White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Monday that President Joe Biden’s comments during a Friday speech about closing coal-fueled power generation plants were “twisted.”
“I spoke to this over the weekend,” Jean-Pierre said. “The president’s words we believe were twisted, and we were very clear about that.”
“It was loud and hard to hear,” she added, although the transcript of the Friday speech touting “green” energy showed Biden clearly said no new coal-fueled power plants were being built.
“No one is building new coal plants because they can’t rely on it, even if they have all the coal guaranteed for the rest of their existence of the plant,” Biden said Friday. “So it’s going to become a wind generation. And all they’re doing is — it’s going to save them a hell of a lot of money, and they’re using the same transmission line that transmitted the coal-fired electric on. We’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar.”
Biden’s comments prompted Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to demand an apology.
“Being cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who literally put their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive and disgusting,” Manchin said Saturday.
“The President’s remarks yesterday have been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended; he regrets it if anyone hearing these remarks took offense,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement released Saturday. “The President was commenting on a fact of economics and technology: As it has been from its earliest days as an energy superpower, America is once again in the midst of an energy transition.”
Biden blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and oil companies at various times for high energy prices, but experts have said Biden’s hostility to fossil fuel production is a factor in the increase in prices.