Environmental extremists are blowing their green lids over the possibility that U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) may become the ranking Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. That committee wields significant power in determining the government’s policies on energy production and use in this country.
First, we need to explain the odd circumstances that could lead Manchin to the post. The Senator is actually pretty far down the seniority list. However, none of the Senators ahead of him is available or interested in the position.
As Bloomberg.com explained, current ranking Democrat, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, may become the ranking minority member on the Commerce Committee since the current ranking Democrat, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, lost re-election.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is next after Cantwell, but Bloomberg reports he will likely opt to keep his position as top Democrat on the Finance Committee. Vermont’s Bernie Sanders is next, but he would have to give up his spot as ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee and that’s not likely. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow would be after Sanders, but she has said she wants to retain her seniority on the Agriculture Committee.
Manchin is after that, and that’s why the extreme greens are livid. Manchin is a centrist from a coal state who avoids ideological fights and consistently seeks compromise on controversial issues—not something the radical environmentalists can fathom.
“Joe Manchin is an obviously unacceptable choice,” Lukas Ross, senior policy analyst at Friends of Earth told Bloomberg.com. “Progressives are losing faith in Chuck Schumer, if they haven’t already lost it.”
Monday, the environmental group Sunrise Movement demonstrated outside Schumer’s Manhattan office in opposition to Manchin. Sunrise Movement is the same group that protested against Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she rejected socialist Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a Select Committee on a Green New Deal.
That audacious proposal calls for the country to move completely to renewable fuels—no coal, natural gas or nuclear power—by 2050, while simultaneously providing a legal right “that obligates the federal government to provide a job for anyone who asks for one and to pay them a livable wage.”
The Green New Deal is fuzzy on the cost of all this, but consider what supporters of the plan wrote in The Huffington Post: “Anything that is technically feasible is financially affordable.”
With dunderhead economic logic like that accompanying the increasingly radical and ill-conceived green agenda, let’s hope Manchin does advance to the minority’s senior leadership position on Energy and Natural Resource because some common sense will be in order.