“The President’s remarks yesterday have been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended; he regrets it if anyone hearing these remarks took offense,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
Last Friday, Biden contended that generating electricity from wind and solar energy is cheaper than generating it from coal and oil. He added that “no one is building new coal plants because they can’t rely on it.”
“We’re going to be shutting these [coal] plants down all across America and having wind and solar,” he continued.
Manchin slammed the comments on Saturday, calling them “offensive and disgusting.”
“President Biden’s comments are not only outrageous and divorced from reality, they ignore the severe economic pain the American people are feeling because of rising energy costs,” he said in a statement.
“Comments like these are the reason the American people are losing trust in President Biden and instead believes he does not understand the need to have an all in energy policy that would keep our nation totally energy independent and secure. It seems his positions change depending on the audience and the politics of the day. Politicizing our nation’s energy policies would only bring higher prices and more pain for the American people,” he added.
“Let me be clear, this is something the President has never said to me. Being cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who literally put their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive and disgusting. The President owes these incredible workers an immediate and public apology and it is time he learn a lesson that his words matter and have consequences.”
In response, Jean-Pierre said that “President Biden knows that the men and women of coal country built this nation.”
“The President’s plans are already bringing new energy and manufacturing jobs to the region, and in the years ahead, will continue to create new jobs with projects like hydrogen energy generation,” she continued.
“He is determined to make sure that this transition helps all Americans in all parts of the country, with more jobs and better opportunities; it’s a commitment he has advanced since Day One. No one will be left behind.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.