West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin at center of Biden agenda debate on Capitol Hill

West Virginia

SHEPHERDSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — It’s all about one West Virginia U.S. Senator and the Biden climate agenda — West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is the talk of the nation’s capital. What do the folks back home think of all the attention he’s getting?

It’s not just West Virginia climate activists protesting Joe Manchin’s support for fossil fuels. They showed up Monday night at the Washington, D.C. marina where he docks his houseboat. They say that not embracing a clean energy future leads to natural disasters.

“He does not just get to sit on his yacht while his state drowns in floods,” said Sophia Geiger, climate activist.

Back in West Virginia, Manchin’s constituents in the eastern panhandle agree with those protestors at the boatyard.

Lucia Valentine runs a grassroots green energy climate policy group, Mom’s Clean Air Force.

“Communities and families like my own have suffered from flooding and extreme climate disasters and a lack of economic opportunity here in our state,” Valentine said.

They want Manchin to get with the Biden program and stop the stalemate on Capitol Hill.

“Communities and families like my own have suffered from flooding and extreme climate disasters and a lack of economic opportunity here in our state,” said Valentine.

Manchin may be taking his cues from another constituency — like Eric August, a retired U.S. Marine who admires the Mountain State senator bucking the Biden White House.

“Joe Manchin is a realist. He’s a straight-forward, straight-shooting guy, no BS,” said August.

August isn’t bothered by Manchin’s holdings in a coal brokerage, as reflected in his financial disclosure, or his generous backing from the coal, oil and natural gas industries.

As far as this supporter is concerned, “Joe Manchin says, ‘Look. everybody can get what they want. Just not today. Let’s do it in a time frame that’s realistic.'”

Manchin points to the rising world demand for West Virginia energy during the pandemic.

How quickly this stalemate will end is anyone’s guess. As power demand remains robust, supplies of renewable energy sources like wind and hydro-electric power have fallen short of forecasts.

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