Pro-coal Groups ‘Shocked and Disheartened’ by Manchin’s Support for Inflation Reduction Act

A collection of pro-coal groups blasted the “Inflation Reduction Act,” backed by supposedly pro-energy Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), in a letter declaring that the measure would be disastrous for their industry.

Manchin, who previously opposed the bill, announced last week that he will be supporting the Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022” after receiving several assurances from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

In the letter lambasting the legislation, the pro-coal groups also called out Manchin and questioned his motivations for past claims of being against eliminating fossil fuels. Some of the signers of the letter include the presidents of the Kentucky Coal Association, the Ohio Coal Association and the West Virginia Coal Association.

“This legislation is so egregious, it leaves those of us that call Senator Manchin a friend, shocked and disheartened,” the letter declared. “The current Schumer-Manchin draft agreement on climate and energy frankly leaves us questioning the motivation and sincerity of Manchin’s previous stance and his repeated chant: we must ‘Innovate not eliminate’. The current Schumer-Manchin draft agreement will quickly diminish our coal producing operations and all but obviate any need to innovate coal assets.”

“Why support anything Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi or John Kerry want for coal? It is incomprehensible why any miner would support the Manchin-Schumer legislation which will not only put an immediate stop to the investment and financing behind our states’ coal and electric generating assets but forever foreclose on America’s coal industry!” the letter continued.

United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts has called on Congress to approve the legislation, claiming that it will be beneficial to coalfield jobs.

“We are very pleased that Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were able to come to an agreement on legislation that includes full and permanent funding of the excise tax that funds the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund,” Roberts said in a statement.

“We are also pleased to see that provisions were included in the IRA that will extend tax credits to renewable energy supply chain manufacturers that build plants in the coalfields, which will be a big step toward providing good jobs to these distressed communities,” he added. “The enhanced tax credits for carbon capture and storage included in the legislation will also be a boon for coalfield jobs. We urge swift passage of this legislation by Congress.”

In a statement released last week, Manchin asserted that the bill would invest in all forms of energy.

The West Virginia Democrat claimed that the measure “invests in the technologies needed for all fuel types – from hydrogen, nuclear, renewables, fossil fuels and energy storage – to be produced and used in the cleanest way possible. It is truly all of the above, which means this bill does not arbitrarily shut off our abundant fossil fuels. It invests heavily in technologies to help us reduce our domestic methane and carbon emissions and also helps decarbonize around the world as we displace dirtier products.”

While all of these disagreements occur, the question remains as to why the legislation discusses energy at all, considering the fact that it is supposed to be centered around reducing inflation at a time when Americans are suffering from skyrocketing prices on everyday goods. The bill will instead be focused on spending more tax dollars on Democrats’ pet projects, while also raising taxes on corporations which will only serve to increase inflation.