New Prominence for a Pro-coal Senator

The Story: 

Senator Joe Manchin (D – WV), an enthusiastic supporter of his state’s coal industry, will be the ranking minority member of the important Energy and Natural Resources Committee beginning in January.  


Manchin’s new role is understood to be bad news for environmental activists, who favor low or no carbon emission fuels and very much disfavor coal.

One prominent anti-coal activist, Bill McKibben, tweeted soon after hearing the news of Manchin’s new prominence, that it is “depressing” news for a “key moment in earth history.”

Senator Chris Murphy (D – Conn) offered words of reassurance to those with such concerns, “On climate, we’re going to make decisions collectively as a caucus. Nobody in our caucus has a veto over climate policy — whether they’re a ranking member on a committee or not.”

The Thing to Know: 

The Center for Responsive Politics says that Manchin, during the course of his various campaigns for Senate, has received a total of $419,000 from the oil and gas interests, and $750,000 from mining industries.

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