Fast and Furious Facts about Joe Manchin, Coal, West Virginia and The Climate Crisis

Ami Chen Mills-Naim
3 min readOct 18, 2021
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is using his “rogue” Democrat status to kill key climate action provisions in Biden’s Build Back Better legislation
  • The number of coal jobs, both inside of coal mines and “above ground” in West Virginia is estimated at roughly 13,000 jobs, give or take.
  • The population of West Virginia is roughly 12.8 million.
  • Coal jobs, therefore, represent the work of approximately .10 percent of West Virginians. That is: 1/10th of one percent of the population.
  • West Virginia is one of the most vulnerable and exposed states in the entire US to threats of the climate crisis and ongoing global heating related to greenhouse gases, produced by burning and transporting fossil fuels. Major flooding will impact West Virginia more than any other state and is already a serious concern for many WV cities. Rising sea levels have already severely impacted low lying communities in neighboring Virginia, including Norfolk and the Norfolk Naval Base.
  • Senator Manchin collects roughly $500,000 a year in dividends, related to his son’s coal brokerage company. Manchin himself founded the coal brokerage in 1998, called “Enersystems.” Though run by his son, Manchin still owns an estimated $5 million stake in the company. As of 2019, Manchin was the most invested of any senator in “dirty energy.”
  • Manchin has accepted significant campaign funding from the energy industry, including $65,000 from oil giant Exxon’s lobbyists and political action committee. He also attended a July fundraiser held in his honor in Houston hosted by Texas oil and gas titans who otherwise donate exclusively to Republicans.
  • ExxonMobile, along with Shell, was the lead on funding “denial science” for decades through the Heartland Institute and other industry “think tanks,” casting aspersions on thousands of legitimate scientists, biologists, climate experts, journalists and activists … and funding geologists and others to confuse the global heating debate — often also using the same consulting company as Big Tobacco did when it was fending off lung cancer science. The implications of this campaign of deceit are enormous, and amount to the possible end of human life on Earth.
  • Keith McCoy, Exxon’s senior “director of federal relations,” bragged in a recording leaked by Greenpeace that he talked to Manchin’s office every week.
  • Senator Joe Manchin’s Washington DC Senate office number is (202) 224–3954 … Climate protestors from across the nation and from his home state will be protesting all day at his DC-based yacht/houseboat on Monday, Oct. 18. West Virginians, of course, are encouraged to call, write and email their grave concerns to Senator Manchin. … However, global heating is a threat to all of us, and not just the people living within state lines of West Virginia. Senator Manchin’s actions impact all human beings— in the US and around the globe — and the lives and futures of all our children, as well as all life on Earth.

Note: None of Senator Joe Manchin’s financial ties to and significant support from the fossil fuel industry was covered in the recent PBS Newshour segment on Joe Manchin and his hold-out status. Senator Chuck Schumer is a close friend of Senator Manchin’s, who often attends parties on Manchin’s yacht. … I’m just sayin’.

And on the entire Manchin family:



Ami Chen Mills-Naim

Global teacher, mother, author, journalist: SF Chronicle and Examiner, Inc. Mag, Metro, 3 CNPA First Place awards. See “Heart of America” on YouTube