(AP) CHARLESTON, West Virginia Joe Manchin, a senator from West Virginia, has said that he does not factor in criticism or campaign contributions when deciding on legislation.
The conservative Democrat sounded exasperated when asked if the sudden increase in campaign donations he’s received from oil and gas interests in recent months had affected his voting.
In a roundtable discussion held in Charleston on Friday, he claimed that the “far left” was after him because of the outsized role his office played in drafting the massive economic package signed this week by U.S. President Joe Biden “supporters of green causes and the fossil fuel industry together.
He said that “nobody in their right mind” would put themselves through what he and his staff have over the past eight months, “taking all the crap we’ve taken from everybody in the country,” if they weren’t doing what they believe is right.
I can play both the good guy and the bad guy in the same day,” he boasted. “I will not apologize for standing up for what I believe in. It’s been my long-held belief that if I can articulate that, I should be allowed to cast a ballot. I’m prepared for the inevitable backlash that comes with so many yes votes. Well, that just goes with the territory.
The environmental community, which includes many of Manchin’s friends on the far left, is “totally committed to dispersing and basically eliminating fossil,” so he was skeptical that lawmakers would change the law.
Nonetheless, Manchin argued that “no way you can get rid of fossil in any short period of time.”
You can clean it up and use it more efficiently during the transition period, but it’s here to stay, so you might as well make the most of it “The man spoke up and explained. As a result, I was concerned that they grasp the significance of this point.
While on the flip side, he claimed to have “been criticized by all my friends in the coal industry.” “they feel the bill doesn’t do enough to safeguard their interests.
Manchin, whose family owns the coal brokerage Enersystems, said, “(They) for some reason think that this is going to be harmful.” As one official put it, “I think basically it is a pathway forward so that we can continue to produce industry, provide energy that our country needs.”
To speed up federal permitting and make energy projects less susceptible to being blocked under federal acts, Manchin proposed a separate list of bills in accordance with the Democratic leadership. For the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a project opposed by environmentalists for a long time, he pleaded with federal agencies to “take all necessary actions” to expedite its completion.
The 303-mile (487-kilometer) pipeline would run through West Virginia and Virginia, carrying natural gas extracted from the Appalachian Basin. The pipeline’s completion has been pushed back by four years, to an estimated $6.6 billion, due to legal disputes.
According to Open Secrets’s compilation of campaign finance records, Manchin has received more money than any other member of Congress this election cycle from natural gas pipeline companies, with donations ranging from $20,000 in 2020 to $331,910 in 2022.
On Friday, he stated that expanding the market and creating jobs were two of his primary motivations in supporting the pipeline. He denied that financial support for his campaign played any role.
The cynical part of that, I get. The general public may view this and think, “Well, they’re just taking care of themselves.” “And he went on to say. “I apologize, but I have no idea who pays for this. That’s not something I engage with; I certainly don’t promote it.
He argued that representatives must “rise above” corporate and partisan pressure to serve their constituents’ best interests.
“Politics has become a very nasty, destructive process… both sides are guilty of weaponizing the good of America for the good of the party—both sides, and it’s just not right for our country,” he said “His words.
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