Courtesy Todd Heisler/The New York Times

A Test Of Money And Politics

The Biden Administration’s proposed budget bill including it’s climate change components are under intense scrutiny this week, in part because of the potential for making the most substantial Federal policy changes to help mitigate the Climate Crisis.

It is also a test of how much our political system is influenced by money.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the Chair of the Senate’s Energy Committee. Without his vote and support, the likelihood of anything passing is slim.

Senator Manchin is also closely tied to the fossil fuel industry making $500,000 last year from his investments in the coal industry and he is the #1 recipient of money from the oil, coal and gas industries.

Manchin acknowledges humans are causing the Climate Crisis yet does not support legislation that eliminates the burning of fossil fuels.

Senator Manchin is in the process of rewriting the climate portion of the budget bill to reflect his beliefs and to continue the flow of natural gas to power plants.

As opinion writer Paul Krugman notes, even if Manchin torpedos the Biden Administration’s plan, it won’t help his constituents and their issues in West Virginia as coal is not the dominant industry it once was. They need a stronger social safety net to support families.

Will money, power and greed or public safety and a healthier planet for future generations win out?