(Robert Jonathan, Headline USA) U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin intends to withhold support from any Biden administration nominee to the Environmental Protection Agency in anticipation of a fundamental disagreement with sweeping energy-related regulations set to be issued later this week.
“This Administration is determined to advance its radical climate agenda and has made it clear they are hellbent on doing everything in their power to regulate coal and gas-fueled power plants out of existence, no matter the cost to energy security and reliability,” the West Virginia Democrat said in a statement.
“I fear that this Administration’s commitment to their extreme ideology overshadows their responsibility to ensure long-lasting energy and economic security and I will oppose all EPA nominees until they halt their government overreach.”
Senate confirmation could be problematic for EPA nominees, and nominees for other positions in the regime for that matter, without Manchin’s vote in the 51-49, Democrat-controlled upper chamber.
As part of Team Biden’s climate change mitigation policy, the upcoming standards reportedly impose onerous limitations on greenhouse gas emissions that could ultimately put power plants out of business.
“If the reports are true, the pending EPA proposal would impact nearly all fossil-fueled power plants in the United States, which generate about 60 percent of our electricity, without an adequate plan to replace the lost baseload generation,” Manchin also asserted in his statement.
Coal, in particular, is obviously very important to West Virginia’s economy.
“Neither the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law or the [Inflation Reduction Act] gave new authority to regulate power plant emission standards,” Manchin told Fox News.
Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is up for reelection in 2024 but has not indicated whether he will seek a third term in the state that is trending red.
He has also hinted at a possible third-party presidential run instead.
Gov. Jim Justice and U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney are among the politicians who will compete in a GOP primary for the Senate seat that appears to be a likely Republican pickup.
Against the backdrop of the ongoing debate over raising the national debt ceiling, Manchin seems to be experiencing buyer’s remorse for, in the end, going along with the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that Democrats jammed through the previous Congress on a straight party-line vote.
In a March 29 Wall Street Journal op-ed, he accused radical White House operatives of distorting the plain language of the law.
“Yet instead of implementing the law as intended, unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security,” Manchin wrote.
“Specifically, they are ignoring the law’s intent to support and expand fossil energy and are redefining ‘domestic energy’ to increase clean-energy spending to potentially deficit-breaking levels.”
He added that “Unless common-sense actions are taken now, America’s energy security will not only be jeopardized, but we will soon approach a debt-ceiling calamity that is completely avoidable.”