Manchin on Green New Deal: It's a Nice 'Dream,' But I Have to 'Work With the Realities'

February 14, 2019

Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) on Wednesday night took a shot at freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez's (D., N.Y.) Green New Deal resolution, saying "everybody has a right to dream."

Manchin appeared on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" to discuss multiple issues, including the 14-page joint resolution that was sponsored by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.).

Host Chris Cuomo asked Manchin why he isn't a fan of the Green New Deal, prompting him to call the resolution a "dream."

"Chris, first of all the Green New Deal is a dream. It's not a deal. It's a dream and that's fine. People should have dreams, a perfect world what they would like to see," Manchin said. "I've got to work with the realities and I've got to work with practical, what I have in front of me."

Manchin went on to say his role is making sure the United States has affordable energy 24/7 and that the Democrats can't just be deniers and call for a ban on coal, natural gas, or oil. He continued by pointing out the plan is talking about global climate, not the climate in North American or the United States and that they will have to find a way to persuade China and other countries with a carbon footprint to be carbon-free.

"You seem to be saying two things, Senator. You have to find ways to clean up the damage that we're doing to the environment, but you don't like the Green New Deal because you say it's a dream that you'll get away from fossil fuels? Don't you have to get way from them in order to a have better tomorrow?" Cuomo asked.

"You can't just eliminate. The rest of the world is not going to eliminate. By 2040, the IEA, International Energy Authority basically has said China will still be relying 51 percent on coal," Manchin said. "India will still be at 57 to 60 percent. The United States will still be using 20-25 percent. If that's  the reality, don't you think we ought to find ways that we can remove the CO2 in an affordable fashion and reuse this energy?"

Manchin concluded by saying that the Democratic tent is "very big" and that he would advise Democrats to come to West Virginia as a testing ground for the Green New Deal to see if they support it.