Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., left, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is joined by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the ranking member, as the panel hears from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on President Joe Biden's budget request for 2024, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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As a U.S. Army veteran, I believe our leaders need to look seriously at the dangers posed by climate change. That’s why I’m so baffled by Sen. Joe Manchin’s attacks against the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a bill which finally gave our country the tools to tackle the climate crisis and move our economy forward into the future.

Scientists and military leaders agree that climate change is making extreme weather more frequent and intense. Climate change is also putting our troops in harm’s way. Sea level rises are threatening our military bases, and droughts and rising temperatures will only exacerbate global conflict. That’s why the clean energy transition and the IRA are so important. Since the IRA passed, there has been an explosion of new investment in clean energy projects all over the country, including wind, solar, electric vehicle manufacturing, and energy storage.

With the IRA doing so much good, I was shocked to see Manchin denouncing the implementation of the bill — which he voted for — as “radical.”

Sen. Manchin has been  indicating he might run for President in 2024. Perhaps that explains his change of tone on the IRA, but he won’t be winning my vote by attacking this bill which is so important for our national security.

Perry O’Brien