Sen. Joe Manchin Does Right; BBB Dead – For Now
By Peter Murphy
The proponents of the socialistic Build Back Better legislation, which was the centerpiece of President Biden’s legislative agenda, were (and remain) apoplectic over U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s refusal to support its passage.
Sen. Manchin did the right thing for the right reasons – which is a breath of fresh air in the often fetid world of legislating and politics. Even better, he will survive and thrive from a political standpoint.
The climate change provisions alone in this bill warranted its demise, which was a key reason Sen. Manchin put the final nail in its coffin – at least for now.
The struggle for reason on climate policy is not over.
Sen. Manchin represented his West Virginia constituents and his convictions. His state’s residents did not support this bill, according to polls, and he knew it would harm its energy employers, particularly in coal and natural gas.
It’s quite hilarious to read the silly rage of people like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Congressman Mondaire Jones who represents the well-to-do lower Hudson River Valley suburbs of New York City. Both claimed that West Virginians would have benefitted and are going to be angry at Sen. Manchin – as if these two know more about that state than the senator who represents it does.
It’s also stunning to see the White House, in the person of presidential spokesperson, Jenn Psaki, attackSen. Manchin so vehemently, which is short-sighted political malpractice.
There also is a threat from West Virginia “activists” (probably paid protesters) who are going to go after Joe Manchin. I’m sure he’s trembling in his cowboy boots over such bluster.
The climate provisions of this bill contained $500 billion worth of “energy investments” which is a euphemism for corporate welfare. Indeed, the climate alarmist camp is beside itself thinking that Manchin’s action puts the planet itself at risk (e.g., see “Morano Minute” here). They were eager to see taxpayer cash used to manipulate the free market for their agenda and for handouts to companies to construct more solar panels, electric cars and wind turbines. This was ostensibly to meet President Biden’s artificial deadline of lowering greenhouse emissions to 2005 levels by 2030 and to reach carbon “neutrality” by 2050.
Newsflash for the climate cottage industry: attaining carbon goals won’t matter, with or without Build Back Better, for the simple reason that China, India, Russia and Africa are not playing along. They are expandingtheir use of coal, oil and gas to build their economies and standard of living for their populations, just like the U.S. has done. Which means killing fossil fuel industries and jobs in West Virginia and throughout the U.S. to attain a national carbon reduction goal, if possible, won’t matter. Not even a little bit. It will be more than offset by most of the rest of the planet’s energy use.
Knowing this, why should Sen. Manchin sacrifice his constituents for this carbon fool’s errand?
All of which begs the question, why is it Sen. Joe Manchin seemingly by himself among his fellow Democratic politicians having to deep-six this bill? Where were the other Democratic members of Congress, especially those who represent so many Americans with the same concerns about lost jobs and skyrocketing energy costs?
The ominous truth is that the Democratic Party, which once represented blue collar workers across the board, has sacrificed them for the political/financial support of wealthy climate interests. So many of the same donors to the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, along with a billionaires’ row of people like Michael Bloomberg, underwrite the Democratic Party. It’s a free country to become rich and to donate to whomever one desires. But this level of support has made climate fanaticism the Party’s 21st Century religion. Sen. Manchin is an apostate, which enrages so many.
As for the dwindling number of Democratic moderates in Congress, why didn’t they speak out? Why leave Sen. Manchin to take all the arrows? In addition to the climate donor interests, I believe they hid in the weeds and supported the Build Back Better legislation to avoid risking a primary race from another, more radical Democrat – which already befell some congressional colleagues. They don’t want the same fate.
Build Back Better and its pointless climate corporate giveaways and a litany of other baleful provisions are dead for now. But, like King Edward’s English army after its defeat by the Scottish rebels in the movieBraveheart, “they’ll be back,” as Mel Gibson’s “William Wallace” admonished.
The fight for energy sanity and climate realism that Sen. Joe Manchin displayed will continue – and he will need reinforcements.
Peter Murphy is Senior Fellow for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).