Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was speaking some common sense this week. In an interview with CNN, Manchin provided explanation for why he would not be supporting the $3.5 Trillion reconciliation bill and urged his progressive colleagues in the house to end threats to tank the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
While discussing the clean energy provisions in the reconciliation bill he said, “It makes no sense to me at all for us to take billions of dollars and pay utilities for what they are going to do as the market transitions.” Manchin went on to acknowledge the progress that the U.S. has made cutting emissions over the past two decades, thanks in large part to an increased use of natural gas. Citing the Texas energy crisis this past February, he wisely pointed out that rushing a transition to renewable energy can create severe grid reliability issues. And when pressed on AOC’s claim that he is “bought and paid for” by the oil and gas industry, Manchin brushed it off as false information intended to “divide, divide, divide.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema (D-AZ) are the only Democrats expected to vote with their common sense GOP colleagues against the reconciliation bill.
The Bottom Line: In the words of Sen. Manchin, we “can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” The clean energy transition is happening. We shouldn’t spend billions on something the free market will take care of on its own.