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Biden's View of Coal Plants is a Real Problem



November 10, 2022 - Knowing where you’d like to end up is important, but unless you’ve got a clear understanding of your starting point and what needs to be done to reach your ultimate destination, you could get into deep trouble straightaway.

This is true when one is thinking about a real-life journey, of course, but also as metaphor. Because no one wants to be told, upon asking directions, “You can’t get there from here. At least not right now, anyway.”

When many of today’s so-called progressives talk — and talk and talk and talk — about climate change, they often speak in apocalyptic terms. The crisis is here and now! It’s an existential threat! Burning fossil fuels is destroying the planet!


Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from the coal state of West Virginia, is in a powerful position for directing the nation’s climate future.

Photo: Samuel Corum, Getty Images

So, one might reasonably ask, what to do? They’ve got the answer: renewables. Solar and wind and hydro power.

But their answer, sadly, is just a part of the story. It’s like knowing the destination without considering the route to get there.

This is what President Joe Biden did when he recently piped up up about ending coal as an energy source. Right now.

In response, Sen. Joe Manchin, the moderate Democrat from West Virginia whose vote was crucial in dragging the so-called Inflation Reduction Act across the finish line, gave the president a piece of his mind.

It’s difficult to blame him, really.

The White House promised Manchin that it would stop holding up permitting reform if he voted for the climate measure that was repackaged as an economic bill. Pipelines and transmission links would no longer be held hostage by the climate lobby. How’d that work out?

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The world still largely runs on fossil fuels, and will continue to do so for many, many years to come. You don’t need to like it. You can find it terribly upsetting. But this is how it is, and how it will be.

There isn’t sufficient clean energy, enough battery storage, or the ability to transmit the power that is generated from one place to another to make the green dream anything close to successful anytime soon. As such, what’s needed — for now and for quite some time ahead — is a recognition of reality. And a long-term plan to get greener over time.

But not today. Because it cannot happen.

Simply put, Biden was wrong and Manchin is correct.