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.  

Background: 

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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