After bipartisan rebuff, Manchin abandons private legislative deal to help fossil fuel projects
The fight to pass pro-fossil fuel legislation has entered the final stretch. In the meantime, many fossil fuel projects have become more aggressive in pursuing their goals, and the American public is beginning to notice.
On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) formally announced that he will not support any piece of legislation aimed at fighting global warming.
In a press release his office sent to ThinkProgress, Manchin said:
In my opinion the best hope for securing a path to a reasonable and secure agreement at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris is to work together with industry and labor through non-binding executive action. The Paris Agreement leaves a path open for states that have enacted greenhouse gas reduction requirements through executive action, such as West Virginia and Alaska, but I will not support legislation that would require states to put their plans into action.
Manchin’s statement puts him at odds with many in the Democratic Party, which has spent the months leading up to the Paris climate summit seeking to pass a new climate bill.
Manchin is not alone. Former Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, currently the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said that he and other Democrats will not support any climate legislation this session and called on President Obama to use the executive actions he could take to implement the Paris Agreement.
“President Obama can use his executive authority to address climate change,” Warner said. “We also have an obligation under the Constitution to promote energy efficiency and conservation and to aggressively reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The president must make a decision on whether to use his authority and put the United States on a pathway toward the sustainable energy that will lower energy costs, create jobs, and cut carbon pollution.”
The press release also stated that Manchin did not support legislation “that would require the states to put plans into action which would require coal or gas powered electricity generation, and I will oppose such legislation.”
But he did not say that he was against efforts to regulate more than just coal or natural gas; he said he simply lacked the necessary votes to support the issue at the time. He also did not speak against more states pushing for green energy standards.