West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin Heads to the Senate. That’s Good

Manufacturers can be pleased with the election of Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to the U.S. Senate to fill the remaining two years of Sen. Robert Byrd’s term. Manchin has long acknowledged the need for West Virginia to improve its business climate, and he’s been a supporter of reforming the state’s capricious civil justice system.

Initially a supporter of the anti-democratic Employee Free Choice Act, Manchin eventually recognized its jobs-killing nature and came to oppose the legislation.

On over-regulation and the excesses of the EPA, Manchin is strong. In August, he wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson:

As EPA continues to promulgate more and more stringent standards, the economic consequences will become more and more burdensome for states and industry to bear, especially in these difficult times. By changing the rules in the middle of the game, EPA is adding an unnecessary element of confusion to an already complicated situation. Your agency must consider the economic and resource burdens caused by its actions. States will need flexibility and resources to help implement new standards. States also should give adequate time to develop plans that address any new air quality requirements.

Gov. Manchin currently serves as chairman of the National Governors Association, where he has made education a major emphasis. NAM President John Engler once chaired the NGA, as well, and the two have had valuable conversations on education and energy.

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