Joe Manchin’s Demands Could Have Huge Impact on Democrats’ Climate Agenda

Joe Manchin's Demands Could Have Huge Impact on Democrats' Climate Agenda

( – Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been a thorn in the side of progressives in Congress. He tanked the Build Back Better deal, and now he’s threatening their climate agenda. Manchin is a staunch advocate for the coal industry due to its importance in his state, so he’s using the current energy issues to his advantage to push for more fossil fuel production.

Manchin’s Current Arguments

The Wall Street Journal reported Machin wants any climate legislation to include financial help for the oil and gas industry. He also wants to see changes to make drilling easier on federal lands.

Meanwhile, his fellow Democrats are pushing for clean energy alternatives. They want the country to leave fossil fuels in the past. Still, with a 50/50 split in the Senate, every vote counts. They need Manchin’s vote, so they’ve made room for compromise to pass legislation.

Manchin supports making the US more energy-independent, and this requires taking advantage of the country’s ability to produce oil and gas. According to the Wall Street Journal, inside sources explained the senator wants to focus on fossil fuels right now but is okay with considering clean energy policies for the future. His main goals appear to be bringing down costs for Americans and increasing our nation’s stability within the market.

Manchin’s Recent Activity

Manchin joined Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in penning a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to increase energy production in the US on April 1. The focus was on pushing for an extension to the offshore drilling program in the Gulf of Mexico for another five years.

The senator has also been outspoken about finishing the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in West Virginia. He released a statement on April 8 asking the Biden administration to take the steps needed to move the project forward.

Manchin’s Past Opposition

This incident is far from the first time Manchin has opposed his party’s plans. He refused to vote for the Build Back Better act, which meant it could not move forward. The moderate senator was also against changing the filibuster rules and refused to vote in favor of Sarah Bloom Raskin for the Federal Reserve.

Manchin has shown he isn’t afraid of going against the grain, which might mean trouble as the midterms approach. Democrats are at risk of losing the majority in both houses of Congress if they don’t accomplish something meaningful in the coming months. A red wave in November’s midterms would likely kill any chance of the Progressives passing a climate agenda.

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