sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) criticized President Biden for making “offensive and disgusting” comments about shutting coal plants at every event in California on Friday.
Biden made comments at the headquarters of Viasat, a global communications company, to promote the CHIPS and Science Act, which he signed in August to provide $50 billion in incentives for domestic semiconductor manufacturing.
Biden said generating electricity from wind and solar is cheaper than generating from coal and oil. He said people don’t build new coal plants because they can’t rely on them.
“We’re going to close these factories across America and get wind and solar power,” he said.
Manchin said in a pronunciation on Twitter that Biden’s comments ignore the “serious economic pain” Americans are feeling from rising energy costs.
“Comments like these are why the American people are losing faith in President Biden and instead believe that he doesn’t understand the need to have a comprehensive energy policy that would keep our nation completely energy independent and safe,” he said. he.
Manchin, who during his time in the Senate was a strong supporter of coal plants — an industry that still makes up a large part of West Virginia’s economy — said Biden never mentioned a plan to shut down coal plants. Manchin added that Biden owes an apology to coal workers in West Virginia and across the country who have lost their jobs.
“To be Cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who are literally risking their lives to build and strengthen this country is offensive and disgusting,” Manchin said.
He said Biden’s views appear to be changing based on the public and politics of the day, and that politicking the country’s energy policies will only lead to higher prices.
Manchin was a key voice in the passage of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, a climate, health care and tax package that provided U.S. tax credits and incentives to move to cleaner energy sources while boosting fossil fuel production on public lands.
The White House did not immediately return a request from The Hill for comment.