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With New Post, Manchin Able to Push for New Energy Policy

December 14, 2007
In much of what he hopes to do as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association next year, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin will find plenty of support. He wants to work during the election year to elect or re-elect Democrats as governors. He wants to set a new record for DGA fundraising. He wants to lay the groundwork for Democrats who may run for governors’ posts in 2009 and 2010.

Such endeavors are part of the reason the DGA exists, after all, so Manchin will be working among like-minded peers from other states.

But our governor also has made it plain that he intends to use every forum at his disposal to push for a realistic national energy policy — including expanded use of coal. In that, Manchin will face opposition.

During a “summit meeting” last week in West Virginia, governors from other energy-producing states joined Manchin in discussing the problem of meeting U.S. energy needs while addressing air pollution concerns.

Like other coal-state chief executives, Manchin believes that it is possible to have clean air and an energy base that makes more use of coal. We agree with him — but that is not a politically correct viewpoint these days.

Because of scare tactics used by radical environmentalists, coal has gotten a bad name in America. Too many politicians are afraid — and that is the correct word — to even suggest that it should be part of our national energy policy.

Manchin has been a tireless, fearless fighter for coal during his career in public service. Unfortunately, many of those he will lead as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association do not share his clear-headed view of energy policy. That shouldn’t stop him from continuing, with new visibility on the national political stage, from trying to, as we say in West Virginia, talk some sense into the heads of other governors.



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