Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) went on record Thursday firmly stating his opposition to “any kind of” carbon tax legislation.

“Forget it,” there’s no viable path for a carbon tax in Congress, Manchin declared yesterday during a webinar event with the Bipartisan Policy Center when asked if there are 50 votes in the US Senate for “any kind of aggressive carbon pricing in the next couple of years.”

“They want to talk about this as a penalty? Forget it. As long as I’m here and there’s 50 votes and it takes 51 to pass it,” Manchin continued. 

During the webinar, Jason Grumet, President of the Bipartisan Policy Center, recounted a prior conversation with Sen. Manchin from “7 or 8 years ago” in which he pushed Manchin to support carbon pricing. 

According to Grumet, Manchin pointed his finger in Grumet’s chest and told him “let me get this straight, you want me to go back to West Virginia and tell voters that I’m going to raise prices on a bunch of stuff, I’m going to knock a bunch of you out of jobs but trust me, the global economy is going to invent technologies? That’s not going to happen.” Sen. Manchin laughed along as Grumet retold the story.

Grumet then asked Sen. Manchin if his position has changed since their prior conversation.

“When you say the word tax, that’s a penalty. Don’t penalize me, don’t shoot me in the foot and make me tell you that you’ll like it,” Manchin replied. 

These public comments from Sen. Manchin are a strong rebuke of carbon tax legislation, coming at a time when the Biden administration is considering a proposal to push for a federal carbon tax. 

The full video of the webinar event can be found here