White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Saturday said President Biden’s comments on the coal industry had been “twisted” after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) earlier in the day criticized the remarks.
“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,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
Biden said on Friday that wind and solar are cheaper means of generating energy than coal and oil and that “no one is building new coal plants because they can’t rely on it.”
Referring to coal plants, he said, “we’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar.”
Manchin called the comments “offensive and disgusting,” accusing the president of taking the livelihoods of West Virginians lightly.
“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,” said Manchin.
The senator continued: “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.”
Jean-Pierre said on Saturday that “President Biden knows that the men and women of coal country built this nation” and emphasized the reduction in unemployment rates in West Virginia, one of the largest coal-producing states in the nation, since Biden took office.
“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,” wrote the press secretary.
She said that Biden was speaking to an ongoing “energy transition” in the U.S. with the goal of combating climate change by producing “clean and efficient American energy.”
“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,” she wrote.
Source: The Hill