-called “clean energy” policies, all the while ignoring the fact that the world is using more fossil fuels today than at any other point in history.
“We have many of our lawmakers in Washington and we have many people who believe just quit using fossil, that’s all, that’ll take care of the problem,” Manchin said. “It’s called global climate. It’s not called North American climate. It’s not called West Virginia climate. It’s global climate, and there’s more fossil being used in the world today than ever before, and it’s not, it’s not receding. They’re going to use whatever fuels they have in their backyard.”
Further, within the Democrats’ $2 trillion infrastructure package are a number of proposals that could spell the end of the industry. This includes a so-called “clean energy standard” and a pause on leases for fossil fuel drilling and mining on federal land.
Manchin went on to say that Democrats would not get his support, or the support of the nation’s largest miner’s union, for their infrastructure plan if they do not provide protections for the thousands of coal workers who, as Manchin said, are the backbone of America’s fuel industry.
Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers Union, wasn’t convinced Democrats in Washington would do anything to help, especially after Joe Biden cost thousands of workers their jobs on his first day in office.
“We have to look at the fact that 7,000 people lost their jobs just last year in this industry, and where did they go? They went to the unemployment line,” Roberts stated. “Some of the things that Congress has done to help those who lost their jobs haven’t been very beneficial, obviously.”
Manchin argued as Democrats have shifted their focus away from coal, which still provides nearly 40 percent of global power, their neglect has pushed West Virginians, who for the majority of the 20th century reliably voted Democrat, to become fierce supporters of GOP candidates.
“I said, I can tell you how West Virginia feels. We feel like the returning Vietnam veteran. We’ve done every dirty job you’ve asked us to do. We never questioned, we did it and performed well,” Manchin stated. “Now all of a sudden, we’re not good enough. We’re not clean enough. We’re not green enough. We’re not smart enough. You want to know why they quit voting for Democrats? That’s the reason.”