Business magnate Bill Gates visits West Virginia to talk energy industry with Sen. Manchin

The co-founder of Microsoft and business magnate talked about the transition of energy sources and new opportunities in West Virginia.
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 11:32 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., hosted business magnate and co-founder of Microsoft in his home state of West Virginia on Monday.

According to Manchin’s office, the visit was to “showcase West Virginia’s deep history in the energy industry and potential for future innovative energy opportunities.”

Monday afternoon, Gates took part in a chat at the Clay Center in Charleston moderated by Marshall University President Brad Smith.

The chat was hosted by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, West Virginia Manufacturers Association, AFL-CIO Charleston Area Alliance, and Huntington Chamber of Commerce.

During the discussion, Senator Manchin and Gates discussed development possibilities through the Inflation Reduction Act, which is backed by Manchin. The act includes nearly $370 billion for energy security and climate change programs during 10 years.

Gates talked about how he feels a transition to nuclear power would be beneficial.

“The beauty of nuclear of course is it’s not weather dependent at all,” Gates said. “It’s very, very compact, but the way those nuclear plants were built, they were just very expensive, so unless we start from scratch with a new design, we won’t be able to have low-cost electricity.”

“If you want to help the climate, then basically replace some of the dirty fossil being used around the world with the cleanest fossil being produced here in America, and we can do that,” Manchin said as he talked with reporters following the event.

Gates was asked to share his advice for younger people looking to begin careers in clean energy.

“It’s a great cause to get involved in,” Gates said, “because it won’t be solved halfway through your career. It will take your entire working lifetime to achieve this dream.”

Monday morning, Gates joined Manchin on a tour of the old AEP plant in Glasgow.

Manchin says the state has always been the country’s energy powerhouse and as the market transitions, the skilled workforce in the state is ready to use newer technology to provide power.