Committee Witnesses Applaud Manchin-Led Energy Infrastructure Proposal

Legislative proposal represents a critical investment in nation’s infrastructure that will create jobs, support the transition to a cleaner energy future, and strengthen our competitive advantages

June 24, 2021

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here.

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to examine the infrastructure needs of the U.S. energy sector, western water, and public lands, and to consider an infrastructure proposal. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Committee, highlighted the importance of adequately and responsibly investing in the nation’s infrastructure, and stressed that his legislative proposal would deliver on President Biden’s American Jobs Plan in ways that could garner bipartisan support.

“Infrastructure, broadly speaking, is truly a bipartisan issue that serves as the backbone of society. It is critical at this time in our history that we come together to invest in our country in ways that are both fiscally responsible and reflect the needs of our nation. With the right strategy, reinvesting in our nation’s infrastructure can also strengthen the economy, create jobs, boost our competitiveness, and help tackle climate change,” Chairman Manchin said.

During the hearing, witnesses praised Chairman Manchin’s legislative proposal as a critical step towards addressing the infrastructure needs of the country, and as a welcome complement to Chairman Manchin’s bipartisan Energy Act of 2020.

“This bill represents the most significant investment in our committee’s history to address the 20 percent of greenhouse emissions that come from the industrial sector, as well as advancing significant investments to reduce pollution in the power sector—and it does so in ways that support the creation of good-paying jobs, advance domestic manufacturing, reduce criteria pollution, lower energy bills, and build a competitive advantage developing technologies to export around the globe,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation. “[This proposal] and the work of the entire Committee on Energy and Natural Resources could not come at a more critical time. As our nation recovers from a deadly pandemic and as the twin climate and biodiversity crises reaching tipping points, there is not a moment to waste.”

“The Administration appreciates the Chairman’s efforts with this significant discussion draft, which complements the Department’s efforts to advance the President’s initiative and addresses a number of the Department’s priority goals… The draft contains a number of priority provisions for the Department, and we believe that it is a positive start to this important process. The Administration welcomes the opportunity to work with the Committee to put in place necessary and comprehensive infrastructure investments that will create millions of good jobs, address the climate crisis, and clean our environment,” said the Honorable Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, Department of the Interior.

“The Department is pleased to see many pieces in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources infrastructure discussion draft inspired by the American Jobs Plan and taking important steps to advance the Energy Act of 2020. Under this committee’s leadership, the bipartisan Energy Act of 2020 laid out a roadmap for our research, development, demonstration, and deployment of advanced nuclear technology, carbon capture, geothermal, wind, solar, critical materials, and so much more. The infrastructure discussion draft builds on the Energy Act of 2020 and appropriates critical funding towards many of the demonstrations authorized in that Act, including energy storage demonstration projects, advanced reactor demonstration projects, direct air capture technology prize competitions, industrial emissions demonstration projects among others. Demonstrations are a key step in scaling technology solutions and can create good-paying jobs with a choice to join a union and collectively bargain. The infrastructure discussion draft goes beyond the Energy Act of 2020 in key areas like hydrogen hubs and manufacturing, scaling carbon transportation and storage, and cybersecurity,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Acting Undersecretary for Science and Energy, Department of Energy.

“The Energy Infrastructure Act discussion draft before us recognizes key investments critical to the USDA Forest Service and highlights areas detailed in the President’s American Jobs Plan. It offers thoughtful solutions to many of the issues our agency currently faces. It recognizes the need to make the investments in technology, predictive services, and state and local firefighter partners and, most imperative, it recognizes the need to reduce the risk of wildfires by restoring our forested landscapes through a variety of Federal and State-based programs,” said Chris French, Deputy Chief, US Forest Service.

The hearing featured witnesses from the Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture Forest Service, National Wildlife Federation, American Action Forum, and Manhattan Institute. To read their testimony click here.

To watch the hearing in full, please click here.