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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

Summary

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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0:00.0

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

0:07.0

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

0:19.0

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

0:26.0

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

0:34.0

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

0:46.0

It's Tuesday, March 29th.

0:49.0

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

0:58.0

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

1:02.0

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

1:07.0

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

1:13.0

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

1:20.0

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

1:27.0

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

1:32.0

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

1:40.0

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

1:45.0

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

1:53.0

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

2:00.0

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

2:07.0

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

2:12.0

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

2:22.0

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

2:28.0

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

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