Karine Jean-Pierre walks back Biden's 'twisted' coal comments: 'No one will be left behind'
Sen. Joe Manchin called Biden's comments 'divorced from reality' on Saturday
The White House is saying that President Biden's remarks stating he will be shutting down coal plants "all across America" had been "twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended."
Biden made the comments on Friday when discussing energy, stating that coal plants cost too much to operate and advocated for renewables as an eventual replacement.
"No one is building new coal plants because they can’t rely on it," Biden said. "Even if they have all the coal guaranteed for the rest of the existence of the plant."
"So it's going to become a wind generation," Biden added. "And all they're doing is, it’s going to save them a hell of a lot of money and using the same transmission line that they transmitted the coal-fired electric on. We're going to be shutting these plants down all across America and having wind and solar power."
MANCHIN DEMANDS BIDEN APOLOGIZE FOR 'OUTRAGEOUS' COAL COMMENTS: 'TIME HE LEARN A LESSON'
After backlash from people such as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who called the comments "outrageous and divorced from reality," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated in a Saturday press release, "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. The President was commenting on a fact of economics and technology: as it has been from its earliest days as an energy superpower, America is once again in the midst of an energy transition."
"Working closely with Senator Manchin, a tireless advocate for his state and the hard-working men and women who live there, President Biden has helped get this part of the country back to work: the unemployment rate in West Virginia was 6.2% the last month before Joe Biden took office; now it is down to 4%," she added.
BIDEN SAYS COAL PLANTS ‘ALL ACROSS AMERICA’ WILL BE SHUT DOWN, REPLACED WITH WIND AND SOLAR
After touting falling unemployment rates in West Virginia, Jean-Pierre noted how the administration will continue to push for moving away from fossil fuels without leaving anyone behind.
"Under President Biden, oil and natural gas production has increased, and we are on track to hit the highest production in our country’s history next year," she said. "He is determined to make sure that this transition helps all Americans in all parts of the country, with more jobs and better opportunities; it’s a commitment he has advanced since Day One. No one will be left behind.
Just a few hours before the White House clarified Biden's statement, Manchin criticized the plan.
"President Biden’s comments are not only outrageous and divorced from reality, they ignore the severe economic pain the American people are feeling because of rising energy costs," Manchin said.
Manchin added that Biden is losing the trust of Americans because of comments like this.
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"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," Manchin said.
FOX Business' Tyler Olson contributed to this report.