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Sen. Joe Manchin Introduces Bill That Could Bring $4 Billion To Coalfields

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

Lawmakers are supporting a new plan that could provide a tax credit to energy companies that opened or upgraded in rural communities across the country.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin along with his Democratic colleague Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, introduced the American Jobs in Energy Manufacturing Act of 2021 during a call with media on Monday.

The proposed legislation would expand a tax credit to businesses hit hard by the downturn in the coal industry and help manufacturing facilities that make or recycle energy related products. The tax credit was originally created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act back in 2010. Stabenow said when it was used before, it helped businesses in Michigan and a once-failing automobile industry.

“We know that it works because we used this 48C credit one other time and using this, expanded it to focus it to places that have been hit so hard and are transitioning now, for all of the right reasons, to new clean energy,” Stabenow said. “I know for West Virginia and many parts of Michigan as well, this is a very important bill.”

The act would invest $8 billion aimed at retooling, expanding, or building new facilities. Half of that money would be targeted in places where coal mines have closed or coal power plants have retired. Manchin said the legislation would help the people and communities that have led energy innovation in the country and deserve a way forward.

“Reinvest back into the areas that built America,” said Manchin who serves as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“If it wasn’t for the coal mines, if it wasn’t for the coal that makes the best steel in the world, if it wasn’t for the automotive industry, we wouldn’t have the country we have today.” Manchin said.

The tax credit would be offered to companies that meet certain standards such as location and purpose. Some of the eligible standards listed in a new release include equipment for the production of low-carbon, low-emission chemicals, fuels, and related products, renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment.

“The downturn of the coal industry has left many Americans without the good-paying jobs they once relied on and, more often than not, a lack of new opportunity,” Manchin said. “The negative impact is felt by local economies across the country. I believe that tax credits to help incentivize the transition to a cleaner energy future should be targeted to drive reinvestment in the communities who are the most impacted by that transition, and that’s exactly what the American Jobs in Energy Manufacturing Act of 2021 will do.”

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