Statement: Manchin bill would promote energy efficiency, “the cleanest energy”

Media Contacts
Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

However, proposal leaves room for improvement on renewables


WASHINGTON — The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing Thursday on a wide-ranging energy infrastructure bill put forth by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The discussion draft includes investments in grid infrastructure and resilience, and multiple approaches to reduce global warming emissions, including carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency programs, and battery manufacturing and recycling. The bill also includes $1.2 billion annually for nuclear power plants. 

U.S. PIRG’s Environment Campaigns Director Matt Casale released the following statement:

“Climate change has already made extreme weather more frequent across the United States. The Texas grid failure during a deep freeze this winter and the state’s continued challenges this summer amidst a severe heat wave underscored just how much we need to do to upgrade our energy systems to be more sustainable and resilient. This bill makes many important strides by investing in grid modernization, battery storage, energy efficiency and better energy demand response to help prevent widespread outages.  

“Of course, we need to go further and use all of the tools available to us to tackle the climate crisis, including transitioning to zero-carbon sources of energy and implementing natural-based solutions that will help remove carbon from the atmosphere. We look forward to working with Sen. Manchin and the committee to ensure we are going all in on renewables, efficiency and other solutions that drastically reduce emissions from the energy sector, so that we don’t need to spend so much money on speculative and expensive carbon capture and storage technologies.” 

Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, released the following statement:

“The amount of energy we waste is almost too big to believe — as much as two-thirds of what we produce. We need to shift to 100 percent clean renewable energy, and one of the best places to start is to reduce the amount of energy we need in the first place. We applaud Sen. Manchin’s efforts to improve energy efficiency, including $3.5 billion for the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program and energy efficiency programs for schools.

“At the same time, we should tap more of the nearly limitless potential of the sun and wind to power our homes, buildings and cars, rather than continuing to rely on dangerous and outdated nuclear technology. As a child, my family left our home in Germany following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Repurposing the $6 billion in nuclear credits proposed in this bill for renewable energy would help us meet our clean energy goals and bring about a a brighter, safer future for our kids. 

“We look forward to working with Sen. Manchin and his staff to fully maximize renewable energy’s potential.”