Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In explosive interview, Manchin defends, agrees with Barack Obama comments on coal plants

CHARLESTON, WV -- Gov. Joe Manchin on Monday not only defended Barack Obama's controversial comments about bankrupting the coal industry, he actually agreed that coal plants that do not conform to cap and trade or other new emission standards “shouldn't be in the business of producing coal to produce energy.”

Challenger Russ Weeks said Manchin’s comments are “very disturbing for the people of West Virginia.”

The controversy is in regard to comments Obama made in January, where he said that coal companies could build new plants, but if they do, the penalties he would impose would bankrupt them.

Manchin on Monday agreed with Obama, telling WSAZ about coal plants, “If they don't conform and work within a structure, then it would make it very difficult to even put one of these plants online... If you go outside of that boundary line, if you're not willing to conform to work within it, then you shouldn't be in the business of producing coal to provide energy.”

Manchin's comments are contained in the raw footage of an interview he did with WSAZ just prior to doing a remote interview with CNBC. You can watch the amazing interview at http://www.wsaz.com/news/headlines/33726759.html# and click on the "raw interview" link.

Manchin claimed several times in the interview that the comments by Obama have been taken out of context, even though examination of the full interview does not indicate as much.

But even so, Manchin went on to defend Obama's notion that severe penalties should be levied against coal plants that do not conform to strict emission standards, saying failure to do so “would make it very difficult” to put a plant online.

“Joe Manchin’s comments are shocking to all those who falsely believe the governor is supportive of coal,” said Weeks. “Barack Obama threatening to bankrupt the coal industry is the same thing as threatening to bankrupt West Virginia. It’s tragic that our governor agrees with Barack Obama on this issue.”

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