Manchin and Capito speak to business leaders at the Greenbrier | News, Sports, Jobs


picture by: Photo courtesy of the WV Chamber of Commerce

US Senator Joe Manchin said the tax credits in the Cut Inflation Act could help the state secure a regional hydrogen hub.

WHITE SULFUR SPRINGS — The two US senators from West Virginia remain committed to working together while at odds over whether the Cut Inflation Act will help or hurt West Virginia.

U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito spoke to attendees Thursday about the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 86th Annual Meeting and Business Summit at the Greenbrier.

Capito, RW.Va., said she remains concerned about the $737 billion Cut Inflation Act, crafted by Manchin and signed into law by President Joe Biden last month.

“I am very concerned about the direction this bill will take us. I expressed that to Senator Manchin,” Capito said. “People say ‘are you going to be able to work with Senator Manchin again?’ “Of course, I’m going to be able to work with Senator Manchin. We’ve been around a long time and we hang out. Everything that happens in West Virginia is the most important thing to us and will continue to be.”

The Cut Inflation Act includes $437 billion in spending for new clean energy investments, climate change mitigation, health care and prescription drug pricing reform, and funding for the western drought resilience. It also includes $300 billion for national deficit reduction.

The IRA is funded in part by a minimum corporate tax of 15% on income from books of $1 billion or more reported by companies in their financial statements to investors, a 1% commission on redemptions of actions by corporations, savings from prescription drug price reform, and funding for hiring. 86,000 additional IRS employees.

Manchin, DW.Va., has been criticized by Republicans, including Capito, and other groups for supporting the Cut Inflation Act, saying the new law will have a marginal effect on inflation, will increase burdens on businesses and hurt fossil fuel industries while reviving emerging green energy industries.

“Politically, they’re like, ‘Joe, why did you do that?’ I didn’t watch it from a political point of view, I watched it for the opportunity,” Manchin said. “This bill will do more to transform over the next 10 years. It gives us a path to be fully energy secure in the country by driving the investments it will take to make the energy technology of the future do it all.

“We can’t keep pouring in money and fanning the inflationary fire that we see in this country,” Capito said. “The administration and others have again passed another bill to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy, which I am very concerned will not have a reducing effect but will heightened due to all the different things that we see about all of you and your businesses.

Manchin spoke of the need for a hydrogen center in West Virginia, using the state’s abundant natural gas resources to create a clean source of energy for manufacturing and motor vehicles.

“I’m going to make a prediction: We’re going to have a hydrogen hub in West Virginia because we’re sitting on an ocean of energy. And that means everything from a transition perspective,” Manchin said.

“We have the resources to be completely energy independent,” Manchin continued. “We have the resources not only to help ourselves and not depend on foreign supply chains, we have the resources of the United States of America to help our allies. If we don’t, God help us… Without energy security, we will not be able to maintain the superpower status that we have.

Manchin, Capito and 1st District Rep. David McKinley, RW.Va., formed the West Virginia Hydrogen Hub task force in February. Gov. Jim Justice, Senate Speaker Craig Blair, R-Berkeley; Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay; Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier; and House Minority Leader Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, were added to the task force.

Manchin, Capito and McKinley were supporters of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act they helped pass last year, which includes funding for the hub project. hydrogen, while Justice was a supporter of the bill. The federal project is funded by $9.5 billion from the Physical Infrastructure Bill, including $8 billion for the Regional Hydrogen Hub program.

Each hub must demonstrate the production of clean hydrogen and demonstrate the use of clean hydrogen. Lawmakers were able to insert specific language that requires at least one hub to be placed in the Appalachia region. West Virginia’s proposal for a regional hydrogen hub was submitted to the US Department of Energy in March.

West Virginia’s proposal would most likely be either a gray hydrogen process, where hydrogen is extracted from natural gas with emissions released to the atmosphere; or the blue hydrogen process which also uses natural gas, but greenhouse gases are captured and pumped underground through carbon capture, use and storage. The IRA also includes hydrogen tax credits as well as increased credits to encourage research and construction of CCUS facilities.

Capito, whose early negotiations in 2021 with Biden and the White House helped pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last November, said she was proud of the law and of what it will mean for West Virginia. The state is expected to receive more than $6 billion that West Virginia is expected to receive over the next five to 10 years

“I started with President Biden,” Capito said. “I told the story here last year of how we turned the wheels here of what I think will be a major win for West Virginia. We are already seeing the roads, the sewage, the well plugging, broadband expansion, our airport expansions. We are upgrading our infrastructure that we have abandoned for so long. It is a good thing. Every West Virginian should be proud of the efforts being made to improve our infrastructure. .

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides $100 million for broadband expansion in West Virginia. This is in addition to more than $1 billion the state has available for various broadband expansion projects through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Connect America and Rural program. Federal Communications Commission’s Digital Opportunity Fund.

The US Treasury Department announced in June that West Virginia is one of four states whose broadband expansion projects have been approved through the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 1 .2 trillion, allowing officials to spend more than $136 million on broadband programs.

“We’re going to get there… There are really a lot of good innovative solutions,” Capito said. “We need to get the mapping right to make sure we’re not building too much in my neighborhood where I have great service or anywhere else…We want to make sure we’re hitting the unserved and underserved target.”

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