fresh voices from the front lines of change








Four years ago, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin got elected to the U.S. Senate after pinning to a tree the House “cap-and-trade” bill, and shooting it.

Now, Manchin is acknowledging that climate is a problem. Politico quotes:

We have an impact on the climate and we have a responsibility. And if you don’t think so, you’re a denier.

That’s the good news.

Then Manchin proceeded to claim that climate hawks are deniers, too:

If you believe that we can continue to run this country and this economy without any fossil [fuels] or any coal — if you do, then you’re a denier.

Senator, I think you should re-read that cap-and-trade bill you plugged.

You will find that the “deniers” who drafted it made sure to include $60 billion in coal subsidies to help the industry adapt to the proposed regulations largely by supporting mechanism to capture the carbon emitted by burning coal.

One of lead co-sponsors, then-Rep. Ed Markey, advertised the extra help being offered: “We have in [the bill] huge subsidies for clean coal. Huge. Much more that we have in for renewables.”


In fact, the help for coal led to a loss of support from some environmental groups, like Greenpeace.

In other words, it was a compromise bill. Exactly the kind of bill that Sen. Manchin is suggesting we pass today.

It would be great if Manchin followed through on his comments and reopened negotiations on comprehensive climate legislation.

But he might want to think about his own role demagoguing the good-faith compromise efforts of the recent past. And stop calling supporters of that bill “deniers” of anything.

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