April 29, 2022

ICYMI: Manchin Questions U.S. Secretary Of Transportation On Corridor H, Harmony Grove Interchange, Supply Chain Issues

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on completing Corridor H, upgrading the Harmony Grove Interchange in Morgantown and protecting American supply chains of batteries, electrodes and battery cells.

On completing Corridor H:

“A high priority in my state is Corridor H. We've been trying to build it for 56 years and we have about 90% completed or either funded to be completed…The language of one federal decision requires each project to have an agency that takes the lead on it, and that would be under the Department of Transportation. We're hearing that those rules haven't been set yet or haven't been drafted, and it's supposed to be a two-year deadline…If you would look into that, we're worried we're going to miss the opportunity to finish this highway,” said Senator Manchin.

On upgrading the infrastructure of the Harmony Grove Interchange:

“A good friend of mine, Congressman McKinley from West Virginia, has been really leading the charge on this and it's something that is desperately needed. It’s the interchange on Interstate 79 in Morgantown, and it's called the Harmony Grove Interchange. If your agency can look into that, if it's doable, if it can be fast tracked, if we can make something happen or if we have to reroute something or do something differently. That would help us tremendously,” said Senator Manchin.

On protecting American supply chains of batteries, electrodes and battery cells:

“China is responsible for 80% of the world’s battery and material processing, 60% of the world's cathode production, 80% of the world's anode production and 75% of the world's lithium ion battery cell production. They've actually cornered the market. And I've got to be very honest with you, I see what’s going on with Putin weaponizing energy in Europe right now and I'm afraid that China could do the same thing. And we're not up and ready to run… We're getting ourselves into a situation that we're not going to be able to supply the continued electrodes and anodes and cathodes and everything that's going to be needed. So, do you all have the same concerns?” questioned Senator Manchin.

A video of Senator Manchin during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development hearing can be found here.