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 January 25, 2024

Joe Manchin accuses Joe Biden of "ignoring the law" to pursue climate agenda

Sen. Joe Manchin believes President Joe Biden's administration is guilty of "ignoring the law in pursuit of its radical climate agenda" in its tax incentive for electric vehicles, the Washington Examiner reported. The West Virginia Democrat is also concerned this scheme will benefit all but those it was intended to help.

The Biden administration has announced a plan that will funnel federal tax dollars into incentives for a nationwide move toward electric vehicles. Under the program, as much as 30% of the costs for installing chargers would be reimbursed to people and businesses in urban or low-income areas.

However, Manchin believes most areas of the country will be considered eligible, thus watering down the effect on the truly impoverished areas that need it. He believes it's part of a wider problem with Biden's environmental policy.

"The Administration just will not stop ignoring the law in pursuit of its radical climate agenda — no matter the cost," Manchin said. He said it "spits in the face of rural America with a brand-new interpretation that makes close to the entire country eligible for a credit."

The initiative "was designed to help drive investment in fueling infrastructure for electric, hydrogen, or natural-gas powered vehicles in rural and low-income areas where private businesses can’t or won’t invest." Instead, the wider eligibility makes it irrelevant to these areas.

"This proposed guidance ensures that rural Americans will remain stuck at the end of the investment line, the exact problem this tax credit was supposed to address, choosing to give hand-outs to those that don’t need it while ignoring its responsibility to provide a hand up to rural communities at risk of being left behind," Manchin continued. He sees this as part of a broader pattern.

"This proposal is just another example in a long line of this Administration’s attempts to force electric vehicles on Americans and spend money that Congress didn’t account for and doesn’t have in the budget," Manchin said. The moderate Democrat represents West Virginia, which is impacted by this both as an energy-producing state and one of the most impoverished states in the union.

Manchin went on to criticize Biden for his underhanded use of the Inflation Reduction Act as well. "The IRA can do so much good for our country, especially rural states such as West Virginia," the lawmaker said.

"This Administration must follow law and implement the bill as written, not the law they tried to pass but didn’t," Manchin added. From the beginning, Manchin was a staunch supporter of the IRA for what it could do for his constituents until Biden began abusing it.

This latest conflict is not the first time Manchin has butted heads with the administration over environmental policy. As chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, Manchin sometimes works with Biden and often finds himself at odds when it comes to the coal industry.

These conflicting goals became an outright conflict when Biden said he'd shut down the coal industry in 2022, Politico reported at the time. On Nov. 5 that year, Biden said, "We’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar."

Manchin immediately called out Biden's remarks as "not only outrageous and divorced from reality; they ignore the severe economic pain the American people are feeling because of rising energy costs." He added that it was one of the reasons Biden was "losing trust" among voters.

"Comments like these are the reason the American people are losing trust in President Biden. It seems his positions change daily depending on the audience and politics of the day," Manchin said as Biden often swings between championing and demonizing coal.

Biden's radical environmental policies are routinely an economic threat with little payoff for the environment. However, the electric vehicle incentive has an added layer of issues by leaving behind the impoverished communities it was supposedly crafted to help while moving the nation towards renewables the free market doesn't want.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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