Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) suggested that some proponents of climate-change action are going through their own denials — thinking that there’s really a viable alternative for replacing fossil fuels.

“We still depend on coal. We can do it better. We have done it better, cleaned up the atmosphere and the climate more in the last two decades than ever before. We can even do more if the government will work with us,” Manchin told Fox. “They need what we have. We want to produce and provide what they have. And with that being said, we should be working together.”

Manchin stressed that he wants Senate votes on energy issues such as the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and support of coal-mining areas.

“I said, Harry, I came here to vote. I’m OK. I can take any tough vote. I can explain myself. I can go home and look every West Virginian in the eye and tell them, with the facts I had in front of me, this is what I voted for that would help our country and our state. I can do that,” he said of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“And I’m asking him to open that process up. There’s other reasons behind the scene maybe we don’t know about. But him and Mitch need to get together and work and move forward, as leaders are supposed to do.”

Reid’s excuse, Manchin said, is that “it’s a moving target. He makes one deal, and they change to another deal.”

The West Virginia Dem then gave his opinion on climate change.

“I believe that seven billion human beings on Mother Earth here have affected the environment, and we’re responsible for that. With that being said, you got to find the balance. So, I’m not a denier,” said Manchin. “On the other hand, I ask my friends from really the far left, if they will, are you a denier? Are you denying that this country can continue to provide affordable, reliable energy without using fossil or coal or any of that?”

“It’s going to take all of us working together. So, deniers on both sides are wrong. And you don’t get anything accomplished by just pointing fingers and saying, this person is wrong, we can go along. If we go through another polar vortex that we went through this winter and they take off the fossil fuel basically reliability of 10,000 megawatts of power, we’re going to have people that possibility is — their life is in danger and many people will die.”

“We shouldn’t let that happen,” he continued. “Reliability is the name of the game, reliability, affordability, what we can provide in this country to keep us competitive. And it’s going to take everything. I don’t want to be reliant on foreign oil anymore. And we don’t need to be.”