Speaking at an event Friday in Carlsbad, California, to highlight the Democratic Party’s achievements towards the midterms, Biden celebrated the passage of the Chips and Science Act by advocating for new energy technologies and suggesting that coal-fired power plants should be a thing of the past. should belong.
“No one is building new coal plants because they can’t rely on them, even though they have guaranteed all the coal for the rest of the plant’s existence. So it’s going to be a wind generation,” Biden said.
He later added, “We’re going to close these plants across America and get wind and solar power.”
That led to a reprimand from Manchin, who called the comments Saturday “outrageous and disconnected from reality”.
Manchin, who represents a coal-producing state, said that “comments like these are why the American people are losing faith in President Biden.”
“It seems that his positions are changing depending on the public and the politics of the day,” Manchin added. “Politicizing our nation’s energy policies would only bring higher prices and more pain to the American people.”
In an evenly divided Senate, important parts of Biden’s agenda have often succeeded or failed on Manchin’s leanings. The senator almost single-handedly braked Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a $2 trillion social spending package.
Manchin said Biden owes an apology to coal workers.
“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 this country and give it power is insulting and disgusting,” the statement said. senator.
Shortly thereafter, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a conciliatory statement.
“President Biden knows that the men and women of the coal country built this country: they ran the steel mills and factories, kept the houses, schools and offices warm,” Jean-Pierre said. “They made this the most productive and powerful nation on Earth.”
Jean-Pierre said on Saturday that Biden’s words were manipulated to cause harm, noting that the president has no desire to put more Americans out of work. The unemployment rate has fallen below 4 percent since Biden took office, she said, pointing out it was 6.2 percent in the last month before the president entered the White House.
“The president’s comments yesterday have been twisted to suggest meaning that was not intended; he regrets it if anyone who hears these comments takes offense,” said Jean-Pierre. “The president commented on an economic and technological fact: As it has been from the earliest days as an energy superpower, America is once again in the midst of an energy transition.”