Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $1,452,800 in federal funding to build 38 publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) charging ports across Henrico County and to plan for the future of EV infrastructure development. The ports will be spread across seven community facilities, such as libraries, government centers, and parks and recreation sites. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program, which equalizes access to EV ports and other alternative fueling sources across America.?The CFI Program was created through the bipartisan infrastructure law (BIL), legislation strongly supported by Sens. Warner and Kaine.

“Electric vehicles have enormous potential to limit air pollution and cut carbon emissions, but we need widespread, accessible charging infrastructure so even more Virginians can make the switch,” said the senators. “We’re thrilled the bipartisan infrastructure law is expanding EV charging capacity in Henrico County, and we will continue working to make it affordable and convenient for Virginians to choose electric vehicles and other clean energy solutions.”

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to invest in a clean energy future. This funding represents some of the $7.5 billion authorized by the BIL to build electric vehicle charging stations across the country, with more grants still to be announced. In addition to competitive grants, Virginia is guaranteed to receive at least $106 million in formula funding over five years to build new EV charging stations. Across the board, the BIL has made several other investments in clean energy across the Commonwealth: the senators also recently celebrated over $17 million to buy 57 low- and no-emission school buses for Fairfax and Newport News Public Schools, $71 million to reduce power outages and allow more clean energy sources to reach the electric grid, $171 million for low- or no-emission public transit buses, and more. Additionally, the senators strongly supported the Inflation Reduction Act, which invests in both clean energy production and tax credits for Americans that make qualifying energy-efficient purchases. On Jan. 1, the IRA began allowing individuals that buy a new or used electric vehicle to receive a tax credit at the point-of-sale instead of having to wait to file their taxes.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement regarding provisions to lower health care and energy costs that went into effect on January 1, 2024. These provisions were made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which was supported by the senators and passed in the Senate by one vote. These measures to lower costs come as the prices of hundreds of drugs are expected to rise this month.

“When we passed the Inflation Reduction Act, we knew that it would have tremendous benefits for communities across Virginia. We’re excited that key provisions from the law went into effect this year to help lower prescription drug and energy costs for millions of Americans. We look forward to Virginians continuing to see the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act in the years to come.”

The following provisions went into effect on January 1, 2024:

  • Lower Health Costs for Low-Income Americans: Americans with Medicare who have incomes up to 150% of the federal poverty line are now eligible for full benefits under the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program, also known as “Extra Help.” The Extra Help program helps low-income Americans on Medicare cover their out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. Virginians can apply for Extra Help through the Social Security Administration by going online, calling 1-800-772-1213, or visiting a local Social Security Office.
  • Lower Drug Costs for Millions of Medicare Recipients: Lower Drug Costs for Millions of Medicare Recipients: A provision in the IRA will make accessing medication more affordable for millions of Americans on Medicare who rely on expensive medications, often to treat chronic conditions. This IRA provision institutes a cap on prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare Part D for the first time. 
  • Lower Premiums for More Than 500,000 Virginians: There are additional provisions that went into effect to limit annual premium increases for Americans, including more than 500,000 Virginians, enrolled in Medicare Part D.
  • Simplified Electric Vehicle (EV) Tax Credits: The IRA allows qualified individuals to get a tax credit up to $7,500 for the purchase of new EVs or a tax credit of up to $4,000 for certain used EVs and plug-in hybrids purchased through a dealership. Virginians who buy an EV from a participating dealer can now choose to receive their tax credit for that purchase at the point-of-sale instead of after filing their taxes.

More information about other key provisions from the Inflation Reduction Act that went into effect in 2023 is available here.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) announced $3,000,000 to initiate the Peninsula Regional Flood Risk Management feasibility study for the City of Hampton, VA and the surrounding region.  

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the lawmakers previously secured $1.5 million for the Virginia Beach and Vicinity Coastal Storm Risk Management Study and nearly $399 million for the Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Project. Today’s announcement builds on that progress by extending the study of flood risk management strategies to the Peninsula. The study will investigate flood threats ranging from sea level rise, coastal storm surge, and rainfall events, and will develop mitigation solutions to reduce flood risk. This funding will allow work on the study to begin immediately.

 “Rising sea levels threaten lives and livelihoods, and in no place has that been more evident than this region, which has experienced record flooding in recent years,” the members said. “We’re glad to see this crucial funding finally head to the region in order to develop a comprehensive resilience plan for all of Hampton Roads.”

The Hampton Roads region is subject to the highest rate of historic relative sea level rise on the U.S. east coast and tenth worldwide in terms of value of assets exposed to flooding. Sea level rise conditions underscore the necessity for a comprehensive study to identify and address flooding challenges to ensure continued quality of life, economic growth, and ecosystem health for the region.

Since 2021, Sens. Warner and Kaine have requested funding for this project in order to build a comprehensive flood management and storm resilience plan for the region.   

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $62,362,000 in federal funding for the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund (VCWRLF) to make clean water infrastructure upgrades across the Commonwealth. The funding was awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a federal-state partnership that provides low-cost financing to communities for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects, including municipal wastewater facilities, pollution control, wastewater treatment systems, stormwater runoff mitigation, green infrastructure, and water reuse. More than $47 million of this funding was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Sens. Warner and Kaine helped pass.

“Clean water is important for the health of all Virginians,” the senators said. “We’re glad this funding will help improve infrastructure throughout Virginia and ensure our communities have access to safe water.”

Virginia will use the funding to help communities across the Commonwealth fund necessary water projects that some communities may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Specifically, the funding may be used to:

  • Improve wastewater collection and treatment facilities,
  • Upgrade stormwater management systems,
  • Clean up contaminated brownfields such as abandoned factories, gas stations, and dry cleaners,
  • Build living shorelines, which are made from natural materials such as plants, sand, or rock and purify water, buffer floods, and reduce erosion, and
  • Conserve lands.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have long supported efforts to improve water infrastructure. Earlier this month, the senators announced over $8.1 million in federal funding to improve wastewater treatment in Kilmarnock and Clarksville. the senators also announced over $4 million in federal funding, courtesy of the BIL for clean water improvement in September of this year.  

 

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WASHINGTON – In response to China’s continued dominance of the critical mineral supply chain, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) led a group of bipartisan colleagues in a call for action to secure supply chains and reduce U.S. reliance on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for minerals that are inputs for critical technologies, including through increased government support to U.S. private sector companies investing and operating in critical mineral projects.

This is the latest step that the Intelligence Committee leaders have taken to counter China’s dominance of this growing industry. Last month, Sens. Warner and Rubio hosted government officials and domestic industry leaders for a roundtable discussion on access to critical minerals

In a letter to the Biden administration, the senators highlighted the exploding demand of critical minerals and their growing importance to U.S. national security, while pointing out the U.S. is falling behind its adversaries in efforts to secure the global critical mineral supply chain.

The senators wrote, “Demand for critical minerals is growing exponentially, yet the U.S. substantially lags behind its adversaries in securing critical mineral supply chains. In fact, in many cases China controls nearly 100 percent of the end-to-end supply chain, and is actively seeking to maintain and increase its control of these resources around the globe.”

Outlining key areas where improvement is needed to expand domestic capabilities, the senators requested that the administration take a series of steps to ensure U.S. support to domestic industry, to strengthen internal coordination across government agencies, and to formulate a strategy for U.S. collaboration with our allies, to combat China’s growing dominance in this space.

They continued, “Focusing the efforts of the U.S. government, in coordination with our allies, upon standing up processing, refining, and metallurgical capacity must be a priority if we are going to succeed in reducing our reliance on China for critical minerals.”

Sens. Warner and Rubio were joined in this letter by U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

In a separate letter to Reta Jo Lewis, Chair of Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), Sens. Warner and Rubio advocated for the prioritization of EXIM’s projects to secure critical mineral supply chains both domestically and in allied and partner nations, in order to reduce dependence on China.

The senators wrote, “Given the national security and economic implications of critical mineral supply chains, U.S. government agencies and institutions – including EXIM – must better align efforts to support the establishment of supply chains that serve our interests and are independent of the influence and control of the PRC.”

In order to ensure that appropriate steps to prioritize critical mineral projects are being taken, the senators requested EXIM seek approval from their board of directors to invest in relevant projects, develop a strategy to coordinate with the private sector engaged in this space, and notify Congress of any additional resources or fixes needed to better support critical mineral projects.

They concluded, “The stakes of our economic struggle with the PRC demands that we reduce our dependence on them in critical technology sectors and for critical goods, especially those with defense and energy applications.”  

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WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) applauded $10,000,000 in federal funding for St. Paul’s Blue Greenway, a multipurpose park that will be located in St. Paul’s Redevelopment Project in Norfolk. Specifically, this funding will be used for the park’s development, which includes uncovering a buried creek and creating a resilient creek area, which will provide the neighborhood with a green space that will also help prevent future flooding. Once finished, St. Paul’s Blue Greenway will feature two playgrounds, a 10-station fitness area, splashpad, overlook deck, channel pier, outdoor stage, game tables, bike racks, grills, and an outdoor public gathering area and pavilion. 

“We’re thrilled to see this federal funding go towards building an inventive green space that will serve families in the St. Paul’s community while addressing the complex flooding challenges facing the region,” the Senators said. “We will be following the development of this project and look forward to seeing Norfolk lead the way with innovative solutions that strengthen our climate resilience.”

This funding was awarded by the Department of the Interior’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program – a nationally competitive program targeting grant assistance to help economically disadvantaged urban communities with no, or almost no, access to publicly available, close-by, outdoor recreation.

The ORLP program is funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which was permanently authorized by Congress in 2020 as part of the Great American Outdoors Act – a once-in-a-generation law Sens. Warner and Kaine helped pass. The LWCF supports increased public access to and protection for federal public lands and waters — including national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas — and provides matching grants to state governments for the acquisition and development of public parks and other outdoor recreation sites. Sens. Warner and Kaine have for years helped to deliver millions of dollars in federal support for resilience efforts in the St. Paul’s area, including through the Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot and BUILDS Programs; Housing and Urban Developments’ Choice Neighborhoods and Natural Disaster Resilience Programs; the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program; the Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Project; and through the Fiscal Year 2022 budget and the draft Fiscal Year 2024 budget.

This funding helps advance the Biden-Harris administration's America the Beautiful initiative, a locally led, voluntary conservation and restoration effort that aims to address the nature and climate crises, improve equitable access to the outdoors, and strengthen the economy

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, wrote to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm detailing the need for the United States to establish its leadership in the research, development, production and manufacturing of new battery technologies. Currently, the People’s Republic of China dominates end-to-end supply chains, including the mining and refining of critical mineral inputs for lithium-ion batteries, which are used in the U.S. energy grid, electric vehicles, and military weapons and platforms, among other industries.

In October 2023, China restricted exports of raw and synthetic graphite, critical to manufacturing battery anodes. The move followed July 2023 export controls on gallium and germanium, two components used in the manufacturing of semiconductors and other critical technologies.

“The PRC near-monopoly over battery production, and the upstream materials they require, poses substantial defense and economic security vulnerabilities,” the senators wrote.

In recent years, the U.S. has taken steps through the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act to establish and re-shore capabilities related to advanced batteries. However, the U.S. currently lacks the infrastructure needed to test and scale up next-generation battery technologies to reach commercial, “gigafactory” scale. Private sector companies then turn to China for up-scaling facilities – posing significant supply chain risks to the United States.

They continued, “We commend the Department of Energy for continuing to be at the forefront of innovation, but the U.S. must become a leader in manufacturing batteries and battery components, while securing our supply chains for the materials that make up those components. In addition, it is critical that the U.S. lead in next-generation battery technology and alternative chemistries, including by supporting domestic companies developing and producing solid-state electrolytes, sodium-ion, lithium-sulfur, and iron-oxide among others.”

In order to ensure that the federal government is adequately investing in domestic battery developments, the senators requested that the Department:

  • Ensure consideration of innovative technologies beyond conventional lithium-ion batteries in the next round of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing & Recycling Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA);
  • Consider support for public-private pilot-line manufacturing facilities, focusing on innovative technologies;
  • Coordinate with the Department of Defense and other national security agencies to support procurement of innovative, U.S.-developed energy storage technologies; and
  • Coordinate with federal, state, and tribal permitting agencies to accelerate reviews for domestic mining and processing facilities to secure our supply chains for next-generation battery manufacturing. 

In his capacity as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Sen. Warner has been an active advocate on the need for the U.S. to counter China’s dominance of this growing industry. Last month, Sen. Warner hosted government officials and domestic industry leaders for a roundtable discussion on securing access to critical minerals, including those used in the manufacturing of advanced batteries.

A copy of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Secretary Granholm:

We write to emphasize the national security imperative in outcompeting our adversaries in the next generation of battery technologies. Experts assess the United States to be ten to twenty years behind Asia in commercialization of battery technology, with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) accounting for over three quarters of battery cell production, maintaining a near monopoly on the mining and refining of critical mineral inputs for most batteries.  We provide specific recommendations below to ensure U.S. leadership in this space.

Last year, demand for lithium-ion batteries exceeded 700 GWh globally, and demand is expected to grow over seven times by 2035. These batteries are critical inputs for our electric vehicles, our power grid storage, and our military equipment. As Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks cautioned in 2021, batteries are “essential to thousands of military systems from handheld radios, to unmanned submersibles and to future capabilities like lasers, directed energy weapons and hybrid electric tactical vehicles.” And that “when it comes to batteries, America needs to lead the world.”  

Yet, the U.S. produced less than 10 percent of these batteries last year. By contrast, the PRC accounted for 70 percent of the global production of lithium-ion batteries. Of the five critical minerals required for most lithium-ion batteries, the PRC controls between 60-100 percent of the mining or refining for these minerals.

The PRC near-monopoly over battery production, and the upstream materials they require, poses substantial defense and economic security vulnerabilities. In October 2023, China restricted exports of graphite, critical to manufacturing battery anodes. This follows China’s proposed export controls on gallium and germanium in July 2023.

We commend the Department of Energy for continuing to be at the forefront of innovation, but the U.S. must become a leader in manufacturing batteries and battery components, while securing our supply chains for the materials that make up those components. In addition, it is critical that the U.S. lead in next-generation battery technology and alternative chemistries, including by supporting domestic companies developing and producing solid-state electrolytes, sodium-ion, lithium-sulfur, and iron-oxide among others.

In order to ensure that the U.S. reduces its dependence on adversary-dominated supply chains and capitalizes on innovative domestic battery development, we ask that the Department:

  • Ensure consideration of innovative technologies beyond conventional lithium-ion batteries in the next round of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing & Recycling Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Alternative technologies developed and manufactured in the U.S. can help to ensure a more resilient domestic battery market and foster alternatives to supply chains China currently dominates.
  • Consider support for public-private pilot-line manufacturing facilities, focusing on innovative technologies. Such facilities could play a key role in allowing our domestic companies to scale up and compete internationally. Currently, no such shared pilot-scale battery and battery component manufacturing facilities exist in the U.S. forcing many of our innovative companies to seek out such facilities abroad exposing firms to IP theft.
  • Coordinate with the Department of Defense and other national security agencies to support procurement of innovative, U.S.-developed energy storage technologies. The U.S. government must lead in procuring new technologies, which can enhance mission capability while sending an important signal to domestic industry that the government will reward innovative technology produced domestically.
  • Coordinate with federal, state, and tribal permitting agencies to accelerate reviews for domestic mining and processing facilities to secure our supply chains for next-generation battery manufacturing.  For example, several years have passed since the last approval of a major new critical minerals mine on federal lands while at the same time smelters and processing facilities have been closing across the country. This is occurring despite the strong bipartisan consensus that additional mining and processing in the United States is necessary to secure the supply chain for batteries and compete with our adversaries. The Department must ensure that federal, state, and tribal permitting agencies are aware of the urgent nature of this issue.

We ask that your Department within 30 days of receiving this letter brief the Senate Intelligence and Energy and Natural Resources Committees on the initiatives outlined above, and on ongoing research and development of next-generation battery technologies. We also welcome your consideration of how the Intelligence Community can best contribute to, collaborate on, and support these efforts.

With the right support, we are confident that our domestic industry can lead the next generation of battery technology, as it has done in so many of the world’s greatest innovative technologies. We stand ready to assist in that effort.

Sincerely,

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (D-VA) and U.S. Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) applauded the Administration’s announcement of its approval of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project off the coast of the Hampton Roads region, which is expected to power over 650,000 homes, create thousands of jobs, and grow Hampton Roads’ economy. The CVOW project will be the largest commercial-scale offshore wind project in America. 

In addition to the approval of the project, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced $39,265,000 in federal funding for the City of Norfolk Economic Development Authority, which is working to convert an existing marine terminal and berth to an offshore wind logistics facility that will support the CVOW project and other projects. Specifically, the funding will make improvements to the berth to support heavy lift requirements and construction of a floating pier. This funding will go toward existing efforts to transform Lamberts Point, also known as Fairwinds Landing, into an offshore wind hub. The funding was awarded through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).

“Virginia’s economy wins when we work together to embrace innovative technologies. We’re thrilled that the Administration approved the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project and announced significant federal funding to build an offshore wind logistics facility,” said the lawmakers. “Today’s announcement reaffirms Virginia as a leader in offshore wind. It wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of stakeholders in the region, investments we’ve secured to support the Port of Virginia, and legislation we passed in Congress, like the Inflation Reduction Act, to advance clean energy. We look forward to continuing to work with regional leaders during the next phases of this project and seeing the positive impacts this will have for the region’s economy.”

Warner, Kaine, and Scott have long supported the CVOW project and advocated for the project’s approval. Warner, Kaine, and Scott have secured significant funding for the Port of Virginia, including $20 million in funding for improvements to Portsmouth Marine Terminal that will allow it to serve as a staging area to support the manufacturing and movement of offshore wind goods to support the CVOW project. The Inflation Reduction Act, which passed by one vote in the Senate and was supported by Warner, Kaine and Scott, included significant incentives to accelerate the production of renewable energy and support projects like this one.

  

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $93,123,844 in federal funding to help low-income individuals and families in Virginia pay for home heating costs, cover utility bills, and help weatherize homes to lower their energy bills as winter approaches. The funding is awarded through the Administration for Children and Families’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and was made possible by last year’s government funding bill, the stopgap government funding bill Sens. Warner and Kaine voted to pass in September, and the bipartisan infrastructure law.

“With winter just around the corner, it is crucial that every Virginian is able to stay safe from the cold,” said the senators. “Today’s funding will help ensure that families and individuals throughout the Commonwealth have the support they need to pay their bills and lower their energy costs.”

The funding will be allocated to the Commonwealth and distributed on a need basis.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have been strong advocates for lowering energy costs and have consistently advocated for funding for LIHEAP, which provides federally funded assistance to reduce the costs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and minor energy-related home repairs. The senators also supported the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), landmark legislation that helps lower energy costs by making energy efficient appliances more affordable, invests in home energy repairs, and supports the costs of solar projects.

WASHINGTON – Today, Virginia lawmakers gathered at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) to celebrate the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s meritorious selection of Jefferson Lab as the Hub Director for the new High Performance Data Facility (HPDF) – a scientific user facility that will specialize in advanced infrastructure for data-intensive science. The project to build the HPDF Hub will be a partnership between Jefferson Lab and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), with the two labs forming a joint project team led by Jefferson Lab and charged to create an integrated HPDF Hub design.

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and their colleagues have worked tirelessly to engage the DOE, stress the extent of Jefferson Lab’s capabilities and potential for growth, and best position Virginia to be selected to host the HPDF. As part of this effort, the lawmakers worked with the General Assembly and Governor Youngkin to secure over $40 million in Commonwealth funds for the planning and construction of a shell building to house the HPDF – a bipartisan feat that demonstrated Virginia’s extraordinary support of Jefferson Lab’s mission and commitment to this project.

The High Performance Data Facility is envisioned as a national resource that will serve as the foundation for advancing DOE’s ambitious Integrated Research Infrastructure (IRI) program, which aims to provide researchers the ability to seamlessly meld DOE’s unique data resources, experimental user facilities, and advanced computing resources to accelerate the pace of discovery. The mission of the HPDF will be to enable and accelerate scientific discovery by delivering state-of-the-art data management infrastructure, capabilities, and tools. The HPDF will provide a crucial national resource for artificial intelligence (AI) research, opening new approaches for the nation’s researchers to attack fundamental problems in science and engineering that require nimble, shared access to large data sets, and real-time analysis of streamed data from experiments. DOE is the leading producer of scientific data in the world, and the HPDF will deliver a platform for a broad spectrum of data-intensive research as we enter the era of exascale supercomputing and exascale data.

Today’s news follows an announcement last year by Sens. Warner and Kaine that over $76 million in federal funding was headed to Jefferson Lab for project support and infrastructure upgrades. Those investments were made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed by one vote and was supported by both senators.

“The selection of Jefferson Lab as the location and lead of the High Performance Data Facility is a monumental win for the Lab, Hampton Roads, and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA). “Since my days as Governor, I have pushed to broaden the mission and responsibilities of Jefferson Lab to reflect the current needs of our nation. Today’s announcement is a massive step towards realizing the goal of diversifying the mission of Jefferson Lab by providing the Lab with a critical national resource that will be used to tackle fundamental problems in science and engineering, including artificial intelligence research. I’m thankful for Secretary Granholm and the Department of Energy’s commitment to ensuring the U.S. can pave the way for the next generation of advanced data management and for providing Jefferson Lab the opportunity to lead this world-class project. I look forward to working with Jefferson Lab, the Department of Energy, and my colleagues in advancing this project as quickly as possible and look forward to seeing the innumerable scientific advancements that are sure to follow.”

“Jefferson Lab’s designation as the leader of the High Performance Data Facility is a powerful recognition of the contributions Virginians make to the research we need to remain at the cutting-edge of technological innovation,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). “I’m proud to have helped advocate for this designation, and for years have gone to bat through the annual government funding process to support Jefferson Lab’s work. I will continue to do all that I can to secure the resources Virginia scientists need to advance America’s competitiveness and supercomputing capabilities.”

“From Day One of my Administration, we’ve been working with leaders in our delegation, in our General Assembly, and at Jefferson Lab to secure the High Performance Data Facility, an asset that will accelerate research driven economic development in the Commonwealth. I was proud to work with General Assembly leaders to make a $40 million investment to help land this prize that will catalyze our economy for decades to come. Our Administration will continue to support the cutting-edge technological research that has established the Commonwealth as a nationwide leader in innovation,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.

“We are honored to be selected by the DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program to lead this project,” said Jefferson Lab Director Stuart Henderson. “Building on our extensive experience with large data sets and high performance computing, and our new and ongoing partnerships exploring state-of-the-art approaches to data and data science, we will build a new facility that will revolutionize the way we make scientific discoveries.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for all those committed to innovation and scientific discovery. Since its founding, Jefferson Lab (JLab) has established itself as a world-leader in nuclear physics research while building acumen in the computing realm to manage, store, and interpret data. These two areas of expertise have proven synergistic and advanced the lab’s mission. The location of the High Performance Data Facility will create new opportunities at Jefferson Lab and in Hampton Roads while bringing JLab’s expertise to bear for the entire network of National Labs,” said Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03).

“I am thrilled to see Jefferson Lab selected as the Hub Director for the Department of Energy’s High Performance Data Facility,” Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) said. “Jefferson Lab is a leader in nuclear research, and these investments will unlock vital data science advancements for the Hampton Roads region, the Commonwealth, and our nation. I am proud to have advocated for this important investment alongside my colleagues at the local, state, and federal levels over the years, and I look forward to the future developments that will follow the completion of this critical project.”

“Jefferson Lab’s High Performance Data Facility is a once-in-a-generation initiative that will catapult Newport News and the Commonwealth to the international frontlines of data analytics and advanced computing,” said Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones. “This revolutionary facility will transform scientific research and discovery. In addition to workforce and economic development impacts, there are innumerable opportunities for higher education, research, STEM learning, and commercial investments. This exciting new project, coupled with Jefferson Lab’s already robust scientific and educational offerings, will make Newport News an even greater hub of innovation and research.”

“This project will be one of the greatest economic development projects to come to Newport News in recent memory,” said State Senator Monty Mason, who represents Jefferson Lab as Senator of the 1st District. “As a steadfast advocate on the state level, I am proud to have secured critical state funding for the planning and preparation of this project. The city and the entire peninsula will be strengthened by this facility, bringing 100s of new jobs with salaries well over the region's median income, boosting our local economy, and further solidifying the Virginia peninsula as a leader in science innovation.”

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of collaboration between members of the Virginia General Assembly and our federal delegation to bring a High Performance Data Facility to Jefferson Lab. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, I am excited that the Commonwealth’s investment will leverage between $300 million to $500 million in federal funds for this transformative opportunity,” said State Delegate and Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Barry Knight.

“The investments made today by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Commonwealth of Virginia into the High-Performance Data Facility mark the beginning of an unparalleled chapter for the laboratory and the wider educational community,” emphasized Dr. Sean J. Hearne, President and CEO of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA). “This cutting-edge research facility serves as a gateway to explore the rapidly expanding realm of data science, offering extensive research and educational opportunities that are poised to redefine our world.”

“The Friends of Jefferson Lab, a coalition of business leaders spanning from Richmond to the oceanfront, are delighted Jefferson Lab has been chosen as the site for the high performance data facility,” said Alan Witt, Chair of Friends of JLab. “Jefferson Lab is a vital asset to Hampton Roads and the addition of this facility will add greatly to the economic, scientific, and educational fabric of the Virginia Peninsula, Hampton Roads, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Specifically, the HPDF will have a “hub-and-spoke” model in which Jefferson Lab and LBNL will host mirrored centralized resources. It will enable high priority DOE mission applications at “spoke” sites by deploying and orchestrating distributed infrastructure at the spokes or other locations. Under Jefferson Lab’s leadership, the Jefferson Lab/LBNL partnership will assemble a world class HPDF Hub project team to deliver a geographically resilient and innovative HPDF core infrastructure capable of meeting the needs of a wide diversity of users, institutions, and use cases. This Jefferson Lab-led partnership will itself provide the template for the first spokes partnerships and blaze new paths in institutional engagement and outreach in the emerging era of AI- enabled integrated science.

As identified in the DOE’s Mission Need Statement for the High Performance Data Facility approved August 2020, DOE anticipates that the total project cost of the HPDF project, including the hub and spokes, will be between $300 million and $500 million in current and future year funds, subject to the availability of future year appropriations.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $25,144,014 in federal funding for Virginia Beach to protect critical infrastructure from the impacts of consistent flooding and rising sea levels. The project will fund several upgrades – including stormwater pump stations – to support coastal resilience across the city and along Shore Drive. 

“Rising sea levels threaten lives and livelihoods, and also risk the continued strength of our roads and bridges,” the senators said. “We’re glad to see $25 million headed straight to Virginia Beach to further shore up resilience efforts across Hampton Roads, protecting residents from the danger of severe weather, the threat of property damage, and the frustration of flooded roads.”

This grant will protect vital infrastructure in Virginia Beach and along Shore Drive that is being impacted by rising sea levels, higher tidal systems, and stormwater runoff that results in regular roadway floods during normal rain events. This project will include two large stormwater pump stations, an automated tide gate, two significant outfall discharges, collection systems, a rain garden, and canal deepening and widening to alleviate flooding in the community. This project will protect up to a 100-year base flood elevation, mitigate flooding on transportation infrastructure and on 11 Repetitive Loss properties, and provide drainage to 614 buildings.

Sens. Warner and Kaine have consistently fought for more resilience measures across Hampton Roads. As part of the bipartisan infrastructure law (BIL), Sens. Warner and Kaine secured $1.5 million for the Virginia Beach and Vicinity Coastal Storm Risk Management Study. Also through the BIL, they secured nearly $399 million for the Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, which will reduce and manage flooding in Norfolk through a system of surge barriers, tidal gates, floodwalls, levees, pump stations, and non-structural measures. In June, Sens. Warner and Kaine visited Norfolk for the signing of the Project Partnership Agreement, which kicked off the formal partnership between the City of Norfolk and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, allowing the project to commence. 

This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program. The BRIC program provides funding for proactive upgrades to areas at greater risk of damage from hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine reintroduced the Pipeline Fairness, Transparency, and Responsible Development Act, legislation to strengthen the public’s ability to evaluate the impacts of and provide input on natural gas pipelines being considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

“From our conversations with Virginians, it’s clear that they have not been given adequate opportunities to make their voices heard in FERC’s permitting decision-making processes, including in cases like the Mountain Valley Pipeline where their land could be taken away,” said the senators. “That’s an understandably frustrating situation, which is why we created this legislation to improve the way FERC gathers public input to help ensure that Virginians can weigh in on these decisions.”

Congress has given FERC the authority to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks to energy infrastructure proposals. The senators’ legislation would make it easier for the public to offer FERC input and would clarify the circumstances under which eminent domain may be used. The bill would also require public comment meetings to be held in every locality through which a pipeline would pass at every stage of the review process, in order to minimize situations where individuals are forced to commute long distances with very little time to comment.

Additionally, the legislation would strengthen local landowners’ rights by improving the process by which landowners are notified of a pipeline application and bolstering their ability to ensure any concerns about their property are given fair consideration.

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Improve the process by which landowners are notified of a potential pipeline project affecting their property;
    • Require that FERC review companies’ notices to landowners to ensure these notices meet FERC criteria;
  • Require that FERC or applicants for a FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (e.g., companies with pipeline proposals) provide clear and complete instructions to all affected landowners on how to request an appeal or “rehearing” through FERC. The notice must make it clear to landowners that they must appeal to FERC in a timely manner for a rehearing to preserve certain rights to seek judicial review;
  • Prevent pipeline projects from exercising eminent domain or commencing construction until:
    • the project has received all requisite permits, certifications, or other permissions required under federal law;
    • FERC has issued rulings on all timely landowner rehearings except on land that is already owned by the pipeline company or land that is in an existing utility right-of-way;
  • State that it is the policy of the United States that eminent domain be limited to situations in which the taking of property for natural gas pipelines is for public, not private, use. This language is modeled after a 2006 Executive Order by President George W. Bush clarifying the scope of federal eminent domain authority;
  • Help ensure fair appraisals and offers of compensation for affected property owners by giving landowners the opportunity to accompany appraisers during the inspection of property in order to provide more oversight over the appraisal process, which must be completed prior to an offer of compensation for that property. That offer of compensation must be of fair market value or better;
  • Require a single programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) if two gas pipelines are proposed within one year and 100 miles of one another, and provide that if there is more information that comes out after a draft EIS than is in a draft EIS, FERC must do a supplemental EIS, with another public comment period;
  • Mandate public comment meetings in every locality through which a pipeline passes, at every stage in the process (draft EIS, final EIS, and supplemental EIS) so members of the public do not have to drive long distances to meetings where they are only able to speak for just a few minutes;
  • Specify that eminent domain takings of land under conservation easement be given fair compensation not just for the land value but for the lost conservation value of the land;
  • Ensure that plans to mitigate unavoidable impacts are subject to public comment so the public can verify that the mitigation is fair and proportionate;
  • Require cumulative analysis of the project’s visual impacts on National Scenic Trails (including the Appalachian Trail) for multiple pipelines that cross the same trail within 100 miles, in order to prohibit any downgrading of National Scenic Trail scenic integrity requirements in current law if the project represents a net degradation to the trail;
  • Codify the end of “tolling orders,” a longstanding practice that allowed FERC to place landowner rehearing requests in limbo while pipeline constructions were allowed to continue, and strengthen landowners’ ability to proceed to court should FERC not rule on grievances in a timely manner. The “tolling orders” practice was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit;
  • Codify that FERC must consider landowners’ rehearings within 30 days.

 Full text of the legislation is available here.

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 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) along with Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), John Fetterman (D-PA), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) today reintroduced the Chesapeake Bay Science, Education and Ecosystem Enhancement (SEEE) Act, which aims to restore the health of the Bay Watershed, strengthen fisheries management, and expand environmental education programs for residents across the Bay Watershed. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the U.S. More than 150,000 streams and rivers thread through the Chesapeake’s 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to 18 million people across Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA).

“The Chesapeake Bay is not only an important recreational and ecological treasure, it’s also a vital economic engine for Virginia,” said Sen. Warner. “I am proud to reintroduce this legislation supporting NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay office to improve the health of the Bay and ensure its sustainable use for generations to come.”

“The Chesapeake Bay is a natural treasure that drives tourism and boosts our economy,” Sen. Kaine said. “I’m proud to introduce this bill to leverage collaboration with universities, nonprofits, and other stakeholders to protect the Bay’s ecosystems and help ensure Americans can enjoy it for years to come.”

“The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure and our responsibility to do all we can to restore its health remains a top priority,” said Sen. Cardin. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an indispensable partner in the Chesapeake Bay Program, leading the partnership’s fisheries, environmental literacy, climate resilience and habitat restoration work. I’m proud to work with my Bay watershed colleagues to secure NOAA’s strong presence in our region to meet the challenges ahead.”

“A cleaner Chesapeake Bay is essential to the success of our state’s economy and the health of our environment. This legislation will help ensure we can continue to count on NOAA’s expertise and other crucial partners at the Chesapeake Bay Office and environmental education programs that have supported Bay restoration efforts over the years. It is a key part of our all-hands-on-deck fight to protect and preserve the Bay for generations to come,” said Sen. Van Hollen.

“I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan, bicameral legislation to support restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, an incredible wildlife area that includes multiple counties in West Virginia. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we work to reauthorize the NOAA Chesapeake Bay office and the programs they support to benefit the habitats in our state and across the Chesapeake Bay region,” said Sen. Manchin.

Specifically, the Chesapeake Bay SEEE Act would:

  • Reauthorize the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (CBO), a key partner of the Bay Program and leader of the Program’s fisheries, environmental literacy, climate resiliency, and habitat work. The bill would allow NOAA CBO to collaborate with universities, nonprofits, and other Bay stakeholders to promote integrated coastal observations – such as monitoring and observing restoration activities, collecting and analyzing marine resources data – and information sharing to assist policymakers, resource managers, and the public.
  • Direct NOAA to support coordinated management, protection, characterization, and restoration of Bay habitats and living resources, as well as the Interpretive Buoy System along the Capital John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.
  • Authorize the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program, which awards educational grants related to Bay restoration.

A copy of the bill text can be found here.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded $7,095,000 in federal funding for the Southern Shenandoah Borderlands Project to protect 4,364 acres of scenic, undeveloped lands adjoining Shenandoah National Park through a conservation easement. This would protect the southern tip of the National Park, which millions of passersby each year see as indistinguishable from adjoining National Park land, from impacts and potential development.

The project is a part of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy program, which partners with state agencies to protect privately owned forest lands through conservation easements or land purchases. The funding was made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which provides funding from federal revenues on energy development for the acquisition of land, and interest in land, for the benefit of public lands and waters for all present and future generations. Warner and Kaine, both longtime supporters of LWCF, voted to permanently reauthorize and double funding for the program in 2020.

“Protecting our beautiful landscapes is critical to help ensure Virginians can enjoy them for generations to come,” said the Senators. “We’re glad this funding will preserve thousands of acres of scenic land and boost outdoor recreation, a critical part of the local economy.”

Warner & Kaine have long supported efforts to protect and preserve Virginia’s landscapes. In March, the senators introduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act, which would add a total of 5,600 acres to the existing Rough Mountain and Rich Hole wilderness areas within the George Washington National Forest in Bath County, Virginia. The senators also successfully pushed to pass legislation to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating the Great Dismal Swamp and its associated sites as a National Heritage Area, as well as legislation to establish the Northern Neck as a National Heritage Area, both of which President Biden signed into law in January.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $15,500,000 in federal funding for clean energy improvements for Nottoway County and Alexandria City Public Schools that will lower energy costs. The funding was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Renew America’s Schools Program, a first-of-its-kind program that aims to help schools make clean energy upgrades that will lower utility costs, improve indoor air quality, and foster healthier learning environments.

“After decades of politicians talking about upgrading our nation’s infrastructure, this vision is now a reality thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law we helped pass,” said the Senators. “We’re glad to see federal dollars from this law are headed to Nottoway County and Alexandria City Public Schools to help make clean energy upgrades that will save money for the schools and improve air quality for students, teachers, and staff.”

The funding will be distributed as follows:

  • $11,500,000 for Nottoway County Public Schools to make energy efficient improvements, including LED lighting upgrades, unit building automation upgrades, high efficiency boiler and hot water heater replacement, high efficiency window replacement, roof replacement, and installation of a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVAC system with a dedicated outdoor air system.
  • $4,000,000 for Alexandria City Public Schools to replace aged HVAC boilers with high efficiency electric water heat pumps, replace existing lighting with LED fixtures, use thermal scanning to pinpoint areas where unconditioned air may enter the building, and purchase new efficient rooftop units and building automation controls at William Ramsey Elementary School. The building systems at the elementary school have exceeded their operational life expectancy and need to be replaced to reduce energy consumption.

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WASHINGTON – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the below statement after convening an unclassified roundtable discussion on Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) with senators, civil nuclear industry and national security officials:

“As global electricity demand continues to grow at exponential rates, the world needs safe, resilient, secure, and affordable sources of power. Nuclear energy, including Small Modular Reactors, will be a critical component of meeting this demand. A recent Department of Energy report found that the U.S. alone will need 200 GW of new nuclear power by 2050 – creating a global market that could be worth $250 to 400 billion by 2040, while spurring U.S. jobs. 

“China and Russia have recognized the potential of nuclear power and are investing heavily in their advanced reactors, while attempting to secure nuclear contracts all over the world.  The United States must not let our adversaries monopolize the growing civil nuclear industry, set the safety standards around nuclear power, dominate the supply chains for such a critical source of energy, and/or attempt to use advanced reactor contracts to exert undue geopolitical and economic leverage. 

“We were pleased to co-host this bipartisan roundtable alongside Senators Manchin, Barasso, and Capito, amongst others, bringing together CEOs across the civil nuclear industry and national security officials from the U.S. government to discuss how the United States, alongside our allies, can outcompete our adversaries in deploying the next generation of civil nuclear power at home and abroad, and ensure that our own critical domestic facilities and capabilities are supported by secure, continuous, and clean power.  We look forward to continuing this work with all relevant stakeholders.”

Sen. Warner has a long history of supporting clean energy technologies critical to our national security. He is a co-sponsor of the Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act of 2023, which would enhance United States civil nuclear leadership, support the licensing of advanced nuclear technologies, strengthen the domestic nuclear energy fuel cycle and supply chain, and improve the regulation of nuclear energy, and the Nuclear Fuel Security Act of 2023, which takes substantial steps toward onshoring nuclear fuel production. 

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine reintroduced the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act, legislation that would add a total of 5,600 acres to the existing Rough Mountain and Rich Hole wilderness areas within the George Washington National Forest in Bath County, Virginia.

“It’s crucial that we preserve Virginia’s natural treasures, which are essential to the economy and way of life in communities across the Commonwealth,” the Senators said. “We’re thankful for the input, advice, and good-faith work by local officials and conservationists who have come together over the years to create this plan to better preserve land within the George Washington National Forest. We look forward to continuing to work together to include this legislation in this year’s Farm Bill so we can get it across the finish line.”

A wilderness designation is the highest level of protection for public land under federal law. These additions were recommended by the U.S. Forest Service in 2014 and endorsed by members of the George Washington National Forest Stakeholder Collaborative, a group of forest users that started work together over a decade ago to agree on acceptable locations in the George Washington National Forest for wilderness, timber harvest, trails, and other uses.  

The Farm Bill is a multiyear government funding bill for programs pertaining to conservation, crops, and nutrition, among others. Congress is expected to pass a Farm Bill in 2023.

In each of the last three Congresses, the legislation has passed through one chamber, either the Senate or the House of Representatives, but has yet to pass through the both chambers during a single session. In January 2020, as part of the 116th Congress, the Senate passed Warner and Kaine’s bill, but the legislation was not taken up in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the 117th Congress, the House passed a version of this bill as part of broader package of environmental bills, but it was not taken up in the Senate.

Full text of the legislation is available here.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded President Biden’s signing of the Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area Act, legislation to direct the Secretary of the Interior to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating the Great Dismal Swamp and its associated sites as a National Heritage Area. The Great Dismal Swamp has served as a home of native people and wildlife for thousands of years as well as played an important role in African American history. The late Congressman A. Donald McEachin led the introduction of this bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Warner and Kaine introduced its companion in the U.S. Senate. The bill unanimously passed the Senate in December 2022.

“The Great Dismal Swamp is a natural treasure with a rich cultural history,” said the Senators. “We’re thrilled our bill to begin the process of designating the Great Dismal Swamp as a National Heritage Area was signed into law. Once championed by our dear friend and colleague Donald McEachin, this bill will help ensure future generations can learn about the Swamp’s history and contributions of Native and African Americans in Virginia.”

National Heritage Areas are private-public partnerships that support historic preservation, conservation, recreation, tourism, and educational projects. In order for a site to be designated a National Heritage Area, a feasibility study is often conducted. If the Great Dismal Swamp is designated as a National Heritage Area, it would have access to technical assistance and support from the National Park Service (NPS) while also maintaining full ownership, authority over decision-making, and stewardship of the land.

The Great Dismal Swamp, which includes a National Wildlife Refuge, is one of the most unique and valuable cultural and ecological landscapes on the East Coast and offers unique educational opportunities and recreational activities. It is home to the historic and ancestral lands of many indigenous tribes, including the present day lands of the Nansemond Indian Nation. It has the largest known collection of archaeological artifacts from maroon colonies. It was also one of the only known water-based stops on the Underground Railroad and home to a thriving community descending from early colonial Free People of Color whose families resisted American slavery and found refuge in the area.

The Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area Act is championed by numerous organizations committed to safeguarding the Swamp’s unique history and resources, including the Wilderness Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Diversity Restoration Solutions, the Nature Conservancy and the Great Dismal Swamp Stakeholder Collaborative (GDSSC), a coalition that includes the Nansemond Indian Nation, the Association for the Study of African American Life & History, the Meherrin Indian Nation, the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, Preservation Virginia and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The House version of the bill was cosponsored by Representatives Elaine G. Luria (D-VA-02), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA-03), and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01). The bill passed the House of Representatives in September 2021.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) and Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) applauded passage of their legislation to preserve invaluable local resources and help generate economic activity in the Northern Neck. By officially designating the region as a National Heritage Area (NHA), the Northern Neck National Heritage Area Act will deliver critical federal dollars, encourage public-private partnerships, and assign a specific entity – the Northern Neck Tourism Commission – to help protect the Northern Neck’s natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources. After unanimously passing the Senate, the House voted today to approve the bill, which now heads to President Biden for his signature.

NPS defines National Heritage Areas as congressionally designated places where “natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape.” Through their resources, NHAs communicate “nationally important stories” that celebrate the nation’s diverse heritage. Under this legislation, the NHA designation would apply to the land between the Potomac River and Rappahannock River, spanning King George, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties.

“The Northern Neck is a national treasure, and a source of immense pride, history and economic development for the Commonwealth,” said Sens. Warner and Kaine and Rep. Wittman. “We’re proud to have worked together on this successful bipartisan effort to highlight the natural beauty of the Northern Neck and leverage federal dollars to spur long-lasting economic opportunity in the region.”

The legislation follows the completion of the Northern Neck National Heritage Area Feasibility Study, which concluded that the Northern Neck’s themes, local traditions, and natural and historic resources retain “sufficient integrity and opportunities for public engagement” to be eligible for an NHA designation.  

This legislation would also make federal funding available to the region and empower the Northern Neck Tourism Commission to carry out an area management plan by:

  1. Protecting and restoring relevant historic sites and buildings;
  2. Carrying out programs and projects that recognize, protect, and enhance important resources;
  3. Developing recreational and educational opportunities in the area;
  4. Establishing and maintaining interpretive exhibits and programs;
  5. Promoting a wide range of partnerships among the federal government, state, tribal and local governments, organizations, and individuals;
  6. Increasing public awareness and appreciation for natural, historical, scenic, and cultural resources in the area; and
  7. Ensuring that clear, consistent, and appropriate signs identifying points of public access and sires of interest are posted throughout the area.

“The Northern Neck has been working together for over 20 years in pursuit of the National Heritage Area Designation.  With designation, the Northern Neck Region will have a greater voice in sharing its stories which contribute to understanding the early origins of our nation. The National Heritage Area Designation recognizes the region for the special place it is, historically, culturally, and for its natural resources. It aligns with the region's tourism strategy as an important economic development driver in this rural area,” said Jerry W. Davis, AICP, Executive Director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission.    

Sen. Warner, Sen. Kaine, and Rep. Wittman have long advocated for the designation of the Northern Neck as a National Heritage Area. The lawmakers previously penned a letter pressing for an update from the National Park Service on the area’s feasibility study following apparent delays in its release.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement regarding key health and climate provisions from the Inflation Reduction Act —legislation the senators helped pass in August to help Virginia lower drug and energy costs, imrove access to health care, and tackle cllimate change—that will go into effect on January 1, 2023:

“This year, we were proud to have helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower costs for Virginians while also tackling climate change, which is wreaking havoc on Virginia communities. We are thrilled that essential pieces of this law will go into effect on January 1 to help bring down health and long-term energy bills for families across the Commonwealth, by increasing access to affordable health care and helping Virginians diversify their energy sources.”

Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act to lower prescription drug costs, help more seniors and low-income Virginians get access to the vaccines they need to stay healthy, and help more Virginians get health care coverage:

On January 1, 2023:

  • Penalties on drug manufacturers that increase prices: Starting in 2023, manufacturers will be required to keep the increase in the cost of their drugs at or below inflation.
  • Free vaccines for Medicare recipients: Starting in 2023, people with Medicare will not have to pay to receive vaccines under Medicare Part D, which includes vaccines for shingles, HPV, MMR, diphtheria, and pertussis. 4.1 million people with Medicare received a vaccine under Medicare Part D in 2020, including 85,000 Virginians.
  • A $35 cap on the cost of insulin: Starting in 2023, out-of-pocket costs for insulin—regardless of how much a patient needs—will be capped at $35 per month under Medicare. As of 2020, over 74,000 Virginians with Medicare Part D used insulin and paid, on average, approximately $51 per month out-of-pocket to purchase the drug. Some people are currently paying up to $900 a month for the insulin they need to stay alive.
  • Extension of ACA subsidies: During the pandemic, Congress enhanced subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to help lower health care premiums for millions of Americans. Beginning on January 1, the Inflation Reduction Act will extend these enhanced subsidies through 2025 to help make Virginians’ health insurance more affordable. Over 300,000 Virginians were covered by the ACA in 2022.

On April 1, 2023:

  • Limits to inflation effects on certain drugs: Starting April 1, 2023, people with Medicare may pay a lower coinsurance for some Part B drugs if the drug’s price increased faster than the rate of inflation.

On October 1, 2023:

  • Free vaccines for Medicaid recipients: Medicaid and CHIP will cover vaccines for all Medicaid-covered adults. Currently, vaccine coverage is optional for states.

Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that kick in on January 1, 2023 to address climate change by helping cut dangerous pollution across Virginia:

  • Boosts to clean energy investments: An expanded tax credit for clean energy manufacturers will incentivize investment in and production of renewable energy technologies like solar power and offshore wind. $4 billion of these investments have been reserved exclusively for use in coal communities. All clean energy tax credits include a bonus for meeting domestic manufacturing requirements related to steel, iron, or other manufactured components.
  • Improvements to Home Energy Efficiency: Homeowners will be able to receive up to 30 percent back through tax credits for making energy efficiency improvements to their home—generally up to a maximum of $1,200 per year but potentially up to $3,200 if improvements include heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, or biomass stoves.
  • Increased Access to Electric Vehicles: Qualified individuals will get up to a $7,500 consumer credit for the purchase of new electric vehicles. Incentives will also go into place to help ensure those vehicles are produced in North America. Qualified individuals will also be able to receive a tax credit of up to $4,000 for certain used electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids purchased through a dealership. In order to qualify for the full value of the credit, the vehicle must: have a battery capacity of at least 7kW hours; generally be a model at least two years old; and be sold by a participating dealer that is licensed in the jurisdiction. For new vehicles, eligible taxpayers include single filers with incomes under $150,000 annually and households with joint incomes under $300,000 annually if the head of household earns under $225,000 annually. The vehicle’s price is limited to $55,000 for compact vehicles and $80,000 for SUVs, vans, and pick-ups. For used EVs, single filers must have an income under $75,000 annually or $150,000 as a household, as long as the head of household makes under $112,500 annually. The used vehicle’s price is limited to $25,000.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced $30,810,000 in federal funding to help Virginia schools purchase 81 clean and zero-emission school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero-emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in communities across the Commonwealth. The funding, awarded through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Warner and Kaine helped pass last year.

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, school districts in Virginia are set to receive millions in funding for zero-emission and low-emission school buses that will help provide students with safe and reliable transportation to and from school,” said Senator Warner. “As we continue to look for ways to reduce pollution and combat climate change, I am glad to see this federal funding directed towards replacing old school buses with 21st century, eco-friendly equipment.”

“Virginia students deserve buses that won’t accelerate climate change and pollute the air in their communities. This is one of many examples of how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which I helped pass last year, is going to make a real difference for Virginians across the Commonwealth and help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m glad to see Virginia is receiving federal funding so that school districts can purchase more energy efficient school buses.”

A breakdown of the funding is as follows:

  • $7,900,000 for Carroll County Public Schools for the purchase of 20 buses.
  • $1,185,000 for Charlotte County Public Schools for the purchase of three buses.
  • $790,000 for Floyd County Public Schools for the purchase of two buses.
  • $1,185,000 for Franklin City Public Schools for the purchase of three buses.
  • $790,000 for Galax City Public Schools for the purchase of two buses.
  • $1,185,000 for Goochland County Public Schools for the purchase of three buses.
  • $1,580,000 for Grayson County Public Schools for the purchase of four buses.
  • $790,000 for Lee County Public Schools for the purchase of two buses.
  • $9,875,000 for Lynchburg City Public Schools for the purchase of 25 buses.
  • $790,000 for Nelson County Public Schools for the purchase of two buses.
  • $3,950,000 for Powhatan County Public Schools for the purchase of 10 buses.
  • $1,975,000 for Wise County Public Schools for the purchase of five buses

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts, and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, as well as the communities through which the buses drive each day.

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S.  Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the latest developments on the war in Ukraine as the winter months approach, and the impact of the war on global energy prices.

On the current status of the Ukraine war:

“Things [for Russia] are not going to get better. And I think this is why, you know there are a lot things that I disagree with the administration on, but moving us in concert with our European allies has been really important. The solidarity of NATO is really important. What happens next? We're in uncharted territory. The next month between now and when the winter sets in in the middle of November, we hope the Ukrainians will be able to take Kherson and drive the Russian troops back across the Dnieper River, but it's going to be a wild few weeks.”

On additional aid to Ukraine:

“I think we should send more anti-missile defense weapons, but I do think that we've got to walk this careful line where you don't give carte blanche to the Ukrainians to have additional strikes into Russia itself. And at the same time, you've got to not get so ahead of the Europeans that they all of a sudden say, okay, America, you put up $65 billion, we're going to make you carry the whole burden. So I do think this is a navigation of a very, very challenging time. And on this one, I give the administration high marks.”

On the impact of Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut oil production:

“I'm as angry at Saudi Arabia and their irresponsibility as anyone. But I think even as you guys said on this show yesterday, you know, the truth is, certain areas, obviously, we have huge conflicts with Saudi Arabia -- but in other areas, as a counterbalance to Iran, in terms of being an ally over many decades. We've got to sort this through in a way that puts pressure on the Saudis, but does not drive them more into the Russia camp. One of the things I think would be, you know -- and I don't think this would mean backing off from our climate change goals -- but if we can replace some of those fuel sources coming out of the Middle East with American fuel sources, particularly as we transition to cleaner energy generation, I think that's good national security, that's good economic security, and it would be a tangible pushback against the Saudis.”

Video of Sen. Warner’s interview on Morning Joe can be found here. A transcript follows.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well, joining us now, Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. He's Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and to Willie's point, Senator, we were talking earlier with Admiral Kirby about this. It seems Vladimir Putin has been in a corner, and everyone talks about what the off-ramp is, how this ends. Obviously, most people would like this to end with Russia moving back out of Ukraine. And yet he continues to push himself more into a corner, almost without -- indiscriminately, without any thought for himself about an off-ramp, with a war that is going terribly for him. How do you deal with a leader that doesn't seem to care that he's in a corner?

U.S. SEN. MARK WARNER:  Carefully. You know, this is a guy that's been an autocratic leader for 20-plus years. In the COVID environment, his number of advisers he's talking to gets smaller and smaller. You've seen not only the Russian military perform horribly on the field, you have seen a united West. You've seen NATO and our allies in Asia, all stand up against him. And now with this conscription, you know, what's not -- what's gotten some public reporting, but Russia has lost over 200,000 military-aged men, exiting the country.

BRZEZINSKI: More people leaving --

SEN. WARNER: Than being conscripted. So how he maintains that, the attacks, nobody is attacking the boss yet, nobody is attacking Putin, but the folks around the boss, some of his military advisers, they're under constant assault as well, from within Russia.

BRZEZINKSKI: But that seems dicey, too.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: So what scares you the most about a cornered Vladimir Putin? Because things are not going to get better for Russia.

SEN. WARNER: Things are not going to get better. And I think this is why, you know there are a lot things that I disagree with the administration on, but moving us in concert with our European allies has been really important. The solidarity of NATO is really important. What happens next? We're in uncharted territory. The next month between now and when the winter sets in in the middle of November, we hope the Ukrainians will be able to take Kherson and drive the Russian troops back across the Dnieper River, but it's going to be a wild few weeks.

SCARBOROUGH: Any suggestion that when winter comes, when things freeze in place, that negotiations can begin?

SEN. WARNER:  Again, I think there's some speculation. Is there a fully thought-through plan? Absolutely not. And again, with every Ukrainian success, frankly, the maneuverability of Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, gets mitigated, as well.

BRZEZINKSI: And you say it's going to be a wild few weeks.

SEN. WARNER: Because once you get mid-November, at least for the next few months, because of the winter, it will -- troops will freeze in place in a sense, and then we'll see also some of the ramifications of, will the Europeans stay strong when their energy costs go through the roof this winter? One of the reasons why, frankly, it would be good national policy as well as economic policy, we ought to continue to make sure that American oil and gas are in this mixture – and why we need to go ahead and revisit permitting reforms, so that particularly in terms of American natural gas, we can supply that supply, rather than counting on friends, or not-so-good of friends in the Middle East.

SCARBOROUGH: Jonathan Lemire is in New York and has a question for you. I hope he has a question for you.

JONATHAN LAMIRE: Senator Warner, good to see you. There's been a debate in Washington, as you well know, for several months about the U.S. sending enough weapons to Ukraine to defend itself, but not so much that it could perhaps escalate the war with incursions or attacks deep into Russia. In the wake of what happed over the weekend, U.S. officials are saying, hey, we're going to send more defense weapons, but still seem to hesitate going further than that, despite Kyiv asking for it. Where do you stand? What sort of weapons should the United States be sending?

SEN. WARNER: Jonathan, I think we should send more anti-missile defense weapons, but I do think that we've got to walk this careful line where you don't give carte blanche to the Ukrainians to have additional strikes into Russia itself. And at the same time, you've got to not get so ahead of the Europeans that they all of a sudden say, okay, America, you put up $65 billion, we're going to make you carry the whole burden. So I do think this is a navigation of a very, very challenging time. And on this one, I give the administration high marks.

WILLIE GEIST: Mr. Chairman, Let me ask you about one of your colleagues in the Senate, a fellow chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, on the topic of Saudi Arabia. Who after Saudi Arabia's announcement of OPEC's, OPEC plus's handling of oil prices and the barrels of oil that they release or won't release said basically, we need to freeze our relationship with Saudi Arabia, including arms sales. Says they're underwriting Russia's war. They're backing Russia against Ukraine. Do you agree with him that we need to freeze our relations with Saudi Arabia?

SEN. WARNER: Listen, I'm as angry at Saudi Arabia and their irresponsibility as anyone. But I think even as you guys said on this show yesterday, you know, the truth is, certain areas, obviously, we have huge conflicts with Saudi Arabia -- but in other areas, as a counterbalance to Iran, in terms of being an ally over many decades. We've got to sort this through in a way that puts pressure on the Saudis, but does not drive them more into the Russia camp. One of the things I think would be, you know -- and I don't think this would mean backing off from our climate change goals -- but if we can replace some of those fuel sources coming out of the Middle East with American fuel sources, particularly as we transition to cleaner energy generation, I think that's good national security, that's good economic security, and it would be a tangible pushback against the Saudis.

SCARBOROUGH: And shouldn't we have more -- for national security purposes, and also, so we're less dependent?

SEN. WARNER: Absolutely.

SCARBOROUGH: Shouldn't we increase energy production in the United States, understanding, let me say to my friends, understanding, we're in the middle of an energy transition right now. But we have the ability to be less dependent on Russia. To be less dependent on Saudi Arabia, to be less dependent on Venezuela. These people that are talking about, oh, we can't drill at home, because it's bad for the environment, let's get dirty oil from Venezuela.

SEN. WARNER: Well the wild thing is, Joe, particularly, let's go back to natural gas for a moment. We don't even need to drill more if we simply utilize what we've already drilled. We've got to have the transmission capability to get that to places in our country, and frankly to be able to export to our European friends. You’re going to see costs, I've been told, in January in the UK, where an average home will get $5,000 per-year energy costs. Now, the British government will subsidize that, bring it back down to a reasonable number. But how long can any government do that with a very cold winter in front of them.

SCARBOROUGH: Let's talk about China. How do they play into what's happening right now in Russia.

SEN. WARNER: I think you've got the Chinese economic team, who are concerned about this alliance or friendship that has no bounds. I think Xi and Putin said.

SCARBOROUGH: It does have bounds.

SEN. WARNER:  The personal relationship between these two autocratic leaders is a real challenge for all of us who live in democracies. I think the long-term challenge of our time, candidly is not Russia, but it is going to be China's attempted to dominate technology field after technology field. We in this country have stepped up on semiconductors. We've pointed out the problems with Huawei in terms of next-generation wireless. I know my committee is taking a big look at synthetic biology and next generation energy generation, and making sure that we in our country maintain the technology edge. And that's going to take the kind of investments perhaps in other domains the way we just did in semiconductors.

BRZEZINSKI: Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (D-VA) along with Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09) issued a statement after President Biden formally approved the Commonwealth of Virginia’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration in response to the severe flooding event in Southwest Virginia on July 13, 2022. This declaration triggers the release of Public Assistance in the affected areas, while the Commonwealth’s request for Individual Assistance remains under review.

“We are pleased that the federal government has taken this crucial step to aid recovery efforts in Buchanan and Tazewell counties,” said the lawmakers. “We will continue pushing for Individual Assistance and all resources needed to help residents rebuild following this devastating flooding.”

Today’s announcement comes after Sens. Warner and Kaine and Rep. Griffith urged President Biden to issue a Major Disaster Declaration earlier this month.  

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today made $7 billion available to fund regional clean hydrogen hubs (H2Hubs) across the country, which will form a key power source in America's future clean energy economy. As part of the Department’s commitment to accelerating the national deployment of clean hydrogen fuel, DOE also released a draft of the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap for public feedback. The H2Hubs will be a critical part of the Department’s efforts to helping communities across the country realize the benefits of clean hydrogen and reach President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

“These H2Hubs are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lay the foundation for the hydrogen economy of tomorrow—one that will lift our economy, protect the planet, and improve our health,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With input from America’s brightest scientists, engineers, community organizers, and entrepreneurs, this national hydrogen strategy will help us accelerate the development and deployment of technologies to realize the full potential of clean hydrogen energy for generations to come.”

Hydrogen is a versatile fuel that can be produced from clean, diverse, and domestic energy resources, including wind, solar, and nuclear energy, or by using natural gas (while capturing resulting carbon to reduce emissions). Hydrogen’s flexibility makes it an important component of President Biden’s strategy to achieve a carbon-free grid by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

The H2Hubs will be one of the largest investments in DOE history. Funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) through the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, they are a critical component of the Administration’s commitment to invest in America’s workforce and support good-paying jobs with the free and fair choice to join unions, an integral element of building a clean energy economy and curbing climate change. Addressing environmental justice and engaging local communities, particularly historically disadvantaged and underserved communities that have disproportionately borne the brunt of past energy practices, are fundamental priorities of DOE’s approach to developing H2Hubs. Applicant teams are expected to develop community benefits plans to address quality jobs, environmental justice, diversity and equity, and maximize meaningful engagement with disadvantaged communities, labor unions, and other key stakeholders.

For this initial funding opportunity launch, DOE is aiming to select six to ten hubs for a combined total of up to $7 billion in federal funding. Concept papers are due by November 7, 2022, and full applications are due by April 7, 2023. Learn more about DOE’s funding opportunity.

The DOE National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap provides a comprehensive overview of the potential for hydrogen production, transport, storage, and use in the United States and outlines how clean hydrogen can contribute to national decarbonization and economic development goals. This comprehensive strategy, along with guiding principles and concrete actions, A final version of the strategy and roadmap will be released in the coming months and updated at least every three years.

 

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 WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued a statement regarding recently released legislative text for the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2022:

“Russia’s ongoing illegal war in Ukraine has resulted in extreme shocks to the global energy market. We need increased pipeline capacity in order to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and maintain a strong and resilient domestic energy supply here at home. So protecting our national and economic security is going to require increased pipeline capacity and reforms to our existing permitting process, which is currently too slow and too expensive. That said, I think the process around the Mountain Valley Pipeline stinks. In the coming days, I’m going to work with my colleagues to see if we can’t make some reasonable fixes while we work to keep the government up and running.”

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