Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets (6/24/17)
Sen. Joe Manchin is one of the least-reliable members of the Senate Democratic caucus. He frequently sides with Trump and Republican extremists in opposition to progressive values like fighting for economic justice and defending women’s rights.
As a longtime friend of the coal industry, Sen. Manchin is especially bad when it comes to fighting climate change and protecting the environment. Now, a dark money group run by a longtime operative of Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is running a TV ad praising Manchin for cozying up to Trump and working to poison our drinking water.1
Stop democratic attack on progressive values
Sen. Schumer and his allies should be doing everything in their power to resist Trump, not providing cover for Sen. Manchin’s attacks on progressive values.
Tell Sen. Schumer: Don’t provide cover for Sen. Manchin’s attacks on progressive values.
When Trump signed legislation reversing clean water regulation, Sen. Manchin was right there for the photo-op alongside Trump and a handful of congressional Republicans.
The pro-Manchin TV ad was placed by Majority Forward, which has reportedly spent $4.5 million on advertising to support Sen. Manchin.2 In the ad, the narrator directly praises Sen. Manchin for opposing Pres. Obama’s environmental regulations on the coal industry. “When Washington proposed anti-coal regulations, Joe Manchin said no,” the narrator says.
Here’s why that’s a problem: The regulation in question – known as the Stream Protection Rule – prohibited coal mining companies from disposing of toxic waste containing dangerous heavy metals into streams. Until Pres. Obama cracked down on it last year, this dangerous coal industry practice had dire health consequences for people living nearby.3 When Trump signed legislation reversing the regulation, Sen. Manchin was there for the photo-op alongside Trump and a handful of congressional Republicans.4
By praising Manchin’s opposition to this commonsense rule that protected people and the environment from toxic coal mining waste, the Schumer-aligned Majority Forward is undercutting core progressive values and sending a message that collaborating with Trump to choose corporations over people is an acceptable thing for Democratic politicians to do. We couldn’t disagree with that sentiment more.
With Republicans in lockstep opposition to protecting people and the planet from dirty energy companies and all other progressive priorities, the last thing we need is for groups aligned with Democratic leaders to be providing cover for Democrats like Joe Manchin who frequently side with Republicans. That’s why we’re joining Friends of the Earth Action and other allies to demand that Sen. Schumer stand up to attacks on people and the planet and stop providing cover for Manchin.
Thanks for everything you do.
- Dylan Brown, “PAC aligned with Schumer runs pro-Manchin TV ad,” E&E Daily, June 13, 2017.
- Friends of the Earth, “PAC’s West Virginia Manchin TV ad undercuts environment, resistance to Trump,” June 15, 2017.
- Brad Plumer, “Why Trump just killed a rule restricting coal companies from dumping waste in streams,” Vox, Feb. 16, 2017.
- The Intelligencer, “Trump Halts Rule On Stream Regulations With W.Va., Ohio Leaders Looking On,” Feb. 17, 2017.