After refusing to support a stripped-down version of the reconciliation package to invest billions of dollars in federal funds to combat climate change and obstructing other federal efforts to protect the environment, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and his wife, Gayle Manchin, have directed millions of federal dollars to a region in West Virginia where the couple owns a condo, The Intercept reports.
"Hundreds of miles north of the coal communities decimated by the mountaintop removal mining that Manchin fostered in the state, the Manchins’ Canaan Valley residence sits in an unadulterated watershed, surrounded by the Dolly Sods Wilderness, the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and Blackwater Falls State Park," The Intercept's Daniel Boguslaw writes.
According to Boguslaw, Manchin "used his spot on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee" to secure $7 million in funds to rebuild the visitor center at the refuge, which is less than a mile from his condo. But despite his continued efforts to preserve the region, Boguslaw says that the West Virginia Senator has been "holding federal climate legislation hostage."
Gayle Manchin, who was appointed by Biden to head the Appalachian Regional Commission last year, recently secured another $25,000 in funding for source water analysis in the valley and a $1.2 million “POWER” grant to connect and improve trails in the area.
Boguslaw writes that Gayle Manchin "has directed millions of dollars in federal grants to projects tied to her personal investments," adding that Manchin has supported "some of the most environmentally catastrophic fossil fuel extraction projects in the country while launching attacks on the federal government’s ability to pursue environmental regulation as the chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources."