Energy

Joe Manchin Explains Why He Torpedoed Democrats’ Green New Deal

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said Tuesday that he voted against the Green New Deal because the ambitious climate proposal was not a realistic idea and failed to account for the role fossil fuels might play in tackling global warming.

“I think we need to focus on real solutions that recognize the role fossil fuels will continue to play,” he said in a statement following the vote. “This climate problem is a massive one and we must act, but aspirational documents will not solve this crisis — real solutions focused on innovation will” He provided the statement to Politico reporter Anthony Adragna.

“Whether it be successfully commercializing emissions-reducing technologies in the power, manufacturing, or transportation sectors, the U.S. must lead the world in innovation,” Manchin said, adding that “we must do so in a way that creates meaningful opportunity for those communities here in the U.S. that have already been left behind.”

Manchin was one of only three Democrats who voted against the resolution, which seeks to phase out all fossil fuels within a dozen years. Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Democratic Alabama Sen. Doug Jones also voted no. The rest of their fellow Democratic colleagues voted present. Republicans defeated the proposal 57 to 0.(RELATED: McConnell And Senate Republicans Vote To Kill Green New Deal)

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed "Green New Deal" to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The resolution, which was introduced in February by New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls for “10-year national mobilizations” toward a series of goals aimed at fighting global warming. A separate fact sheet claims the plan would “mobilize every aspect of American society on a scale not seen since World War 2.”

Manchin generally supports President Donald Trump’s energy agenda and has voted with the administration on key appointments to slots overseeing parts of U.S. energy policy, such as former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who resigned in January. Manchin hails from a pro-coal state. The West Virginia senator’s support for fossils frequently roils environmentalists.

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