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(12,286 posts)
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 10:24 AM Mar 2022

Rolling Stone: Manchin's Coal Corruption Is So Much Worse Than You Knew

The senator from West Virginia is bought and paid for by Big Coal. With his help the dying industry is pulling one final heist — and the entire planet may pay the price

One of the hardest things to grasp about the climate crisis is the connectedness of all things. One recent drizzly afternoon, I drove from Charleston, West Virginia, to the John Amos coal-fired power plant on the banks of the Kanawha River, near the town of Nitro. In the rain, the plant looked like one of the dark satanic mills that poet William Blake wrote about, with three enormous cooling towers that steamed like giant witches’ cauldrons. Across the river from the plant, mobile homes cluttered the bank of the Kanawha, streaked black with pollution that rained down on them 24/7.

I had visited the plant 20 years ago, on my first reporting trip to West Virginia. Back then, the plant seemed like an indomitable monument to the power of Big Coal. The facility, owned by Ohio-based utility giant American Electric Power, is capable of generating 3,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 2 million homes. It is also one of the biggest carbon polluters on the planet, emitting 13 million tons of CO2 each year, which is equal to the annual emissions of about 3 million cars.

When I look at John Amos today, I see fire and rising seas, disease and hunger. I see a rusting industrial contraption that takes CO2 captured by trees 300 million years ago and rereleases it into the sky, bringing the heat of the past to our future. Coal plants are one of the primary reasons why shopping malls were burning in Colorado this winter and reservoirs in the West are dry. They are why Antarctica is cracking up, threatening the future of virtually every low-lying city in the world, from Boston to Bangkok. They are why infectious-disease patterns are changing in Nepal and crops are failing in Kenya and roads are washing out in Appalachia.

At this point in human evolution, burning coal for power is one of the stupidest things humans do. Coal plants are engines of destruction, not progress. Thanks to the rapid evolution of clean energy, there are many better, cheaper, cleaner ways to power our lives. The only reason anyone still burns coal today is because of the enormous political power and inertia that the industry has acquired since the 19th century. In America, that power and inertia is embodied in the cruel and cartoonish character of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who, paradoxically, may have more control over the trajectory of the climate crisis than any other person on the planet right now. Kidus Girma, a 26-year-old Sunrise Movement activist who helped organize protests against Manchin this past fall, calls him “the final villain.”

More at the link.

The article is very long and in depth. And will make your stomach turn.

68 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Rolling Stone: Manchin's Coal Corruption Is So Much Worse Than You Knew (Original Post) SoonerPride Mar 2022 OP
k and r Achilleaze Mar 2022 #1
Goddamned Fossil Fool lagomorph777 Mar 2022 #2
Excellent article! Alliepoo Mar 2022 #3
Envelopes of cash exchanging hands in dimly lit parking garages are just rumors. nt Hotler Mar 2022 #4
corrupt politicians these days DENVERPOPS Mar 2022 #64
It is obvious that coal is not the only source of corruption. Irish_Dem Mar 2022 #5
Yes he is corrupt. SoonerPride Mar 2022 #7
This message was self-deleted by its author KPN Mar 2022 #6
I am surprised at how much I dislike Joe KPN Mar 2022 #8
Total Agreement marieo1 Mar 2022 #26
Mining coal was (and is) one of the most dangerous 49jim Mar 2022 #9
K&R ck4829 Mar 2022 #10
K & R...nt Wounded Bear Mar 2022 #11
no surprise llashram Mar 2022 #12
K&R BlueJac Mar 2022 #13
Why is he still Chairman of the powerful Senate Energy Committee? jalan48 Mar 2022 #14
Because he is powerful. SoonerPride Mar 2022 #17
He was selected by his fellow Democrats. Can't he be removed by them? jalan48 Mar 2022 #20
It is also his power as a crucial swing vote which they need SoonerPride Mar 2022 #30
I guess that swing vote (for what?) outweighs the corruption laid out in the article. Given the jalan48 Mar 2022 #33
We HAVE to elect more Democrats to the Senate! ShazzieB Mar 2022 #38
Excellent article. The more I learn about Manchin Phoenix61 Mar 2022 #15
Yes. Seriously. SoonerPride Mar 2022 #16
Post removed Post removed Mar 2022 #18
FJM SergeStorms Mar 2022 #19
Lead poisoning is causing his cognitive dissonance Ponietz Mar 2022 #21
Black lung and Covid Traildogbob Mar 2022 #22
I've appealed to Gayle Manchin to no avail. czarjak Mar 2022 #23
Never underestimate the corrosive power of greed or a fake Democrat housecat Mar 2022 #24
"fake Democrat"..Yes, he is. I said it once in DU and got hammered by it, but it is the truth Escurumbele Mar 2022 #51
ha! DU hammered my early post too! housecat Mar 2022 #67
I thought some engineers designed a system KS Toronado Mar 2022 #25
It's clean coal!! awesomerwb1 Mar 2022 #27
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha SoonerPride Mar 2022 #29
Thank you for posting this. momta Mar 2022 #28
Additional context: "West Virginians believe in the coal industry. It's part of the culture and Hortensis Mar 2022 #31
And here's how his daughter helped shutter a unionized pharmaceutical plant TheRickles Mar 2022 #32
Needs of the few - MONEY & POWER - vs the needs of the many - CLEAN AIR & WATER. NoMoreRepugs Mar 2022 #34
A friend of mine is a lobbyist in DC. RedSpartan Mar 2022 #35
Your #3 - I'd say Rand Paul is tied with Ted Cruz FakeNoose Mar 2022 #41
Rand Paul is the biggest asshole; a pompous, mean jerk. RedSpartan Mar 2022 #45
My all-time favorite Al Franken quote: momta Mar 2022 #47
It's funny because it's true. RedSpartan Mar 2022 #48
This message was self-deleted by its author Haggis 4 Breakfast Mar 2022 #65
That is some fascinating stuff! ShazzieB Mar 2022 #43
About #2... momta Mar 2022 #46
kick AllaN01Bear Mar 2022 #36
We simply must vote in Senators who will make his AllyCat Mar 2022 #37
And upstream from Nitro is a coke production plant Botany Mar 2022 #39
Exposed before the world. Joinfortmill Mar 2022 #40
Coal miners can stop co-operating in a dying industry. Go green. (Happy St. Patrick's day!) cbabe Mar 2022 #42
Until we have a few more dem senators, Manchin will wield power. cayugafalls Mar 2022 #44
Yes indeed. Caliman73 Mar 2022 #49
Well, the DNC needs to start a campaign against Manchin in West Virginia, I understand Escurumbele Mar 2022 #50
In the end, he may be partially responsible for the deaths of more people than Putin. femmedem Mar 2022 #52
K&R UTUSN Mar 2022 #53
This Is An Old Article modrepub Mar 2022 #54
January 10, 2022 Celerity Mar 2022 #56
Yup modrepub Mar 2022 #57
Embracing the coal industry in coal country will get you elected. twodogsbarking Mar 2022 #55
Caught RayStar Mar 2022 #58
I read the entire piece.. DISGUSTING !! TeamProg Mar 2022 #59
I got hides for saying oil owned this piece of shit months ago. onecaliberal Mar 2022 #60
Scumbag, multi-millionaire coal baron while his state starves. FU Manchin. And your Maserati too. n/ Evolve Dammit Mar 2022 #61
What turns my stomach much more is losing to Republicans gulliver Mar 2022 #62
With friends like Manchin who needs enemies? SoonerPride Mar 2022 #63
()*&%$# Joe Manchin......(*&%$#(* turbinetree Mar 2022 #66
This message was self-deleted by its author jfz9580m Mar 2022 #68


(8,798 posts)
64. corrupt politicians these days
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 08:57 PM
Mar 2022

have it wired to an offshore account in a far off nation...........

Response to SoonerPride (Original post)


(15,641 posts)
8. I am surprised at how much I dislike Joe
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 10:58 AM
Mar 2022

Manchin. I actually just realized I despise him. He is holding us all hostage.


(1,402 posts)
26. Total Agreement
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:17 PM
Mar 2022

Last edited Fri Mar 18, 2022, 12:48 PM - Edit history (1)

I agree totally................he shouldn't be in politics at all. He is only lining his own pockets - not caring at all about the rest of us and our health and the needs of our beautiful planet.


(560 posts)
9. Mining coal was (and is) one of the most dangerous
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 11:02 AM
Mar 2022

jobs on the planet. Many lives have been lost over many years of mining. My maternal great-grandfather was killed in a Scranton, PA mining blast in 1946. I discovered the newspaper article and other information while searching Ancestry.com.


(13,852 posts)
20. He was selected by his fellow Democrats. Can't he be removed by them?
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 11:48 AM
Mar 2022

Manchin To Serve As Chairman Of Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee

Senator Manchin Will Set Agenda As The Lead Democrat On The Senate Committee On Energy And Natural Resources

February 4, 2021

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the United States Senate passed the organizing resolution giving Senate Democrats control of committees and officially appointing Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Senator Manchin served as Ranking Member of the committee in the 116th Congress and has been a member of the committee since being elected to the Senate in 2010.



(12,286 posts)
30. It is also his power as a crucial swing vote which they need
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:30 PM
Mar 2022

So the other Dems bow and scrape before him and give him plum committee chairs.


(13,852 posts)
33. I guess that swing vote (for what?) outweighs the corruption laid out in the article. Given the
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:51 PM
Mar 2022

climate change crisis we (future generations) are facing it's worse than sad, it's terrifying and immoral.


(16,341 posts)
38. We HAVE to elect more Democrats to the Senate!
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:03 PM
Mar 2022

Get a true majority, instead of this 50-50 situation, and his power goes away.

A super majority would be ideal, of course, but even 51-49 would take away a lot of his power. Right now, he's got the whole Democratic side of the Senste by the short hairs, and that needs to stop.

Response to SoonerPride (Original post)


(2,951 posts)
21. Lead poisoning is causing his cognitive dissonance
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 11:55 AM
Mar 2022

Just 7 days ago: https://www.sciencealert.com/lead-exposure-may-have-lowered-iq-of-half-of-americans-since-1940

Hope to see more study in academia re: lead poisoning and political affiliation. Judgment, impulse control, and executive functioning are all impaired by lead poisoning. That might account for the Q-nuts, Cawthorns, MTGs, ad nauseam, literally.




(8,699 posts)
22. Black lung and Covid
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 11:55 AM
Mar 2022

A Long painful end would be Karma. Can we confiscate his ill gotten yacht. One day there will be no mountain tops left to level. A fly over of West Virginia is heart breaking. You would think the people of WV would care more about there beautiful mountains. And breathable air.
Manchin is the Jill Stein and Tulsi that successfully infiltrated the party. And he is worth every penny paid to him by the Oligarchs. Almost as great a value as trump. All we can do is fight like hell to make him a Senema only two of 55+ votes. Make them A waste of cash they are paid.
Exactly what is the going rate to end democracy and the planet?
Here’s a score card for ya:
Daylight Savings time 1
Planet saving time 0
Great work appointed politicians. Really earning that tax funded salary and “perks”.


(3,380 posts)
51. "fake Democrat"..Yes, he is. I said it once in DU and got hammered by it, but it is the truth
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 02:08 PM
Mar 2022

He is a Democrat just by registration, and the saying that "if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it is a duck" fits him perfectly. Yes, I understand that he votes with Democrats once in a while, but for things of much less significance, and he does it because he has to keep the appearance that he is a Democrat, but the truth is different.

KS Toronado

(17,174 posts)
25. I thought some engineers designed a system
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:04 PM
Mar 2022

to catch the harmful pollutants that comes out of the smoke stacks. Of course the electric companies don't
want the extra expense of improving their power plants. Always wondered why the EPA couldn't force them
to upgrade to something more environmentally friendly.


(12,286 posts)
29. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:28 PM
Mar 2022

yeah that old canard always makes me laugh.

"clean coal"

just like clean asbestos!


(58,785 posts)
31. Additional context: "West Virginians believe in the coal industry. It's part of the culture and
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:34 PM
Mar 2022
there’s a desire to support the coal industry,” Repass said. “But there’s also a desire to support clean energy and the creation of jobs potentially as coal changes, and coal has been changing in terms of the importance in the economy for a number of years.”

This is a pollster explaining results of a poll last fall.

... When asked if respondents agree with the statement that coal is the backbone of the state and that renewable energy is hurting mining jobs, 59 percent of statewide respondents and 59 percent of coal country respondents agreed. But when asked whether they agree that the economy is shifting away from coal and fossil fuels towards clean and renewable energy sources, 69 percent of statewide respondents and 73 percent of coal country respondents agreed.

... Biden’s overall approval rating was 32 percent and disapproval rating was 65 percent. “It’s not a shock. He lost West Virginia badly,” Blankenship said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” citing the 2020 election results. ... In West Virginia, Blankenship said many feel strongly against the work the president is doing.

“Almost half of voters, 53 percent, strongly disapprove, so the intensity with which they disapprove is the only real surprising thing,” he said.

About 69 percent of West Virginia voters are applauding (hard-core Republican) Gov. Justice for his work since taking office in 2017. His disapproval rate was 28 percent.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has an overall job approval rating of 60 percent compared to Biden’s 32 percent. “Voters want to be listened to. When they feel like you’re listening to them, they will reward that either at the polls or in numbers like this,” Blankenship said. “I think that’s what’s recognized here is that Senator Manchin is listening to the people of West Virginia.”

The MBE Research poll also found 78 percent of voters said they support Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito (Hard-core Republican) working together in a bipartisan effort to pass the national infrastructure bill to address roads, bridges, power and other needs.

Nearly 74 percent of voters also said Manchin should oppose the president’s Build Back Better plan.


WV is VERY red, but the good news here is that, though they've been slow to it, a majority are coming to accept the need for FUTURE energy change. Nothing that might even suggest disruption of jobs now, though. And nothing that might suggest any support for Biden/Democrats.


(2,047 posts)
32. And here's how his daughter helped shutter a unionized pharmaceutical plant
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:36 PM
Mar 2022

She was CEO of the company that owned it. And Manchin's wife even gets a mention at the end of the article for misusing her power as head of a national group representing state Boards of Education (she lobbied to require EpiPens in all schools, and coincidentally enough, that was the #1 product of her CEO daughter's company, whose price coincidentally skyrocketed at the same time). Uggghhh.


(9,398 posts)
34. Needs of the few - MONEY & POWER - vs the needs of the many - CLEAN AIR & WATER.
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:52 PM
Mar 2022

Here in America real easy to pick the winner of that contest.


(1,693 posts)
35. A friend of mine is a lobbyist in DC.
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 12:59 PM
Mar 2022

Last edited Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:39 PM - Edit history (1)

He's on a first-name basis with many politicians on the Hill and has been for many years. He's told me about a few certainties in the Upper Chamber:

1. Almost everyone in the Senate, on both sides of the aisle, loves and respects Joe Biden. But politics is politics, and they act otherwise and say what they think they have to for the cameras.

2. Mitch McConnell is smart (although Schumer is smarter), but he is a soulless ghoul who is drunk on power for power's sake and the attention that comes with it. He has destroyed the Senate, maybe forever.

3. Rand Paul is probably the biggest asshole in the Senate, which is really saying something.

4. Marco Rubio is probably the second biggest idiot in the Senate, which is really saying something. Tommy Tuberville is the dumbest and it's not even close.

5. Yes, it's an open secret about Lindsay Graham.

6. Most Senate Republicans hate Trump, think he is a dangerous fool and bad for the GOP and the country, but they are terrified of his power so they go along with him and will until they don't have to anymore.

7. Joe Manchin is a corrupt slave to Big Coal, and he not a good person--he is a greedy, self-obsessed jerk (not unusual for a politician, of course). But some of the things that he has done behind the scenes to support Democratic initiatives would surprise you (he was a leader in saving Obamacare in 2016-17, even rallying a despondent Chuck Schumer) and he is a reliable vote for all Dem nominated judges.

8. Jeff Sessions was, and is, openly racist. Openly. Like, it even made his GOP colleagues uncomfortable to be around him.


(32,608 posts)
41. Your #3 - I'd say Rand Paul is tied with Ted Cruz
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:18 PM
Mar 2022

They're both equally hated by Repukes and Dems alike.

Everything else here is true, and disgusting to a large extent. Senate Repukes have ruined this country.


(1,693 posts)
45. Rand Paul is the biggest asshole; a pompous, mean jerk.
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:38 PM
Mar 2022

Ted Cruz is something a bit different: a jackass. Fake, spineless, and compeletely devoid of character to the point that it even repulses professional politicians. No one likes him. NO ONE. Not a single person. People instinctually recoil from him.


(4,079 posts)
47. My all-time favorite Al Franken quote:
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:44 PM
Mar 2022

"I probably like Ted Cruz more than anyone else in the Senate, and I HATE Ted Cruz."

Response to RedSpartan (Reply #48)


(16,341 posts)
43. That is some fascinating stuff!
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:21 PM
Mar 2022

Thanks for sharing this info. Some of it confirms long held suspicions of mine (especially 2 and 6), none of it is the least bit hard to believe, and all of it is useful.

This deserves an o.p., in my opinion, so more people will have a chance to see it.


(4,079 posts)
46. About #2...
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:42 PM
Mar 2022

He has also destroyed the Supreme Court for at least a few generations, unless the Dems can grow a backbone and DO SOMETHING about it.


(16,171 posts)
37. We simply must vote in Senators who will make his
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:00 PM
Mar 2022

Obstructing irrelevant. Him and Sinema. I have not appreciated their blockade of basic human, American ideals.


(5,639 posts)
44. Until we have a few more dem senators, Manchin will wield power.
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 01:22 PM
Mar 2022

Add 4 or more dem senators and watch Manchin squirm.

At least that is my dream...


(11,726 posts)
49. Yes indeed.
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 02:00 PM
Mar 2022

Add 4 more Democratic Senators, strip Manchin of his committee chairs, and then he can switch to Republican where he will be just another face in the crowd.


(3,380 posts)
50. Well, the DNC needs to start a campaign against Manchin in West Virginia, I understand
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 02:02 PM
Mar 2022

that he claims to be a Democrat, but do it in a way that makes him think twice to voting against programs Democrats are trying to pass that do help West Virginians.

Isn't there a Democratic candidate for West Virginia who can get that SOB out of office?


(8,198 posts)
52. In the end, he may be partially responsible for the deaths of more people than Putin.
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 03:20 PM
Mar 2022

It sounds hyperbolic to say so, but the climate crisis is going to kill hundreds of millions, maybe everyone.


(3,491 posts)
54. This Is An Old Article
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 04:58 PM
Mar 2022

I think I already read this.

I'd like to point out a lot of facilities the Senator is "consulting" with also seem to have a lot of regulator work by the state of WV to alter operations such that the plants would be operating at a higher level. Which in turn makes sure the Senator's "consulting" fees would be higher.

No one in the M$M ever seems to call out the conflict of interest this Senator seems to have. I know several folks who work in Government who've recused themselves at the first hint of a conflict of interest. Mainly because they just want to avoid any appearance of a conflict. Never seems to bother any politicians and such.


(43,232 posts)
56. January 10, 2022
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 05:06 PM
Mar 2022

Nothing has changed since then in Manchin's favour.

In fact, he just now blocked Biden's Fed nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, over her climate change/fossil fuel stances.

Manchin to oppose Biden Fed pick over climate stances


Fed nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin withdraws after fight over her climate change stance



(3,491 posts)
57. Yup
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 05:13 PM
Mar 2022

I wish we could force him and the rest of the climate deniers to be buried anywhere near the ocean where the elevation is less than 6 feet. That way their grand kids and great grand kids would have to wear scuba gear to visit them.


(417 posts)
58. Caught
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 06:11 PM
Mar 2022

Who is surprised? Ms. Raskin lost a great position because of his love of coal or maybe the money.


(13,179 posts)
62. What turns my stomach much more is losing to Republicans
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 08:39 PM
Mar 2022

Sorry, I'm just too conscious of the obvious for my own good, I guess. Or maybe it's me missing something. Have we forgotten that we only have half the Senate?

Honestly, every single one of these Manchin OPs should consider it a duty to explain what the plan is to get us more than half the Senate. Otherwise, these Manchin griping sessions just boil down to advocating the reduction of Dem power and the increase Republican power. That makes them immoral in a very straightforward analysis.


(12,286 posts)
63. With friends like Manchin who needs enemies?
Thu Mar 17, 2022, 08:42 PM
Mar 2022

He’s corrupt.

Would a republican be any better?


But that doesn’t mean we should just ignore the fact that Manchin is corrupt.

Response to SoonerPride (Original post)

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Rolling Stone: Manchin's ...