We are witnessing a variation of the Green New Deal playing out before us in our nations’ Capitol and U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito are working tirelessly to defend the energy industries that employ tens of thousands of West Virginians and support our state’s entire economy. 

The egregious amendments insisted by President Biden and Congressional Leaders Schumer and Pelosi with help from their supporting cast of Senator Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others in the ongoing Budget Reconciliation package debate are in reality “the Green New Deal”.  Their proposals feature a Clean Energy Standard which imposes an 80 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and a Clean Energy Payment Program (or utility buy-out plan) which rewards electric utilities for annual carbon reductions and penalizes them when they fall short, as well as endless and expansive incentives for wind and solar energy production.

“While the mining industry is under attack by a President committed to moving our country away from fossil fuels, world events and energy markets have combined to dictate an increased demand for coal and West Virginia is starting to see the benefits,” said WV Coal Association President Chris Hamilton in addressing the Joint Legislative Committee on Energy at an Oct. 12th meeting in Charleston.

“Coal supplies have tightened, inventories are low, and the price of natural gas has skyrocketed,” said Hamilton. “This has given coal an advantage over competing fuels.” Hamilton noted that coal production in West Virginia is 20 percent ahead of 2020 output and the industry expects to finish the year strong.