CHARLESTON — In a major speech on energy and jobs at West Virginia’s John Amos power plant, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) vowed today to fight against the Environment Protection Agency’s proposed new rules on greenhouse gas emissions and highlighted the connection between energy independence and creating good jobs. “Not everyone sees the connection between energy and jobs, and that’s why I wanted to visit John Amos, the largest power plant in American Electric Power’s system. Here at John Amos, you use American coal to employ American workers to provide energy to Americans. When it comes to energy, what could be more commonsense?” Senator Manchin said.
During the speech, Senator Manchin said that energy production shouldn’t belong to one political party or another. He pointed out that the plant’s namesake was Senator Robert C. Byrd’s first campaign manager and a Democratic National Committeeman.
“Now, who would believe that the largest power plant in AEP’s system is named after a hardcore Democrat? Forty years ago, no one would have thought twice,” Senator Manchin said. “That’s because energy isn’t a partisan issue. We all need power. We all want a clean environment. We all need good paying jobs. I’m fighting for every single one of those jobs.”
Senator Manchin outlined his energy approach: using all our domestic resources in a true “all of the above” strategy. He underscored the grave consequences if the country fails to embrace coal-fired generation, which produces about 45 percent of the energy used in the country and is projected to produce the lion’s share of energy decades into the future. “Because although we can – and should – use other sources of energy like wind, solar, biomass, natural gas – they simply don’t cut it. When coal makes up 39 percent of your energy production – and there’s nothing else out there that’s as dependable, reliable and affordable – you can’t survive without it,” Senator Manchin said. “So the Administration shouldn’t try to kill it. Instead, this Administration should be working on a true ‘all of the above’ approach.” Senator Manchin highlighted his efforts since arriving in the U.S. Senate to fight for balance when it comes to the economy, the environment and jobs. Since killing the cap-and-trade bill on the day he took office, some of Senator Manchin’s initiatives include:
· Proposing the EPA Fair Play Act to prevent the agency from retroactively vetoing permits; · Cosponsoring legislation to push for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline to bring oil from Canada, our closest neighbor and ally; · Proposing the American Alternative Fuels Act to allow the government to use more domestic fuels;
· Proposing the Fair Compliance Act to create reasonable deadlines for utilities to comply with EPA rules so that jobs aren’t destroyed, the electric grid isn’t jeopardized and families don’t have to pay skyrocketing utility bills. The speech was the keynote event of Senator Manchin’s two-week “Fighting for Every Job” tour, during which he will travel all over West Virginia to highlight the connection between jobs and energy independence, his agenda to help small businesses succeed, how to revitalize American manufacturing, the importance of training our workforce through higher education, and his growing effort to hire unemployed veterans.