The coal baron senator included a controversial carbon capture provision in the IRA that could benefit his biggest sponsor, a fossil fuel company betting big on unproven technologies.

By Donald Shaw, The Lever

While forcing his fellow Democrats to scale back their climate and health care legislation, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) made sure the bill included a lucrative gift for his biggest donor: a fossil fuel company whose CEO recently called the legislative gift a potential “game changer” for its business.

its time to cut carbon sign at climate protest

Critics say the provision — tax credits for unproven carbon capture technologies — is a handout to the oil and gas industry that could end up prolonging fossil fuel use instead of accelerating a transition to renewable energy. In addition, Manchin has reportedly negotiated a side deal for separate legislation that could also enrich that same fossil fuel industry donor.

The situation illustrates the continued power of fossil fuel industry lobbyists to shape legislation, even in an era when scientists say that industry’s products are destroying the livable ecosystem.

It also sheds light on a contradiction at the heart of Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA): A bill sold to the public as a climate solution includes significant resources for the oil and gas industry fueling the climate crisis.

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