Manchin will sit on Senate energy committee, shoot at environmental bills

The Democrat with the most regressive energy policy in the caucus wins a role overseeing environmental policy

Published January 27, 2011 9:30PM (EST)

Joe Manchin
Joe Manchin

If elected to the Senate, Joe Manchin promised to literally shoot bills designed to address climate change, with a rifle.

Thanks in part to his commitment to blasting attempts to limit carbon emissions away, with a gun, Manchin won Robert Byrd's seat.

Now, the Democrats have always and will always need Democrats like Joe Manchin. But here is what they shouldn't do with Democrats like Manchin: Put them on the committee in charge of regulating energy. Which is apparently what the Democrats did.

Manchin will be on the Senate Energy & Natural Resources committee, where he will argue that we should just mine and burn as much coal as humanly possible, forever, and fight every single attempt to moderate our coal use.

Putting the Democrat who agrees with the party platform on everything besides issue x on the committee in charge of issue x: classic Senate Democratic caucus!

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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Alternative Energy Democratic Party Energy Global Warming U.s. Senate War Room