Manchin is pictured loading bullets into the gun while striding across an autumn landscape before letting off the shot. He says: “I sued the EPA and I’ll take dead aim at the cap and trade.”
Any chance of Congress passing a cap and trade bill died long ago. But Manchin’s ad is not entirely political theatrics.
With climate legislation defeated, Republicans and other opponents of action on global warming are trying to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its powers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Manchin as governor sued the EPA last week to stop the government from enforcing regulations that would restrict mountaintop mining removal.
As the name suggests, the highly destructive method involves blasting the tops off mountains, and dumping the debris in valleys. Roughly 2,000 miles of West Virginia’s streams have been contaminated this way.
Manchin has been facing an onslaught from Republicans who accuse him of siding with Obama and Democrats in Congress against West Virginia’s coal industry.
Other Democrats in Manchin’s predicament are adopting a similar strategy. Joe Donnelly, an Indiana Congressman who is in a tough fight for re-election in Elkhart, an area that soured on Obama because of high unemployment, is running television ads that refers to climate change legislation as “Nancy Pelosi’s energy tax”.
Donnelly voted against last year’s climate bill in the house.