March 18, 2022

Manchin, Energy Secretary Granholm, Interior Secretary Haaland And Interagency Working Group Visit West Virginia, Announce Investments Across the State

Charleston, WVToday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and representatives from the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities visited several sites in Cabell, Fayette and Kanawha counties to highlight new investments in West Virginia. The group also met with stakeholders from across the state to discuss how their collaborative work is and will continue to create new economic opportunities and revitalizations to communities across West Virginia.
“I was honored to welcome my friends Secretary Granholm and Secretary Haaland to West Virginia to discuss the ongoing work of the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities as well as the tremendous investments made possible through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. At every stop, we heard from West Virginians who reminded us of the enormous sacrifices our coal communities have made to keep the lights on and power our nation,” said Senator Manchin. “I was especially excited about the new initiatives and developments we announced to help diversify and strengthen the West Virginia economy by creating new and good-paying jobs and revitalizing our communities. I look forward to working with secretaries Granholm and Haaland and our partners in the state and private sector to ensure families and communities across the Mountain State have the tools they need to build a brighter future.”
“Appalachia lies at the heart of President Biden’s strategy for Building a Better America,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE is making major investments in clean energy development and deployment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen America’s energy security and independence, unleash Appalachia’s clean energy potential, and create high-quality jobs across this region.”
“The Department of the Interior is investing billions from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law into communities to create good-paying union jobs and catalyze economic opportunity by reclaiming abandoned mine lands and cleaning up orphaned oil and gas wells across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “These historic investments — including $215 million available for West Virginia this year alone — are part of the Administration’s all-of-government approach to support communities as the energy economy undergoes transition, underpinned by innovation and job creation.”
“It’s wonderful to have Federal officials like Secretaries Granholm and Haaland in West Virginia to see first-hand the work that is being done to help build a stronger Appalachian economy,” said Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “We must continue working together across local, state, and Federal governments to invest in the Appalachian Region, because when Appalachia thrives the entire country succeeds.”
“I’d like to thank Senator Manchin for hosting Secretary Granholm and Secretary Haaland today in our great state. I am glad they got a firsthand look at the beauty and unmatched natural resources we’re blessed with in West Virginia. I truly believe that, by fully harnessing the power of our coal, oil, and natural gas, and by embracing an all-of-the-above energy strategy, West Virginia can help put America back on a pathway to energy independence. Not only would investing in these valuable and critical resources give our nation’s economy a much-needed boost, but I truly believe it would make the world a safer place. I hope and pray that secretaries Granholm and Haaland enjoyed their visit and now see what we’ve known all along: that West Virginia has unbelievable potential and the hardworking people who call our state home are ready to step up to the plate for their country, if they are called to do so,” said Governor Jim Justice (R-WV).
"Our goals at Marshall University are to educate, innovate and collaborate," said Marshall University President Brad D. Smith. “Today's visit allowed us to highlight some of the exciting programs underway at Marshall and offer the university's expertise and resources for federal and state development."
“West Virginia University depends on partnerships with and support from agencies like the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Interior to continue its critical research and development work across a range of fields, including energy and infrastructure,” said Gordon Gee, President of West Virginia University. “I am deeply appreciative of the time spent with Senator Manchin, Secretary Granholm and Secretary Haaland exploring the opportunities West Virginia presents. I look forward to future collaborations with potential to produce benefits in areas far beyond the Mountain State’s borders.”
A summary of each visit is described below. For more information on the public and private sector investments announced, please click here.
  • Senator Manchin, Secretary Granholm and Dr. Brian Anderson, Executive Director of the IWG, met with representatives from Nucor to discuss their new, state-of-the-art steel mill facility being developed in Mason County. The mill is expected to sustain 800 jobs when fully operational.
  • Senator Manchin, Secretary Granholm and Secretary Haaland met with Governor Justice and other state and federal leaders to discuss new opportunities the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides for West Virginia. Senator Manchin also highlighted the strong statewide support for the development of a West Virginia Hydrogen Hub.
  • Senator Manchin and the IWG hosted a session with federal officials and other stakeholders, including community leaders, to meet with and listen to West Virginians and discuss opportunities in the state. The group announced several federal and private investments, which can be viewed here.
  • Senator Manchin, Secretary Haaland and state officials toured the Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Research Center. The land the center sits on was designated as the Forks of Coal State Natural Area, which was awarded a $959,613 Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grant from the Department of the Interior and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) Office of Abandoned Mine Lands in 2020. The Center provides exhibits and learning opportunities for the public, focused on West Virginia’s native wildlife, conservation, stream restoration and more.
  • Senator Manchin and Secretary Haaland joined Smithers Mayor Ann Cavalier, Montgomery Mayor Greg Ingram and Rob Rice from WVDEP to visit reclaimed abandoned mine sites in the town of Smithers. During the visit, Senator Manchin highlighted a $4.7 million investment that he secured in the Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill for Smithers to build a trail system.
  • Senator Manchin and Secretary Haaland visited the Water Stone Outdoors store in Fayetteville to receive updates on the developing outdoor recreation economy in the region and to discuss relocating the outdoor equipment manufacturing industry to West Virginia.

To view photos of the visit, please click here.