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Senator Joe Manchin’s Conflict of Interest

The Daily

The New York Times

News, Daily News

4.597.8K Ratings

🗓️ 29 March 2022

⏱️ 31 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


At every step of his political career, Senator Joe Manchin III has helped a West Virginia power plant that is the sole customer of his private coal business, including by blocking ambitious climate action. A Times investigation has revealed the strands of the unusual relationship between Mr. Manchin and that especially dirty power plant, showing just how entwined they are. Guest: Christopher Flavelle, a climate reporter for The New York Times.

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From the New York Times, I'm Sabrina Tavernici. This is the Daily.


Today, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has long been tied to the coal industry.


But at times investigation reveals just how entwined Manchin and one especially dirty power


plant are. My colleague, climate reporter Christopher Flavell, on exactly how Manchin


intervened on behalf of a coal plant and earned millions along the way.


It's Tuesday, March 29th.


Chris, you've been working on this investigation into Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia for


a couple of months now. Give us the top line of what you uncovered.


Sure. So my goal with this story was to go beyond what we already knew.


And what climate reporters and many people in West Virginia and elsewhere already knew was that


the coal production has had long standing financial ties with the coal industry.


He, according to his Senate financial disclosure documents, gets about half a million dollars a year in income


from what we call the coal brokerage that he and others own.


And so the goal with this story was to find out more about what that means, what the specific nature of his financial ties to the coal industry


looked like, who are his clients, what are the services he provides, where does the money come from.


And so I spent time really digging into what exactly can we find out about what his business,


Enter Systems does and what the money that he's making, which is about three times his salary


to send her, what that money is for. And it's a very private business in the sense that it shares almost


no information. So finding out what it does took some digging.


And what I found at a high level was a very unusual relationship between Mr. Manchin and this one coal-fired power plant,


the Grand Town power plant. And a pattern that lasted decades where Mr. Manchin would, on the one hand,


use his influence as a public official to benefit this plant and its owners.


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