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Sen. Joe Manchin is interviewed by reporters

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is followed by reporters as he walks through the Senate subway on Capitol Hill on February 16, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Manchin Only Dem to Join GOP to Reroute Billions in Climate Funds to Pentagon

"This is who Joe Manchin is," said one critic.

Julia Conley

Sen. Joe Manchin voted against his own party's climate action proposal once again this week, joining the Republicans in their effort to reroute billions of dollars from a climate fund to develop weapons systems at the Pentagon.

The West Virginia right-wing Democrat was the only member of his party to vote for a motion filed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to gut the Green Climate Authorization Act, a bill introduced last year by Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.).

That legislation would authorize $4 billion in 2022 and in 2023 for "a fund established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to finance projects that address climate change," and would include financing for countries in the Global South to address the planetary emergency.

Cotton proposed redirecting $8 billion from the fund to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) at the Pentagon, which develops new weapons technologies.

DARPA's funding in 2021 was $3.5 billion.

Manchin's decision to join the GOP in rerouting climate funding for the agency follows his refusal to support climate action as part of President Joe Biden's signature economic agenda, the Build Back Better Act. Climate and anti-poverty campaigners have ramped up protests against the senator in recent weeks over his personal profiting from the coal industry and obstruction of green initiatives.

"This is who Joe Manchin is," said Eric Engle, chairman of Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, following Wednesday's vote.

During a series of votes regarding a science and research bill on Wednesday, Manchin also joined the Republicans to approve a motion establishing a minimum number of gas and oil permits through 2027. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) also supported that measure.


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