Last Updated on November 5, 2022
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has demanded an apology after President Biden stated that all U.S. coal plants will be permanently closed in favor of solar and wind projects. Biden said that coal plants are “too expensive” to operate, angering Manchin, whose home state relies heavily on coal. Biden’s comments have also drawn backlash from candidates in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two battleground states where energy production has long been polled as a major issue for voters.
“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 the existence of the plant,” Biden said Friday.
“So it’s going to become a wind generation,” the president continued. “And all they’re doing is it’s going to save them a hell of a lot of money and using the same transmission line that they transmitted the coal-fired electric on, we’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar power.”
BREAKING: Biden just went to California and announced he will shut down coal plants all across America
You hear that, PA? pic.twitter.com/8IqX3bkQ7x
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 4, 2022
Biden’s comments came as energy woes continue to plague the global economy. In an effort to keep gas prices down prior to the midterms, the Biden Administration has released a significant portion of the nation’s strategic oil reserves for sale to foreign entities, including China and Saudi Arabia. The strategic oil reserve currently sits at its lowest level since the 1980’s, with the president agreeing to release additional supplies last month.
The global energy crisis has caused some European nations, including Germany, to reintroduce coal, while solar and wind projects have been dismantled to make way for the energy source that has long drawn the ire of climate activists. While solar and wind alternatives have long been favored by climate activists, they do not generate nearly the level of power that is generated by coal.
This has added to the backlash to Biden’s comments, which critics have framed as tone deaf.
Joe Manchin, who has long been critical of Biden’s energy policies despite voting with him on a number of key projects, demanded an apology.
“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 said. “Comments like these are the reason the American people are losing trust in President Biden and instead believes he does not understand the need to have an all-in energy policy that would keep our nation totally energy independent and secure.”
“It seems his positions change depending on the audience and the politics of the day. Politicizing our nation’s energy policies would only bring higher prices and more pain for the American people,” the West Virginia Senator added.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre later attempted to downplay Biden’s comments in a response to Manchin’s press release. “President Biden knows that the men and women of coal country built this nation: they powered its steel mills and factories, kept its homes and schools and offices warm. They made this the most productive and powerful nation on Earth,” Jean-Pierre said.
“The President’s remarks yesterday have been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended; he regrets it if anyone hearing these remarks took offense. The President was commenting on a fact of economics and technology: as it has been from its earliest days as an energy superpower, America is once again in the midst of an energy transition,” she went on to say.
President Biden has taken a number of actions that have pleased his party’s climate alarmist wing, including a pledge to fully overhaul the nation’s military vehicle fleet with electric hummers and trucks. He has also toyed with the idea of declaring a national “climate change” emergency, though he has yet to follow through.