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Manchin: White House position on coal is disappointing

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The fact that the Environmental Protection Agency wants to put sharp restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants is not surprising. But Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said it is disappointing.

And he knows who is giving the EPA its orders.

"Make no mistake about it. This comes directly from the White House — the president and his staff," Manchin said in an interview with The State Journal.

Manchin said he respectfully disagrees with the president's energy policy when it comes to coal. Manchin said the country needs an energy policy that is based on energy independence. Using all available domestic resources will bring about independence and improve national security, he said.

Also, that will "keep us out of parts of the world we don't need to be in," he said.

Manchin said he supports natural gas, renewables and other sources of electricity along with coal, but he added that coal likely will be the most dominant source of electricity for the next two to three decades.

"It's just a shame. They're in denial," he said.

"We're going to fool around here and not have a reliable grid the country needs," Manchin said. When that happens, consumers will not have full confidence that when they flip the switch that their lights will come on.

"That's a horrible situation for the world's superpower to be in," he said.

 "It's just frustrating and so disappointing that there are very bright people in high places that don't see what's at stake here," Manchin said.