Manchin: Energy states ‘dead’ without Landrieu

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinLawmakers push back at Trump's Pentagon funding grab for wall Overnight Health Care: Appeals court strikes down Medicaid work requirements | Pelosi's staff huddles with aides on surprise billing | Senate Dems pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit Senate Democrats pressure Trump to drop ObamaCare lawsuit MORE (W.Va.) pleaded Wednesday for fellow Democrat Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE's (La.) reelection, saying energy-producing states would be “absolutely dead” without her.

Manchin also warned against replacing Landrieu’s leadership in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellThree lessons from BIPA for data privacy legislation Swing votes steal spotlight in marathon Trump impeachment Q&A Hillicon Valley: UK allows Huawei to build 5G in blow to Trump | Lawmakers warn decision threatens intel sharing | Work on privacy bill inches forward | Facebook restricts travel to China amid virus MORE (D-Wash.), who he said would not be as friendly to energy producers.

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Manchin, who is also a member of the Energy panel, said that Landrieu has worked to boost the oil and natural gas industries that Louisiana depends on, but that she has also been friendly to coal, which is important to West Virginia.

She now faces a reelection fight against Republican Reps. Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness, and she’s been down in recent polling.

Manchin told reporters Wednesday that without Landrieu, Cantwell would lead Democrats on the Energy panel and be chairwoman if Democrats held the majority.

He said that Cantwell is “a very good person, a very good friend of all of ours, but very, very leaning in a different left mode,” on environmental policies.

Manchin also said Landrieu is an advocate for gun rights and an important voice to keep in the Senate on Second Amendment issues.

Republicans say that Landrieu has been ineffective since she became chairman earlier this year, because the Obama administration hasn’t approved the Keystone XL pipeline and no Environmental Protection Agency rules have been curbed.

Manchin predicted that Democrats will narrowly maintain their Senate majority.

But no matter the majority, Manchin said it’s imperative that Landrieu remain in the top Energy Committee spot.

—This story was updated at 3:31 p.m.