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U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to visit W.Va. today


The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry will make his first official visit to West Virginia today.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, joined by First District Rep. David McKinley will welcome Perry, who will tour Longview Power Plant in Maidsville Thursday morning and the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown that afternoon.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry

Speaking on MetroNews Talkline Wednesday, Manchin said he is looking forward to the visit.

“We are going to bring him in and show him NETL and Longview,” he said. “We will show him a clean power plant and what it can do and why it works so well with the energy mix that we need. He is going to see what West Virginia does, we have coal, natural gas, solar, hydro, it is not all about coal, we will show him the mix of energy we have.”

Manchin said the current administration has encouraged an all-in energy policy, but a balance is necessary.

“We have got to be careful to find that balance between the environment and economy, you can’t throw caution to the wind with either one,” Manchin told host Hoppy Kercheval. “The previous administration under Obama was basically trying to do energy without fossil fuel, you just can’t do it.”

Manchin said the main goal of the visit is to highlight West Virginia’s role to the nation.

“He needs to see what we do, and how dependent the country is on what West Virginia does,” Manchin said. “If you want to address the energy concerns and the climate of the world, then you better come to the realization that people are going to use what they have. Shouldn’t they at least use the technology we have already perfected while they try to find the new technology? These are the things that WVU, Marshall, and NETL can do, everyone can work together.”

Manchin said he and Perry “have had a long friendship from our governor days and understand how important it is to keep energy states like West Virginia and Texas strong.

In a press release, Manchin said, “Our state is on the cusp of energy innovation that will revolutionize our energy infrastructure and the way we power our country for decades to come. We can harness these opportunities only if we continue to work with the Department of Energy to ensure our research and development hubs in the state have the support and funding they need to bring their ideas to reality.

I look forward to showing Secretary Perry what we’re doing here in the Mountain State and I know that Secretary Perry will work with us to help seize upon our state’s energy potential whether it be pushing advanced coal technologies or cultivating innovative infrastructure systems for natural gas and natural gas liquids.”

According to a news release from Capito’s office, the secretary will also participate in a meeting with local stakeholders and elected officials to discuss economic benefits of boosting energy infrastructure in West Virginia.

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