Manchin secures West Virginia priorities in bipartisan legislation that protects America’s national and economic security and invests in scientific research
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, applauded the signing into law of the CHIPS and Science Act. This bipartisan legislation protects our national and economic security against threats from foreign adversaries and makes significant investments in America’s world-leading scientific research and development. Many of the West Virginia priorities Chairman Manchin fought for were included in the legislation, including funds for key research infrastructure, programs, and partnerships at the National Laboratories and higher education institutions that serve minority communities and rural areas.
“I’m thrilled to see the enactment of this bipartisan legislation that strengthens our national security and reinforces America’s commitment to science and ingenuity. I fought to include $69 billion for innovation at the Department of Energy while also improving the Department’s ability to safeguard American patents and intellectual property and guard against nefarious research activities from our adversaries. This investment will help modernize our world-class National Laboratories, including NETL based in Morgantown, and expand and drive investment at research universities across West Virginia. It also funds a carbon materials science research center in the Appalachian region to advance research about converting coal and coal waste into valuable materials and products and spur new opportunities and industries for our hardworking coal communities. Importantly, this bill includes my Fission for the Future Act, which supports the development of advanced nuclear reactors in shuttered coal and fossil generating plants, bringing new high-paying jobs and economic opportunities to communities throughout West Virginia and the nation. Finally, this bill accelerates the domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips, ensuring America is not dependent on adversarial nations like China for the technologies we need to succeed in the coming decades. I’m proud of our bipartisan efforts to get this bill across the finish line, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this accomplishment for years to come,” said Chairman Manchin.
West Virginia priorities championed by Senator Manchin include:
- Carbon Materials Research Center to the Appalachian region to advance research about converting coal and coal waste into valuable materials and products, such as graphite, metal composites and alloys, building materials, and other high-value products that can be used in advanced technologies, energy sectors, and industrial applications. This initiative will spur new opportunities and industries for coal communities across West Virginia
- Investment of $800 million in the research, development, and demonstration of advanced nuclear reactors at industrial sites through the inclusion of Chairman Manchin’s bipartisan Fission for the Future Act. The program would prioritize communities that have retiring coal or other fossil generating facilities and assist in the reutilization of sites to deploy advanced nuclear power plants, promoting job growth in economically depressed regions
- Establishment of a $390 million National Nuclear University Research Infrastructure Reinvestment initiative. The program would further the development of advanced nuclear technologies by establishing up to four new research reactors and new nuclear science and engineering programs across the country that West Virginian universities and colleges are eligible to compete for
- Establishment of a carbon sequestration research and geologic computational science initiative, including at least two new research centers, to expand fundamental knowledge, data collection, analysis, and modeling of subsurface geology. This initiative will help decarbonize our fossil fuel sector without abandoning the security and reliability provided by natural gas and coal by supporting the development of safe underground storage of carbon dioxide
- Authorization of $250 million for the carbon materials and carbon sequestration initiatives described above
- $69 billion in funding for innovation at the Department of Energy (DOE) while also improving DOE’s ability to safeguard American intellectual property and patents, and guard against nefarious research activities from adversarial nations
- Quadruples the funding for the DOE’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) over 5 years; expands the ways DOE can support research capabilities and capacity in eligible states like West Virginia, including with undergraduate scholarships, grants to support early career faculty and staff, and funding to expand research capacity in key technology areas and partnerships with National Labs and industry. The funding also includes $125 million available to universities like West Virginia University for research instrumentation and equipment
- $14.7 billion for infrastructure, such as deferred maintenance, critical infrastructure, and modernization activities, at the 17 National Laboratories, including the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia