Joe Manchin in Congress, Senate
Joe Manchin in Congress, Senate
Sen. Joe Manchin listens to President Joe Biden's first State of the Union.J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images
  • President Biden said last week that the US would be replacing coal plants.

  • His comments were criticized by Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin.

  • The US is currently transitioning away from coal.

There would be little doubt about President Biden's vision for America's coal industry in the last days before the election.

"We're going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar power," Biden said at an event in California last Friday.

New coal plants are not being built because they can't rely on it.

The comments were criticized by both Republicans and Manchin of West Virginia. The senator said the president's comments were "outrageous and divorced from reality"

Manchin said that being cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who put their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive. The president needs to apologize to these workers immediately.

The White House said in a statement on Saturday that Biden's comments had been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended.

She said that the president was determined to make sure that the transition would help all Americans. He has made a commitment since the beginning. Everyone will be taken care of.

Biden's comments may have come as a surprise to Sen. Manchin, but the US is about to phase out the use of coal as an energy source. Since 2008, a third of the country's coal plants have been closed. The August's Inflation Reduction Act included $369 billion in energy and climate spending, and is expected to further accelerate the shift towards renewable fuels.

Legislation like the IRA lays the groundwork for a shift away from the industry if President Biden uses his authority to shut down US coal plants. Coal miners who lose their jobs will be able to find work in the green energy industry, but it is not certain how smooth this transition will be.

The President thinks it's a good idea to make a transition. The cost of producing solar and wind energy was already lower before oil and gas prices went up. More affordable energy for Americans could be a result of lower energy production. A transition to renewable energy would save the average family $500 a year, according to Biden.

Business Insider has an article on it.