Sen. Joe Manchin III on Thursday attributed Russia’s war against Ukraine for giving birth to the Inflation Reduction Act, a trimmed-down version of President Biden’s tax-and-climate-spending agenda that the West Virginia Democrat previously rejected.
Mr. Manchin, speaking on an energy panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, cited the global energy crunch that was exacerbated by Moscow’s invasion as the main reason he got on board the legislation to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on clean energy tax breaks and incentives.
“How the [Inflation Reduction Act] came about was because of the Ukrainian war. Let’s be honest. We knew everyone has their desires; they want everything to be clean and green. We all do. But also real life sets in, and the realization is that you’ve got to have 24/7 power dispatchable,” Mr. Manchin said. “It didn’t really hit a nerve until we saw what Putin did to Ukraine. That’s what got me going.”
As oil and gasoline prices spiked last year and the Biden administration turned to foreign adversaries like Iran and Venezuela for more oil production, “that’s when I went crazy” and helped write the legislation, he continued.
“Inflation was at 9%. The United States gas prices were $4, which are unheard of in the United States. And we were in a mess, [as well as] the president’s poll numbers,” Mr. Manchin said. “Everybody was desperate to do something. This was the only thing that made sense.”