Senator Joe Manchin demanded Saturday that President Biden apologizes for saying coal plants “all across America” will be closed, in a scathing statement just days before critical midterm elections.
“President Biden’s comments are not only outrageous and divorced from reality, but they also ignore the severe economic pain the American people are feeling because of rising energy costs,” Manchin, D-W.Va., said.
“Comments like these are why 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.”
Manchin added: “It seems his positions change depending on the audience and the day’s politics. Politicizing our nation’s energy policies would only bring higher prices and more pain for the American people.”
Biden said Friday that coal plants are too expensive to operate and that renewable energy will take their place.
“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 plant’s existence,” Biden said.
“So it’s going to become a wind generation,” Biden 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.”
Manchin, whose state has a long history with coal, has frequently criticized the Biden administration on energy policy.
However, Manchin’s remarks on Saturday come just days before a critical midterm election in which Democrats and Republicans are fighting for Senate control.
“Let me be clear, this is something the President has never said to me,” Manchin said of the Biden comments. “Being cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who literally put their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive and disgusting.