August 18, 2021
Manchin, Labor Secretary Walsh, UMWA Secretary-Treasurer Sanson Tour Ohio County Coal Mine, Promoting The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill's Impact On Coal Communities
To view photos of Senator Manchin, Secretary Walsh and Secretary-Treasurer Sanson’s tour, click here
Wheeling, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International Secretary-Treasurer Brian Sanson toured American Consolidated Natural Resources Ohio County Coal Resources Inc. Golden Ridge Portal Mine to view underground mining operations. Senator Manchin and Secretary Walsh also discussed the impacts the bipartisan infrastructure bill would have on coal communities in West Virginia.
“Today, I had the opportunity to tour the Golden Ridge Portal Mine with my friend Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and discuss the tremendous impacts the bipartisan infrastructure bill would have on West Virginia’s coal communities. For generations, West Virginia coal miners have made enormous sacrifices and done the heavy lifting to power our great nation. As our country and West Virginia move forward with emerging energy opportunities, we will not leave behind our coal communities,” said Senator Manchin. “I have always said the transition to a cleaner energy future must come from innovation, not elimination and the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate will do just that. I look forward to working with Secretary Walsh to support and reinvest in coal communities across the Mountain State.”
“Our coal communities are a critical part of the bipartisan infrastructure investment bill and we must reinvest in them to create new opportunities in the clean energy industry,” said U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. “The Department of Labor is committed to training miners and keeping workers safe on the job. I’m grateful for the opportunity to join Senator Manchin today and see firsthand how our miners do the hard work of powering our homes and cities. This infrastructure bill will bring innovation, invest in our energy producers, and build a modern infrastructure through good-paying union jobs.”
“We appreciate Secretary Walsh and Senator Manchin for coming to the Ohio County Mine to see a safe and productive operation in person,” said UMWA Secretary-Treasurer Brian Sanson. “The UMWA and our local unions work hard to ensure that union mines are safe mines, and we hope Secretary Walsh was able to see that first hand today. We look forward to having further conversations with him about how we improve safety conditions for all miners throughout the United States.”
In August, the Senate passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) bipartisan infrastructure bill that will bring at least $3.8 billion to West Virginia for infrastructure investments over the next five years. The bipartisan infrastructure bill included Senator Manchin’s Energy Infrastructure Act – a robust energy and public lands infrastructure package that advanced out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a bipartisan basis.
The Energy Infrastructure Act would fund over $100 billion in energy and related infrastructure. Specifically, the bill would:
· Carbon Capture: The bill would fund more than $12 billion for carbon capture technologies, including direct air capture and demonstration projects on coal, natural gas, and industrial plants and supporting CO2 infrastructure. It also funds work to advance use of coal, carbon, and CO2 for valuable products, including a demonstration in Appalachia.
· Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation: The bill would fund $11.3 billion for the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation Fund. As of September 2020, there were at least 140,355 acres of unfunded AML problem areas in West Virginia, which would cost at least $1.78 billion. It also extends the collection of the AML Reclamation Fee for 13 years. This fee levied on coal provides funding for the AML program.
· Hydrogen: The bill would fund $9.5 billion for hydrogen, including regional hydrogen hubs, of which two would be in the largest natural gas producing regions, including Appalachia. It would make NETL one of three lead laboratories for the new DOE hydrogen programs.
· Grants for Small- and Medium-Sized Energy Manufacturers: The bill would fund $750 million in grants for small- and medium-sized manufacturers of advanced energy products in census tracts where coal mines or coal power plants have closed in recent years so that investment in energy jobs returns to the communities and workers who have powered our country for generations.
· Demonstrating Clean Energy on Mine Lands: The bill also would fund a new Department of Energy clean energy demonstration program on current and former mine land to identify and address siting, permitting, and site remediation challenges.
To view photos of Senator Manchin, Secretary Walsh and Secretary-Treasurer Sanson’s tour, click here.
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