Senator Joe Manchin III will not support legislation to address the climate crisis or increase taxes on rich people, the West Virginia coal millionaire told Democratic leaders Thursday. “There truly aren’t words, at least words that are suitable for printing in The New York Times, for how appalled and outraged we are,” LCV Sr. VP for government affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld told the Times. According to the Washington Post, Manchin cited inflation as his reason for not supporting climate provisions.
In reality, addressing climate change would actually support the deployment of cheap renewables, lower American energy bills, reduce the economic impact of climate change, and wean the country off of inflationary fossil fuels.
Manchin’s declaration comes after years of negotiations in which the Senator who received more campaign contributions from the mining, coal mining, gas transmission and distribution, and oil and gas sectors than any other legislator this election cycle has repeatedly offered vague, inconsistent criticisms of every proposal put before him. Any legislation to meaningfully address the climate crisis has been unanimously opposed by Senate Republicans.
Joe Manchin’s rejection of climate action is a major blow to everyone on the planet who relies on and benefits from a stable climate, and especially those disproportionately harmed by — and least responsible for — climate impacts and pollution. Last month was essentially tied for the hottest June on record, and just this week, firefighters in California are struggling to protect sequoias that predate the birth of Christ from wildfires supercharged by heat and drought, and Texas utility customers have been forced to voluntarily reduce consumption to protect an electrical grid strained by extreme heat — with even hotter temperatures forecast for next week. Fires rage and extreme heat stifles across Europe, while northern Italy — home to Joe Manchin’s Maserati — is parched by its worst drought in 70 years.
(Joe Manchin: Washington Post $, New York Times $, AP, Rolling Stone, Slate, HuffPost, NBC, Bloomberg $, Business Insider, Politico, Axios, CNN, LA Times $, Electrek, Reuters, Wall Street Journal $; Climate goals: Washington Post $, The Hill, Grist; Disproportionate harms: Axios, The Hill, Nature; Hottest June: Washington Post $, Yale Climate Connections; Sequoias: Washington Post $, CNN; Texas heat and grid: Washington Post $, Utility Dive, The Verge; Italian drought: The Guardian)