Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, supports the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act and asserts that it will decrease taxes for Americans of working-class backgrounds.
NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! According to his Federal Election Commission reports, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has received millions in donations over the years from groups associated with the oil, gas, and coal industries, but he also receives funding from businesses and organizations involved in green energy.
Between January 2021 and June 2022, Manchin received contributions from political action groups and businesses totaling over $1.1 million, a small portion of his overall haul of over $7 million during that time. Manchin has gotten thousands of dollars in donations from green and renewable energy groups, although corporate PACs and other organizations mostly support him from the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel sectors.
In the past 18 months, organizations like PACs affiliated with the West Virginia-based solar and wind energy company Clearway Energy Group, the Charlottesville, Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy, EDF Renewables, and EDP Renewables have given to Manchin’s campaign.
Manchin’s term in the Senate expires in 2024; he has not said if he intends to run for re-election. Manchin’s office was contacted by Fox News Digital, but no statement was given.
On July 19, 2022, Senator Joe Manchin addresses the media outside a session of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Capitol Hill. Elizabeth Frantz of Reuters
Campaign finance tracker OpenSecrets named Manchin the top beneficiary of contributions from the coal, oil and gas, mining, tobacco, and auto industries. Manchin is well-known for receiving large donations from fossil fuel firms and lobbyists. Manchin’s backing from fossil fuel firms is strengthened by donations from people with ties to the energy sector, and he continues to make money from the coal company he started before entering politics.
Climate groups and progressive lawmakers blasted Manchin as a traitor to the Democratic Party after he scuttled the Build Back Better program and the significant climate proposals tethered to it.
After Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced their agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for climate programs, the tone of the debate altered.
The Inflation Reduction Act accelerates various fossil fuel projects, expediting approvals for extraction licenses and pipelines, while giving billions to climate grant and tax credit programs. This has led some climate activists to condemn the idea as having a chimeric character.
On May 4, 2022, during a Senate hearing, Sen. Joe Manchin grilled Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. (Image credit: Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images)
Brett Hartl, the Center for Biological Diversity’s director of government affairs, declared in a statement last week that “this is a climate death pact.” “Limiting the development of renewable energy sources to extensive new oil and gas extraction is counterproductive. This bill’s new lease requirements would fuel the climate catastrophes raging through our nation, and they are a smack in the face to the communities battling to defend themselves from filthy fossil fuels.”
But other than Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, most leftist members of Congress who care about the environment support the legislation. The law was hailed last week as “the biggest climate action in human history” by Sen. Brian Schatz, a hawkish Democrat from Hawaii.
Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said last week in an interview with Politico that he told Manchin that progressive lawmakers would back a package with specific fossil fuel allowances if it featured “huge climate expenditures.”
In a conversation earlier this year, Khanna claimed he told Manchin, “If you can get the massive climate portion in, it will be 10-to-1 in terms of the positive impact, and I think you will be seen as helping to make history as having ushered in, from the state of West Virginia, the most aggressive climate legislation in the history of the world.”
On January 12, 2020, Rep. Ro Khanna addresses a crowd during a climate rally in Iowa City. Scott Morgan for Reuters
The Inflation Reduction Act increases investment on green energy initiatives by $433 billion and expands the Affordable Care Act’s benefits. By earning $739 billion in income through a corporation tax increase and more stringent IRS enforcement, the extra spending would be covered. Democrats assert that the law will lower inflation in the future since the deficit will be balanced by the remaining higher revenue.
Republicans have slammed Manchin for bowing to President Biden’s political agenda after standing his ground against the Build Back Better promises since the Inflation Reduction Act’s announcement. And some claim that if he runs again, he’d have a difficult time winning re-election.
Manchin’s seat would be a target for the GOP in 2024, according to Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Politico reported on Wednesday.
Editor Thomas Phippen works at Fox News.