US Sen. Joe Manchin (D) Supports Drilling, Criticizes Obama

It seems lately that it’s a rare Democrat who goes on the record to support shale gas drilling, so when it happens, MDN is happy to mention it. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, former governor of that state who won a special election to fill the seat of Robert Byrd, said the following at a recent symposium on natural gas:

"Our economy is struggling, job growth is anemic, and the economic outlook is weak," Manchin said. "And with this nation’s jobs crisis on the top of most Americans’ minds right now, we must not forget how closely our economy is tied to this country’s dependence on foreign oil. So there is no question, with the Marcellus Shale, our state has a great opportunity to do two critical things at once: create jobs both now and into the future and advance our goal of achieving energy independence."

A diversified energy portfolio, Manchin claims, is not the interest of the federal government.

"We see government bureaucrats tilting the scales and giving a solar energy company a half-billion-dollar guaranteed loan — even when they knew the company was in trouble," Manchin said, referencing the heavily scrutinized Solyndra. "We see the EPA pass more and more regulations that are paralyzing investment, raising costs and killing jobs."

Manchin criticized the Obama administration for demonizing coal and other fossil fuel resources. In passing over fossil fuels, Manchin said, the nation is passing up on valuable jobs and opportunity.

Manchin called for a state-based framework for developing the gas.

"I truly believe that our state should be given the opportunity to regulate this resource themselves," Manchin said. "States know the needs of their people best – and I do not believe that federal regulators should step in here unless the states fail to do their jobs."*

*WTRF-TV (Oct 27, 2011) – Manchin Touts All Energy Sources at Marcellus Symposium