Granholm joins Manchin in West Virginia to promote clean energy
CHARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) – Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm joined a key US Senate member in West Virginia on Thursday to promote the role the once-booming coal-producing state will play in the development of clean energy.
Sen. Joe Manchin and Granholm were joined at a press conference in Morgantown with partners as part of a collaboration to build a ship, in part using steel made in landlocked West Virginia, to transport parts for offshore wind development projects in the United States.
“It’s kind of a window into the opportunity for West Virginia to be a leader in the energy of the future, besides leading the energy that got us here and still fuels us.” , said Granholm.
The development of offshore wind power is still in its infancy in the United States, far behind the progress made in Europe. A small wind farm operates near Block Island in Rhode Island state-controlled waters, and another small wind farm operates off the coast of Virginia.
The Jones Act prohibits foreign-flagged ships from transporting cargo between US ports. For example, the Danish company Orsted is partnering with Steel of West Virginia and energy suppliers Eversource and Dominion Energy to build a 470-foot (143-meter) vessel that will transport and install towers for offshore wind projects. off the Atlantic coast, said Granholm.
The ship is expected to be built by the end of 2023.
Granholm’s presence was the latest sign from the Biden administration to draw attention to Manchin, a moderate Democrat who has urged a two-party effort to pass the president’s $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. First Lady Jill Biden joined Manchin at a coronavirus vaccination clinic last month, days after Manchin’s White House meeting with the president on the infrastructure plan.
The nation’s second largest coal producer, West Virginia has lost 56% of its mining jobs since 2009 as power plants shift to renewable energy sources. Because in part of those lost jobs, West Virginia has lost the highest percentage of its population of any state in the past decade.
“We now have a golden opportunity with the new infrastructure bill coming up that energy is going to play such an important role, and how we can lead the world in a clean energy transformation,” Manchin said . âThat’s really what it is. You cannot rule your way to a cleaner climate. You can innovate your way.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden appeared to make a veiled reference to Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema when he answered a question about why he couldn’t get a big bill through. scope on voting rights.
Both senators frustrated Democrats in their defense of filibuster – the rule requiring most laws to win 60 votes to pass, so many of Democrats’ top priorities like voting rights and Gun control bills died on arrival in the Senate at 50-50.
During his two-day visit to West Virginia, Granholm, a former governor of Michigan, is also due to visit an underground coal mine and a rare earth elements laboratory. The shutdown comes two days after she traveled to Houston to tout the U.S. plan for Biden’s employment.
“The reason I’m here, the reason I went to Houston, which are fossil fuel communities, is to say it’s great that you brought us here, and thank you for that,” Granholm said. “But now take us to the next wave, the next step, which is this clean energy future, and be a part of it.”
Associated Press writer Matthew Daly in Washington contributed to this report.
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