Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), says that attempts to eliminate fossil fuels would make climate change worse, while also condemning a key provision in the Democratic infrastructure bill.
Daily Reuters spoke with Manchin shortly after he attended a meeting to discuss the plan with other Democrats. Manchin, a moderate Democrat from coal-producing West Virginia who has been repeatedly accused of obstructionism by his party’s progressives, raised concerns about the “climate portion” of the proposal worth $3.5 billion.
“If they’re removing fossils, and i’m finding out there are a lot of languages in places they’re removing fossils. This is very, very troubling because if they’re sticking their heads in the sand and saying that fossil fuel must be eliminated in America, they want to get rid it. And thinking that that’s going it’s going to clean the global climate. It won’t. It would make things worse.
Democrats hope to push the bill through Congress, and onto President Joe Biden’s desk using the Senate budget reconciliation process. This strategy would enable them to pass the bill without support from Republicans. Manchin would need to approve any such plan, as it would require unanimous Democratic support. The upper chamber is equally divided, with Kamala Harris, Vice President, having the power to end tied votes.
Despite Manchin’s comments, the overwhelming majority of scientists agree with Manchin that eliminating fossil fuels can help to reduce, not increase, the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, which causes temperatures to rise because it traps heat.
After Wednesday’s meeting, Manchin made similar remarks to The Washington Post. He clarified that he thinks that trying to eliminate fossil fuels can worsen climate change. “There won’t be any other country who will do the research and develop that will fix the emission that are coming out of fossil right now.
Jamaal Bowman, a progressive advocate of the Green New Deal and a member of Congress from New York, condemned Manchin’s comments. Bowman called Manchin “the new Mitch McConnell” last month for refusing to repeal the filibuster and back the For the People Act (a massive Democratic voting rights bill).
Bowman stated that parts of the country are at 118 degrees. Other parts have never been so hot. Recent storms along the east coast have caused massive flooding and property destruction. Bowman spoke to The Post.
“I encourage my coworkers to be on the right sides of history — this is about their legacy and all of our legacies. How do we respond to climate crisis that’s right before us? Bowman agreed. “History will tell us the story of who correctly answered that question.