New government spending legislation is supporting novel sustainability-focused projects across the U.S.. From carbon capture projects in Louisiana to an electric vehicle academic program in West Virginia, the new funding is seeing broad bipartisan support.
“This funding is heading to schools, universities, hospitals, and towns to improve broadband, spur economic development, expand infrastructure — especially water and wastewater infrastructure — and keep our communities safe,” said West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Capito’s home state is receiving an extra $1 million for West Virginia University to develop an associate’s degree program in electric vehicle studies. The University of Maine will use $10 million for green engineering and materials research programs. These studies could help sequester carbon using wood products.
More than half a million dollars will head to Northern Illinois University for their Agriculture Consortium Project. It pairs meteorology and climate scientists with farmers to study the impact of severe weather.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski secured numerous clean energy investments for her state. One of which is based in Unalaska, AK, and is dubbed the Makushin Geothermal Project, which will use $2.5 million to replace diesel generation across the Aleutian Islands. The project is expected to create a zero-carbon emissions energy for Unalaska and all its businesses. Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy earmarked funds for carbon capture, setting aside $9 million for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to develop a new carbon sequestration system in Lena, LA.
“This project helps make Louisiana a leader in new energy technologies, and it will create jobs and attract new businesses in central Louisiana,” Cassidy said.
Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith in neighboring Mississippi are allotting $2 million for infrasonic monitoring research. Representative Elvira Salazar set aside more than $1 million for coral reef education in Florida.
“I’m proud to have secured (this funding),” Salazar stated. “These projects will create jobs, strengthen healthcare and water systems infrastructure, and address the harmful effects of a changing climate, making Miami an even better place to live and work.” In several cases, the new federal money will help companies working in numerous states continue to innovate and hire for in-demand jobs. For Toyota Motor Corporation, this means the ability to expand electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturing in both West Virginia and Tennessee, which will – like nearly all of these new projects across America – bolster economic development and support hundreds of jobs in each locality.