Karine Jean-Pierre Claims Biden’s Comments About Shutting Down Coal Plants Were ‘Hard to Hear’ and Have Been ‘Twisted’

The White House is still trying to walk back remarks Joe Biden made last week about shutting down coal plants, suggesting Monday that the comments were too hard to hear to be understood, and have been twisted.

While speaking in Southern California at the corporate headquarters of Viasat in to promote the CHIPS and Science Act, Biden on Friday very clearly said “we’re going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar.” The CHIPS and Science Act was signed into law in August to provide $50 billion in incentives to the domestic manufacturing of semiconductors.

Biden seemed to suggest that the United States’ would be transitioning to so-called “clean energy” partly because of the high cost of coal.

“No one is building new coal plants, because they can’t rely on it, even if they have all the coal guaranteed for the rest of their existence of the plant, so it’s going to become a wind generation,” Biden said. “And all they’re doing is they’re going to save them a hell of a lot of money using the same transition line that transmits coal fire electric,” he claimed, before stating that the U.S. would be “shutting these plants down all across America.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Saturday ripped Biden for making what he called “offensive and disgusting” comments that ignored the “severe economic pain” Americans are feeling because of rising energy costs.

“Being cavalier about the loss of coal jobs for men and women in West Virginia and across the country who literally put their lives on the line to help build and power this country is offensive and disgusting,” Manchin said.

The Democrat demanded that Biden apologize to coal workers.

“Comments like these are the reason the American people are losing trust in President Biden and instead believes he does not understand the need to have an all in energy policy that would keep our nation totally energy independent and secure,” he said.

Later on Saturday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre put out a statement accusing critics of twisting his comments: “The president’s remarks yesterday have been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended; he regrets it if anyone hearing these remarks took offense,” she said.

Jean-Pierre was still in damage control mode on Monday, as she struggled from the White House podium to explain Biden’s remarks. This time she seemed to suggest that it was too hard to hear Biden’s message due to loud noises in the room.

So we just wanted to be very clear, uh, on that, which is why we, uh, put out a statement. Seems like there was uh, some confusion, uh, on that. And so, uh, but you know, uh, I want to say this. It was—some of you were there. It was loud and hard to hear, I think, or maybe not exactly what [heavy sigh] what, uh, was being said, but I currently don’t want to get into punditry from here and why we did it, or [unintelligible] did it on T.V.

But I spoke to this over the weekend. The president’s words, we believe, were twisted, um, and we were very clear about that, and anybody who knows Joe Biden, knows that he comes from coal, uh, coal country, from Scranton, Pennsylvania. His great grandfather was a mining engineer as you all know.

Reading from her notes, Jean Pierre continued a bit more smoothly: “President Biden knows that the men and women of coal country built this nation, and he has spent his presidency fighting for coal communities so that they too  can benefit from the energy transition we’re in right now.”

However, Biden’s hostility toward the energy sector is well documented, even if it’s not a narrative Democrats need ahead of the midterm elections as Americans struggle to make ends meet.

During a campaign event in New Hampshire in December of 2019, Biden said coal miners should “learn how to program,” and fossil fuel executives should go to jail. “Anybody who can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well…Give me a break! Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for god’s sake!” Biden said.

Biden said guidelines were needed to hold fossil fuel executives “liable” for alleged pollution “particularly in those cases where your underserved neighborhoods and you know the deal,” and threatened: “when they don’t [unintelligible] we’ll put them in jail—I’m not joking!”




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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 07: White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a daily press briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on November 7, 2022 in Washington, DC. The upcoming midterm election was addressed during the briefing. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)