Sen. Manchin Drank Bottled Water During Huntington Forum

Updated 4 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Sen. Manchin Drank Bottled Water During Huntington Forum

WV Senator Joe Manchin visited Huntington for a forum at Huntington City Hall Thursday. One of the topics --- drinking water:

HNN:  The CDC and other government agencies have said the water is OK to drink, but on CNN today

MANHIN: I’m drinking bottled …

HNN: Dr. Gupta (Kanawha Putnam Health Department) said, ‘don’t drink or shower in the water’ and in Huntington much of the bottled water is gone.

MANCHIN: I’ve been on this from day one. I talked to the CDC and EPA. I have my differences with EPA, they have put rules and regulations that are unattainable as to how we mine coal and  produce energy.

When it comes to the protection and well being  of the citizens’ environment, whether the air we breathe or the water we drink that’s their responsibility and it’s our responsibility to work with them.

As best I can explain, the situation that happened in Charleston, we have a (water) plant that has 171 lifts …. Cincinnati was able to shut down for two or three days. We did not have back up for three hours. We are ingesting this product. The product  was not toxic; it was not a hazardous material. Not being (listed) as a hazardous material, it was not inspected or regulated. Everyone , like me, thought everything in the tank should be inspected. We found out that wasn’t the case.

For the last 30 years, we have not been able to test the long and short term effects on humans of 80,000 chemicals. We know the effect on animals, but not on humans.

We have MCHM that has NOT killed anyone and we hope and pray that it does not. There hasn’t been anyone terribly sick. Not yet. Hopefully never.

We don’t know short term or long term. Dr. Gupta and I agree there should be long term monitoring. We have to find out. The CDC should be able to do an analysis. Here we are in limbo . We don’t have anyone saying it’s safe. You know the words they use about the water, it’s appropriate for use. 

They (first) said one part per million (PPM) is safe but if you are an expectant mother , I would not drink it. What about a little baby, an elderly citizen, so we have mass hysteria. No one will say it is safe.


The only one that can do this is the federal government. The people who test it , the CDC and EPA.  Is ten parts per billion (PPB) what it is going to be beyond a shadow of a doubt safe. Or, (should  it be) non traceable and zero parts per billion. No element of it. Someone has to say something and no one has stepped to the plate.


Manchin , then, segued the conversation explaining the impact on the nation’s infrastructure of the extended polar vortex.

MANCHIN: I told the DOD, If you want to see what cyber warfare would do, our water supply and grid system could be very vulnerable. The last polar vortex, the PJ Young  (grid) system with 56 million customers on the East Coast (which WV is part of) , they were within 700 megawatts of the whole system going down. If it goes down, hundreds of thousands of people die due to no electricity.

That’s how close we were.

That’s why Manchin believes that the EPA should work together with WV to ease regulations that have been placed on the use of coal as a fossil fuel.



MANCHIN: You remember 9/11? Did you care what your bank account (balance) was that day?  Did you worry about your neighbor’s bank account?  Did you care who had a bigger home or car than you?  All we cared about was there anybody in my family that got killed or hurt. Did any of my friends get killed or hurt?  Were there any Americans killed or hurt?  All we cared about was the United States. That one day brought us together for 24 hours. Then, we went back to business as usual. It’s a shame it take a crisis.

We have more people dependent on government than ever before. But in 2009 when the market crashed, we put out $800 million dollars in stimulus money. Yet, in 2007, we governors sent President Bush a letter. We went through history. Putting people to work on public works (infrastructure projects) put people to work and we got value for it.

I saw that unfold. I know where we should have gone. When it was all said and done, the federal had to keep the states propped up because people were depending on services. The states had to keep the counties propped up. Everybody got a piece of the pie because they were afraid the whole system would collapse. We should have not put that much money in government; it should have gone to the opposite, to infrastructure.  To get back on track, we have to develop an infrastructure bank for us to get back on track in America.

HNN: Referring to the corporate bankruptcies to escape pension and societal responsibilities, Manchin said:

MANCHIN: We have to change the bankruptcy laws in America. The only tool I could  use when I was governor . If I knew a company was going to transfer to another company and try to shed itself of responsibilities , I had the power of the DEP to go after their parent company.

If you are a Democrat and you say, “We don’t have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem in this country. You are right.

If you are a Republican and you  say, “We don’t have a revenue problem , we ha e a spending problem. You are right.

Guess what, you are both wrong.

The sweet part of gross national product  for us is 19.5% of spending and 19.5% of revenue. Our problem now--- we are collecting 16-16.5% of revenue and spending 22-23% of revenue to GNP. They think running 500 to 600 billion dollars short is an accomplishment. It used to be a trillion dollars or more a year.  But it is criminal what we have allowed people to escape their obligations through the court system.


HNN: Sen. Manchin then addressed the fraudulent expendture of millions of taxpayer dollars by the misuse of Social Security Disability at the Huntington office.  One of the whistle blowers asked three years into the investigation, whether the supervisors (and others) will face accountability, including those that continue to harass those who revealed the scandal. A speaker addressing Sen. Manchin said, “I was told if I came here and addressed you, I will be fired.”

MANCHIN: You will not be fired.

He promised  that those responsible for the harassment will be held accountable.


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