EDITORIAL: House GOP Vindicates Raese's Cap and Trade Concern

HNN Staff
Del. Rick Snufffer
Del. Rick Snufffer

 Somewhere, John Raese must be smiling.  Republican legislators in the West Virginia House of Delegates have declared one of their top legislative priorities to be the repeal of former Governor Joe Manchin's alternative and renewable energy portfolio standard.  Raese made this initiative a key issue in his race against now U.S. Senator Manchin in their 2010 campaign.

Manchin's bill mandated that, by 2025, 25% of electricity sold in West Virginia would have to be from alternative or renewable energy facilities.  Delegate Darryl Cowles (R-Morgan), the Minority Whip, noted that capping traditional energy sources like coal would have to make electrical bills rise.  Some have suggested that pushing such a controversial bill in an energy state like West Virginia was simply a device for Manchin to curry favor with President Obama for his 2010 U.S. Senate run.

What a price we continue to pay for that political marriage of convenience.  Here is part of Manchin's overture to Obama in the controversial West Virginia Cap and Trade Bill, formerly known as House Bill 103

"Beginning in 2015, at least 10 percent of the electric energy sold to electric customers must be generated by alternative or renewable energy sources," Manchin said. "And, by 2025, we will require that 25 percent of electricity sold in West Virginia must be generated from alternative or renewable energy facilities."  Yet Manchin later did a 180 degree turn when John Raese's campaign challenged the Governor on the bill.  Manchin took the dramatic step of running a TV ad showing him shooting a federal Cap and Trade bill similar to his own bill in West Virginia.

A co-sponsor of the repeal, Delegate Rick Snuffer (R-Raleigh) noted how contradictory it was for Manchin to be a staunch opponent of the federal Cap and Trade bill, even while enacting such a similar bill of his own in his own state. 

"I thought ‘wait a minute, that is the only governor in the United States who has signed the same piece of legislation," said Snuffer. "I don't think it was responsible. It's going to cost a lot of money."

Increasingly, Joe Manchin is being shown to be someone whose approach to public policy is simply whatever happens to help his political career at the time.  We salute the House GOP for cleaning up another of Manchin's messes.  They, at least, show consistency and a concern for the common good. 

Every senior citizen on a fixed income, facing a typical West Virginia winter, should thank Delegates like Cowles and Snuffer for doing their best to keep their electrical bills manageable.

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