DOE Grants Manchin Donor’s Company $1 Million
Grant comes as Biden attempts to secure Manchin's support for infrastructure bill
Alana Goodman • June 10, 2021 5:00 am
A major donor to Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) received a $1 million grant from the Department of Energy ahead of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s trip to West Virginia to lobby the senator on the administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill.
The U.S. Research Impact Alliance, an incubator for energy startups, received $1 million as part of the Department of Energy’s "grant funding for research and innovation projects," Manchin and Granholm announced during the energy secretary’s two-day visit to West Virginia late last week. The company’s treasurer is West Virginia businessman Michael Green, a longtime political ally and donor to Manchin.
The grant was part of a $6 million Department of Energy spending blitz in West Virginia last week, where the Biden administration is working to secure support for the American Jobs Plan from Manchin—a Democratic swing vote, with the power to make or break the administration’s legislative priorities in the Senate. The news raises questions for the Biden administration, which has already been accused of providing benefits to curry favor with Manchin. In March, the White House appointed Manchin’s wife Gayle to lead the Appalachian Regional Commission, a $175 million economic development agency, just two days after Manchin cast a divisive, last-minute vote to approve Biden’s embattled Pentagon policy nominee Colin Kahl.
Manchin acknowledged his leverage over the American Jobs Plan in a radio interview in April, noting that he objected to the proposal’s large corporate tax hike.
"If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere. So we’re going to have some leverage here," he said.