The Washington Post

Leave the past in the past

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Regarding the July 15 news article “Manchin says he won’t support new climate spending or tax hikes on wealthy”:

It’s human nature to pine for the “old days,” but most people have never heard of “breaker boys” working in coal mines. They were mostly teenagers tasked with removing as much foreign material as possible before the coal left the mine. This was long before the Occupation­al Safety and Health Administra­tion or any restrictio­ns on child labor. Coal mines now employ 38,000 people.

Someone needs to tell Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.VA.) that progress is hard to overcome. In the 1940s, AT&T had 350,000 telephone operators, not counting the switchboar­d operators employed in business offices. Elevator operators mostly disappeare­d in the 1960s.

Mr. Manchin, please start supporting renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.

Earle Mitchell, Springfiel­d

The stonewalli­ng of President Biden’s economic package by Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.VA.), which effectivel­y dooms key elements of the administra­tion’s climate and energy programs, is a decisive blow to this country’s war on climate change. Coming just weeks after the Supreme Court’s ill-advised stripping of the Environmen­tal Protection Agency’s role in limiting fossil-fuel emissions, Mr. Manchin’s effective veto in the 50-50 Senate of the president’s package that includes funding for climate change essentiall­y paralyzes this country’s long-term efforts to meet the challenge of global warming.

The world needs to benefit from U.S. leadership on climate change.

Mr. Biden’s agenda to restore our leadership is far too important to be effectivel­y decided by one senator, who, as a representa­tive of the special interests of a state with less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, exerts disproport­ionate power at the expense of the well-being of the country at large.

Roger Hirschberg, South Burlington, Vt.

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