‘History Will Not Be Kind to Senator Joe Manchin’

Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, has told the White House he opposes the clean electricity program, several officials and lobbyists said.
T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Crucial Element of Climate Plan Likely to Be Cut” (front page, Oct. 16):

History will not be kind to Senator Joe Manchin, who has arrogated to himself the right to deep-six the clean electricity program in President Biden’s budget bill. Apparently Mr. Manchin and all 50 Senate Republicans need to see the nation and their own constituents engulfed in even more drought, wildfires, hurricanes and floods before they wake up to the devastation occurring all around them from the burning of fossil fuels.

Mr. Manchin, of course, represents West Virginia, where coal is king. So he has chosen to trade any hope of a stable future environment for mankind in return for a few more years of coal jobs and cushy surroundings in the Senate. His is the face of utter folly.

Benjamin Clay Jones
Kalamazoo, Mich.

To the Editor:

I lived in West Virginia from 1971 to 1996. Few politicians in West Virginia history have held as much power for as many years as Joe Manchin. He failed to modernize and diversify West Virginia’s economy during his years as governor. And now as senator here he is, propping up a dying industry that has laid waste to the state he claims to love so much and holding the rest of us hostage to the greed of the constituency he really serves.

Joe doesn’t worry about climate change. He can afford to live anywhere he wants. And the floods that annually ravage his beloved West Virginia, well, Joe has a yacht to keep him high and dry no matter how miserable life may be for the citizens he serves.

Elizabeth Baronner Hansen
Hilton Head Island, S.C.

To the Editor:

Railing against Joe Manchin will not change his vote. We need to convince Joe with funds he can use to lead his people to clean energy economies and sell that idea back home.

Here is the plan. Peel off $10 billion from the $150 billion earmarked for clean energy. Take $3 billion and use it for inducements for clean energy companies to set up shop in West Virginia. Take $7 billion and set it aside for relocation and retraining of displaced miners as the power grid gradually weans itself off coal and moves to more sustainable energy sources.

Joe Manchin should be looking for exactly this type of legislation that can allow him to continue to have the support of rank-and-file coal miners, stand up to the waning coal lobby and position himself as the champion of the hourly worker.

Dave Martsolf
Windham, N.H.

To the Editor:

Re “As Manchin Rejects Key Climate Provision, Carbon Tax Gains Support” (news article, Oct. 17):

You write, “A carbon tax … is seen by economists as the most effective way to cut the fossil fuel emissions that are heating the planet.”

A carbon tax would ask fossil fuel companies to pay for the damage they’ve knowingly done to our health and that of the earth. If even some of the funds collected are returned to consumers, it would protect us from rising prices. Such a bill is waiting for action: H.R. 2307, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. When a border tax adjustment is included, it would also encourage other countries to do the same.

My children and grandchildren would have the chance for a cleaner livable planet, as opposed to the many disasters we’re already seeing.

Maggie Wineburgh-Freed
Los Angeles

To the Editor:

Fifty Republican senators silently watch as President Biden guts the key climate provision from his reconciliation bill — the clean electricity program — because one Democratic senator selfishly and shortsightedly opposes it.

Isn’t there one Republican senator — just one! — with the courage to come forward and say, “I will support the clean electricity program as a stand-alone bill because it’s vital for the survival of the planet, regardless of how it affects me politically”? Isn’t there just one Republican with the courage to do the right thing and defy his or her party’s leadership?

Milton Cohen
Richardson, Texas

To the Editor:

Despite Senator Joe Manchin’s current personal fortune of several million dollars, he apparently believes that his financial well-being relies on income from his own large investments in fossil-fuel companies and he will not vote for President Biden’s plan to help phase out coal- and gas-fired energy plants. However, I have a solution.

As a retired teacher, I am not among the superrich, but I would be willing to contribute significantly to a trust fund for Senator Manchin and his family were he to support the proposed legislation. Perhaps a GoFundMe campaign could be organized so that Senator Manchin can be assured of the level of financial security to which he aspires, without a need for coal and oil money.

Daniel Lieberfeld
Pittsburgh

Travis Dove for The New York Times

To the Editor:

The Child Care Paradox Democrats Aim to Fix” (front page, Oct. 10) aptly describes the problem of high child care costs and the differing views about how to fix our broken system. It notes that Democrats consider child care affordability an issue of racial equity.

Attention to racial equity in the child care system is long overdue. The mismatch between high child care prices and parents’ low wages for full-time work affects a greater proportion of Black and Hispanic families. Capping child care costs at 7 percent of family income, as proposed in the budget reconciliation bill, will address affordability for all working parents and improve racial equity.

But more action is needed to ensure equitable access. Prepandemic, the availability of child care in neighborhoods where Black and Hispanic children live was severely constrained. Now it is likely even worse. These neighborhoods must receive adequate resources to bolster the supply of child care.

Addressing conservatives’ concerns that more public investment will close home-based or smaller providers will actually improve equity. Black and Hispanic workers are more likely to work evening, night or weekend shifts and have last-minute scheduling changes. The bill should ensure that home-based providers, which offer more flexible care hours, are encouraged to enter and stay in the market.

Pamela Joshi
Waltham, Mass.
The writer is a senior research scientist and associate director of the Institute for Children, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University.

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

To the Editor:

Re “More Than One Way to Play Dead” (The Conversation, Oct. 12):

This exchange between Gail Collins and Bret Stephens is what we need so much more of. You might think of these as renewal projects in a civil infrastructure that has so sadly eroded and corroded in the past decades.

It proves that people can respectfully disagree, even modulate their own beliefs and perspectives. If more interchanges like this were published, then the media might move us toward a civil collegiality instead of the divisiveness that results from presenting only extreme views that rile up the opposition.

Take note, politicians!

John Anton
Maryville, Tenn.

Claire Merchlinsky/The New York Times; photographs by Sam Thomas, Douglas Sacha, via Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “For Teenage Girls, Instagram Is a Cesspool,” by Lindsay Crouse (Opinion, Oct. 9):

Social media is a mirror, revealing our greatest desires and flaws through the content that platforms show us. In the process, companies hook and reel users in. Unfortunately, this story repeats itself across the country every day when unsuspecting teenagers like me fall prey to a feed that seems to read their minds.

In a world where being constantly on your phone is “normal,” technology addiction often isn’t taken seriously. This addiction is raw and real. Others should try to understand how it feels when you lose half your friends, your sense of time and your ability to wake up without instinctively checking your phone.

These aren’t the complaints of a teenager; these are the effects of an epidemic that is spreading across the nation. Individuals, regardless of age, race or gender, are falling prey to these addictions.

Instead of complaining about how kids are always on their phones, our society as a whole should try to help them overcome their problems and spread more awareness about this issue before it is too late.

Vaishnavi Kumbala
Metairie, La.
The writer is a high school student.