Energy & Environment

Climate activists target Manchin

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks to reporters after leaving the Capitol following a nomination vote on Thursday, October 7, 2021.
Greg Nash

Climate activists, organizations and scientists targeted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) amid news reports that a major climate program was likely to be cut from the reconciliation package because he opposed it.

“He plans to gut Biden’s climate plan, and with it the chances for swift global progress. This is high on the list of most consequential actions ever taken by an individual Senator; you’ll be able to see the impact of this vain man in the geologic record,” tweeted Bill McKibben, who helped found, which advocates for renewable energy and seeks to end fossil fuel projects.

“Joe Manchin just launched a hand grenade at Glasgow,” Michael Mann, a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, tweeted. “W/out a clean energy standard in the reconciliation package, Biden admin cannot meet pledge of 50% reduction in U.S. carbon emissions by 2030. And international climate negotiations begin to collapse.”

The Sunrise Movement, a youth movement to stop climate change, said in a post on Twitter that “Joe Manchin and the fossil fuel industry don’t care if we make it out of this climate crisis dead or alive. This is #PeopleVsFossilFuels.”

On Friday evening, multiple reports, including from The New York Times and CNN, indicated that Manchin would not be supporting the Clean Electricity Payment Program, aimed at U.S. electricity production emissions by 80 percent before 2030. The program tries to use fines and grants to incentivize away from natural gas and coal and toward renewable energy.

Manchin, who has been public about his opposition to the initiative, has raised issues about its reliability and has argued that companies should not be paid to do something that the industry is already leaning toward doing anyway.

“Senator Manchin has clearly expressed his concerns about using tax payer dollars to pay private companies to do things they’re already doing. He continues to support efforts to combat climate change while protecting American energy independence and ensuring our energy reliability,” Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon said in an email to The Hill on Friday night.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) made clear earlier this week that the climate provisions are integral to the reconciliation package.

“Climate cannot be on the chopping block in this or any budget,” Padilla at a San Francisco event alongside Pelosi.

“We cannot afford to leave these problems to be dealt with another day,” he said.

Tags Alex Padilla Alex Padilla Climate change Joe Manchin Joe Manchin Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi Sunrise Movement

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