Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Saturday slammed President Joe Biden for pledging to shut down America’s coal plants in a speech in California.
“President Biden’s comments are not only outrageous and divorced from reality, they ignore the severe economic pain the American people are feeling because of rising energy costs,” Manchin (D-W.Va.) said in a statement just days ahead of the midterm elections. “Comments like these are the reason the American people are losing trust in President Biden. … It seems his positions change daily depending on the audience and politics of the day.”
In a speech about the CHIPS Act in San Diego Friday, Biden said: “I was in Massachusetts about a month ago on the site of the largest old coal plant in America. Guess what? It cost them too much money.”
“No one is building new coal plants because they can’t rely on it, even if they have all the coal guaranteed for the rest of their existence of the plant. So it’s going to become a wind generation,” Biden added. “We’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar.”
Manchin, a staunch coal advocate who struck a deal with the Biden administration earlier this year to allow passage of the climate-focused Inflation Reduction Act, called Biden’s words “offensive and disgusting.”
“Let me be clear, this is something the President has never said to me. Being cavalier about the coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who literally put their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive and disgusting,” Manchin said. “The President owes these incredible workers an immediate and public apology and it is time he learn a lesson that his words matter and have consequences.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.