Various leaders within the coal industry put Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on blast for the way he agreed with Democratic leadership about a climate and tax-focused reconciliation bill that they claim would "severely threaten" the industry.
As part of a release put forth on Wednesday, one group of eight state trade organizations from the coal industry, America’s State Coal Associations, called out Manchin for supporting the new "Inflation Reduction Act." The group stated that Manchin's support for this new package, which has been heavily praised by the Biden administration and lauded by climate activists such as Biden’s climate czar John Kerry, leads those within the coal industry to question the overall "motivation and sincerity" from Macnshin regarding his interests in protecting fossil fuels.
"The more you read and digest the provisions found in over 700+ pages of legislative digest, the more it becomes abundantly clear this legislation will serve to severely threaten American coal and the $261 Billion of annual revenues that it produces for the nation’s overall economy and attendant 381,000 American jobs," expressed the coal associates in a release.
"This legislation is so egregious, it leaves those of us that call Senator Manchin a friend, shocked and disheartened. Senator Manchin has seemingly fought against numerous climate measures advanced over the past year by the national democratic establishment insisting that America’s Coal assets be protected and allowed to continue to operate as carbon reduction strategies are developed and proven to be effective within reasonable cost and performance parameters. The current Schumer-Manchin draft agreement on climate and energy frankly leaves us questioning the motivation and sincerity of Manchin’s previous stance and his repeated chant: we must ‘Innovate not eliminate.’"
The group then turned its ire on the bill itself, highlighting that it was praised by President Joe Biden, who labeled it "the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis" in comments made just last week. The statement also highlighted that both Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have "signed off" on the bill, "which alone speaks volumes to the extreme and deadly scenario it brings to our nation’s coal industry."
Pelosi officially endorsed the bill via a letter sent to the Senate leadership on Tuesday, while Sanders gave a floor speech in which he spoke about what he thought were the merits and failings of the plan, and issued a suggestion that included a few amendments to be added when the Senate takes it up for discussion.
The group also highlights a few different and specific provisions that will damage overall coal production.
"By turbocharging the lofty incentives that already extend to renewable energy, our nation’s … coal electric generation assets will continue to be devalued and thrust into rapid decline as will the thousands of miners, plant workers and the 371,000 American families who household incomes depend on these jobs," stated the group. "The Schumer-Manchin bill doubles the current tax on coal and subjects mining companies to the highest tax of any other American business effectively costing mining companies tens of millions of dollars in new taxes and adding to the complexities of keeping state fuel and household energy costs stable and competitive. More disturbing, the Schumer-Manchin proposal provides President Biden’s EPA with the clear and unbridled ability and expanded budget to regulate greenhouse gases and state coal assets however they deem appropriate or in the most punitive manner possible."
"It is incomprehensible why any miner would support the Manchin-Schumer legislation which will not only put an immediate stop to the investment and financing behind our states coal and electric generating assets but forever foreclose on America’s coal industry!" finished the statements from the group.