Tags: Coal | emissions | Manchin | Whitehouse

Senators Try to Find Understanding on Coal, Environment

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 01:19 PM

When it comes to global warming, it's amazing that Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., are even speaking to each other.

But there they were, Manchin, the strong pro-coal advocate, and environmental crusader Whitehouse, on a trawler in Rhode Island Sound, chatting with fishermen and scientists about how global warming has affected sea levels, fishing and beach erosion and planning a trip to the Mountain State to tour coal mines and power plants, grappling for a mutual understanding on how coal and the environment can co-exist, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"I didn't invite Sen. Manchin here expecting him to have an epiphany and become a greenie and go to the next climate march," Whitehouse told the Times. "He has very, very good relations with some of the most conservative members of the Senate who think climate change is a conspiracy. Some of them might listen to him."

"There is no doubt that 7 billion people have impacted our world's climate," Manchin told the Times. "We have a responsibility. But no one is going to stop using fossil for a long time."

President Barack Obama proposes cutting down on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants nationwide, which could have devastating economic effect on coal-producing states, such as West Virginia.

In West Virginia, Manchin and Whitehouse planned to tour the Pinnacle Mine in Wyoming County, the Mount Storm Power Station, wind turbines and the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, seeking understanding on how coal and global warming concerns can work hand in hand, the Greenfield Reporter wrote.

"We're trying to show that you can have different parts of this country with different ideological beliefs and try to find common ground," Manchin told the State Journal. "We know that we're responsible for this great country that we have and the world as we know it and climate that we're responsible for as human beings.

"On the other hand, we know also that we have to have the resources to energize this country. There has to be a way that we can find the balance between economy and environment."

In Rhode Island, Manchin viewed tide gauges that show sea levels increasing 1.4 inches per decade from just 1 inch per decade 25 years ago, leading to flooding, and learned the state has lost 150-250 feet of shoreline in the last 65 years, the Times reports. The pair also toured BioProcess Algae, a company which uses carbon dioxide from ethanol to grow algae for animal feed.

"The purist who basically wants no carbon, no fossil to be used whatsoever is not realistic," Manchin told the State Journal. "It's going to be used. We better find the technology that enables us to use it better around the country."

"Well, the good news is, we don't have to agree on everything in order to work together on the areas where we do agree," Whitehouse told the State Journal.

"There are emerging technologies that will help us treat or even use the excess carbon that is emitted by fossil fuel energy and we should be investing heavily in trying to develop those technologies."

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When it comes to global warming, it's amazing that Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., are even speaking to each other.
Coal, emissions, Manchin, Whitehouse
Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 01:19 PM
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