By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s pushback against what advocates say is the most critical climate measure in a social services and climate budget bill that includes much of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda has West Virginia environmentalists on edge.
West Virginia’s Democrat senior senator has questioned the need for the proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program, a $150 billion plan that would authorize grants for electricity providers that increase clean electricity use by 4% or more annually from 2023 through 2030 and penalties for those that don’t.
Manchin, who has extensive financial coal industry ties, has told the White House that he strongly opposes the program, The New York Times reported Friday evening.
Manchin spokeswoman Sam Runyon emphasized the senator’s unhappiness with the program when asked for comment.
“Senator Manchin has clearly expressed his concerns about using taxpayer dollars to pay private companies to do things they’re already doing,” Runyon wrote in an email. “He continues to support efforts to combat climate change while protecting American energy independence and ensuring our energy reliability.” …
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