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Manchin rejects Democrats’ approach to climate change and China, calls for more drilling to stay competitive

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin rejected the way his party has approached climate change and China amid the gridlock over President Biden’s Build Back Better spending plan.

"Well, let me tell you the things that we can agree on," Manchin explained on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ Thursday when pressed about his hesitancy to sign off on the Democrats ‘ massive spending plan being debated in the Senate. "That we have agreed on. Child care, we agreed on child care. We’ve agreed on pre-K three and four. We agreed on in-home services. We agree basically on the climate bill that basically uses technology not just eliminating certain fuels, but technology to use them cleaner so the world will use them cleaner because the world is using more fossil than ever before." U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks to reporters in the Senate subway at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Manchin then turned the conversation to China explaining that the country has 3,000 coal fire plants compared to 500 in the United States.

"My environmental friends will make you believe…that the 500 are polluting the whole world," Manchin said. "They’re just not being accurate." Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China CPC Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivers an important speech at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC in Beijing, capital of China, July 1, 2021. (Photo by Ju Peng/Xinhua via Getty Images) (Ju Peng/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Manchin’s pushback against the environmental wing in his party comes the day after he spoke to Fox News’ Bret Baier on "Special Report," called for more drilling, and disagreed with President Biden blaming OPEC for the high gas prices plaguing the nation.

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"I say that we can basically do more for ourself," Manchin said . "We’ve been energy independent for the first time in 67 years. Why can’t we do more? Why can’t we produce more? We’ve got plenty of natural gas. My state beautiful state of West Virginia has an ocean of natural gas under it. If they will just let us build a pipeline we can get the product to market." U.S. President Joe Biden checks his watch during an event on global supply chain resilience through the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and recovery, on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome, Italy October 31, 2021. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Manchin added, "And why don’t we do more drilling and why don’t we do more basically production in the United States? I’m not depending on OPEC. I’m not depending on other countries for my energy anymore. We know how to do it. We have the technology. We should be relying on ourselves."

Baier asked Manchin, "So is the president wrong on that?"

"I have a difference of opinion," Manchin answered.

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