WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Obama administration are “deniers” if they believe they can take drastic energy action without causing other deleterious effects, according to West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
“You know we talk about deniers. I would say they’re the deniers, not me. I think 7 billion people have had an impact and we have a responsibility. But also we have a responsibility to make sure that we still deliver even the light saving energy that people depend on and I think they are just throwing one caution off to the other,” Manchin told reporters Monday evening, reacting to the proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency.
“This is an unprecedented use of the Clean Air Act to wage war on an entire industry,” West Virginia Democratic Sen. Nick Rahall in a statement, who is facing a reelection challenge. “Rather than requiring individual plants to meet pollution control standards by installing pollution controls, EPA is now interpreting the law to give it the ability to set standards across fleets of coal-fired power plants, seeking to make reductions in a nebulous fashion. This is overt bootstrapping and makes this proposal even more attractive to legislate or litigate against.”
Another vulnerable Democratic senator took issue with the process.
“I do not think this policy should be pushed through regulation by EPA,” Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu told reporters Monday, explaining she believes the goals and timeframe should be determined by Congress, “so I am not supporting the rule.”
Landrieu was not all negative, however, “the flexibility and the timeframe is more preferable than a one-size fits all, but I am still opposed to the EPA rule,” She said, stressing that she was not commenting on the specifics.
Of how this will affect her upcoming reelection, the Louisiana Democrat noted that energy is just one issue of many.
“I am chair of the energy committee and on homeland security and I’m on the appropriations committee, so I am involved in hundreds of issues. So every issue is going to have a bearing between now and then,” she said. “This one no more and no less. It’s just the administration and I have different views about how we should move forward. And they want to do it through regulation and I think it needs to be done through energy policy through Congress, congressional action.”
Manchin said that he is currently looking at legislative options.
“The bottom line is this administration’s own energy department has given us the forecast. They’ve got to us an all in policy,” he said Monday. “They’ve got to use coal, they’ve got to us gas because it provides so much of the energy that we use, and coal is one of the two base loads that we have.”