West Virginia Senators disagree on climate bill

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WBOY) — A turn of events happened on taxes and climate change this week between Sen. Joe Manchin (D, WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY).

While recovering from COVID-19, Manchin came to an agreement on Wednesday to back a new plan in the Senate.

He told reporters Thursday morning that “this is not about being a Democrat, this is not about being a Republican. I didn’t do anything to help either side because I know they’re so dug in.”

This proposal would increase funding for renewable energy programs, which many see as a positive. Bob Keefe is the Executive Director of E2, an environmental and economic policy advocacy group. Keefe said that there are many benefits to renewable energy.

A benefit that Keefe mentions is that “wind and solar are the cheapest sources of energy there are.”

David Friend is the Managing Partner at Laurel Renewable Partners LLC. His company has backed the development of wind power in West Virginia at Black Rock Wind Farm in Northeastern West Virginia.

In what has chiefly been a coal state, “Most people have gotten a lot more comfortable with the fact that I think in general, things are moving slightly toward the renewable side,” Friend said.

Senator Shelly Moore Capito, expressed her disappointment in the deal.

“We need to be able to manage carbon emissions instead of putting your foot on the scale for certain things that are not going to meet our energy demands,” Capito said.

Capito said she supports renewable energy but believes more efforts should be placed elsewhere.

“It’s just inexplicable, and I think it will fuel this fire of inflation even more,” Capito said.

The full Senate will discuss the bill next week in their last session before its six-week Summer break.

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