WV Sen. Joe Manchin Gains Key Role on Energy Panel

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WASHINGTON (AP) – West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin will become the top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee in the next Congress, giving the coal-state lawmaker a prominent position to shape policy.

His ascension to the job was opposed by some environmentalists. They said Senator Manchin wasn’t supportive enough of clean energy to be the top Democrat on the panel.

Manchin vowed Tuesday that he’ll search for “common-sense solutions” in the role.

Two other senators, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, could have leapfrogged Manchin to take the job but chose not to. Senate Democrats will remain in the minority next year, with the GOP holding a 53-seat majority.

Manchin was elected to another six-year term in November, defeating Republican Patrick Morrisey.