ICYMI: Secretaries Granholm, Walsh Visit Georgia to Promote the Build Back Better Agenda

October 15, 2021

This week, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh visited Atlanta yesterday to discuss challenges for women in the workforce. He was joined by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and local leaders for a Black Women Building Back Better roundtable and discussed priorities for working families in the Build Back Agenda.

Last Friday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited Savannah alongside Senator Jon Ossoff. The pair toured clean energy manufacturing sites and met with local leaders on expanding cheap renewable energy across Georgia. During the trip, Secretary Granholm highlighted how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and Democrats Build Back Better agenda will accelerate innovation, expand access to clean energy, and create a generation of good-paying union jobs across Georgia.   

Read more about Secretaries Walsh and Granholm’s visits to Georgia below:

U.S. Secretary Of Labor Visits Atlanta For Roundtables On Gender Pay Gap, Low Wages

CBS Atlanta 

  • U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and community leaders in Atlanta for roundtable discussions on the gender wage gap, low wages and other workforce issues. He also drew attention to the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Agenda as a solution.
  • Walsh and Bottoms heard from several organizations about challenges women are facing in the workforce. 
  • They described how COVID-19 made low wages and the gender pay gap worse.
  • “We have to treat people with respect, and we have to create pathways in the middle class,” Walsh said. He is urging Congress to pass the Build Back Better agenda, saying it would help resolve the issues.
  • Walsh’s conversations on low wages and workforce complaints continued at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Local 613. “We shouldn’t wait until we get a complaint in Wage and Hours to address those problems,” he said, referring to a discussion on complaints received by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

Mayor, labor secretary listen as Atlanta women call for pay equity, paid leave and affordable child care

WABE 90.1 FM 

  • Several groups had an opportunity Wednesday to share their concerns with Atlanta’s mayor and the head of the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Clemmons-Dean, Brooks and others spoke at a roundtable Wednesday with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who continues to try and drum up support for President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan that attempts to address some of these concerns.
  • “Every time the investments are made, they aren’t equally attributed across the board, this has to be different this time,” said Walsh.
  • The former Boston mayor says the pandemic has provided another opportunity for investment.
  • “The federal government needs to support cities all across America,” said Walsh. “Atlanta is one of those important cities in our country that we need to support.
  • Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms hosted the roundtable with Walsh. She says the struggle of many women in Atlanta – and Black women in particular, pre-dates the pandemic.
  • “To hear from the women today, to get that information directly to him, is what we need to make sure that our concerns are addressed,” said Bottoms. “And now we need Congress to act.”

Sen. Ossoff, Energy Sec. Granholm promote clean energy jobs, home solar panels in Savannah

Savannah Morning News

  • The duo discussed the need for more solar energy and environmental justice. Sec. Granholm’s visit to Savannah was part of her national tour to promote the Build Back Better Agenda and learn what steps Savannah business owners and activists are taking to promote clean energy. 
  • The walking tour focused on environmental justice, a movement, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, that calls for fair treatment and involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, gender, or income when it comes to “the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”
  • The plan includes a commitment to growing the clean energy sector (solar, wind, nuclear) by expanding American-based jobs. Ossoff was in town to support Biden’s proposals, as well as two of his own bills that would increase solar energy jobs and usage. 
  • Ossoff’s plan is to use tax incentives at “every step of the supply chain” to establish a solar energy industry in America that does not rely on foreign-made parts. He also introduced a bill that would make it more affordable for homeowners to put solar panels on their roofs, a way to save money on their electric bills every month and funnel excess solar energy back to the power grid. 
  • “Georgia is poised to become the national leader in clean energy,” Ossoff said. The senator and energy secretary spent the morning touring a Soperton plant that creates renewable diesel fuel for the aviation industry at the soon-to-open LanzaTech Freedom Pines Biorefinery. The manufacturing plant will open next year and helps the Biden administration with its 2030 goal of reducing aviation fuel emissions by 20%, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy. 

The Jolt 

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will take a trip through Georgia on Friday alongside U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff.
  • The purpose is to highlight President Joe Biden’s agenda contained in two bills that have had trouble making it through Congress recently: the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the as-of-now $3.5 trillion social spending and climate change legislation.
  • Their itinerary starts with a visit to a biofuels facility in Soperton in middle Georgia. Then they will tour the SeaPoint Industrial Terminal Complex in Savannah and host a solar power roundtable before meeting with environmental justice community leaders, residents and faith leaders about neighborhoods near polluters.
  • “I’m excited to head to Savannah this week with Sen. Jon Ossoff to see firsthand how President Biden’s infrastructure agenda will turbocharge Georgia’s economy with massive job opportunities in clean energy manufacturing and technology across the state,” Granholm said in a statement.

U.S. Sen. Ossoff discusses solar energy while visiting Savannah

WTOC (Savannah)

  • The head of the U.S. Department of Energy, along with Senator Jon Ossoff and Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, participated in a round table discussion to talk about the benefits of and need to embrace solar energy.
  • That included not only utilizing renewable, clean energy sources more, but also creating manufacturing opportunities to produce the panels and solar systems.
  • During the round table, Senator Ossoff said the pursuit of more solar energy is about ending pollution, investing in American manufacturing jobs and about energy independence.
  • Mayor Johnson pointed out during the discussion the City’s commitment to clean, renewable energy, and that they’ll soon be looking to outfit 22 city facilities with solar panels. Mayor Johnson says the plan is to finance the City’s solar initiative through a solar energy procurement agreement which he says will allow for immediate savings and give access to federal tax incentives.
  • Secretary Granholm also highlighted how lucrative the manufacturing side of clean energy production can be.
  • “You know there’s going to be a $23 trillion global market for products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. $23 trillion by 2030. Other countries are gunning for that market,” said U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
  • Senator Ossoff is also pushing to pass the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, which his office says will boost solar production in the U.S., create jobs and help meet the Biden administration’s goal of having solar energy account for 40-percent of the nation’s energy by 2035.
  • Senator Ossoff’s solar legislation is in the upcoming reconciliation bill.

Secretary of Energy, Senator tour Soperton sustainable aviation fuel plant to open in 2022

WGXA (Macon) 

  • The United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Senator John Ossoff toured facilities in Georgia that are committed to providing clean energy, including a stop in Soperton.
  • “My vision is Georgia should lead the nation in clean energy and renewable energy technology,” stated Ossoff.
  • He mentions that Georgia already has one of the largest electric vehicle battery production plants in the country as well as the largest solar panel facility in the western hemisphere.
  • “This new facility will host leading production facilities for sustainable aviation fuel, we have the best airline here in Georgia and now thanks to great innovators and workers here at LanzaTech were leading the world in sustainable aviation fuel,” said Ossoff.
  • Secretary Granholm says that even though this plant has not started operating, they have already made a large dedication to reducing climate pollution.
  • She says that the global aviation community this week pledged to have their fuel be zero carbon pollution emission by 2050 and now the United States is looking to make a similar commitment.
  • “The Department of Energy and the Federal Government has just announced a goal to get to 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel by the year 2030, Lanzatech says they will provide 1 billion of those 3 billion. Can you image 1 billion coming out of the heart of Georgia, it’s a huge statement about Georgia’s commitment to be a leader,” said Granholm.
  • She says this will create a huge economic opportunity and will provide jobs for not just Georgia but nationally.
  • Ossoff says in order to make Georgia the national leader in clean energy, it takes great partnerships between the business leaders, legislature, and the Department of Energy.

U.S. Senator Ossoff and U.S. Secretary Granholm visit Savannah, investing in solar energy

FOX 28 (Savannah)

  • U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff and U.S. Secretary Of Energy Jennifer Granholm said that the state of Georgia has the largest solar manufacturer in Western Hemisphere, one reason for the state to lead the way in clean energy.
  • The two made a visit to Savannah Friday, to talk with state and city leaders on why communities should invest in solar energy. Additionally, Granholm states that people opposed to the investment, comes from a lack of information.
  • “So, from an individual point of view, people should know that they can save, on average about 20 percent on their energy bills by putting solar on their roof,” said Graholm.
  • The need to invest in solar energy is what Sen. Ossoff and Sec. Granholm are pushing for and they say the state of Georgia has the resources to do so.
  • “Georgia has it all. We have the third-largest container port in the county. We have the busiest airport in the world. We have the largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the entire Western hemisphere,” said Ossoff.
  • Solar energy advocates state that rooftop solar is not just for wealthy communities, it’s a collective partnership, making sure they provide fair solutions for everyone to have affordable access.
  • “Solar roofs, and solar manufacture. Solar roofs is making it affordable for everybody to install rooftop solar. So, this isn’t just something that wealthy people can invest in but everybody in Savannah, everybody in coastal Georgia, everybody across our state can benefit from solar energy,” Said Ossoff.
  • Leaders said the goal is to get to 50%, we currently sit at 5%.
  • “Let me just restate what this is about. This is about ending the pollution that threatens our world and threatens coastal Georgia, by transitioning to clean energy. This is about revitalizing American manufacturing and creating tens of thousands of jobs while we do it, and this is about Americas energy independence,” said Ossoff.
  • Sen. Ossoff and Sec. Granholm also visited the Seapoint Industrial Terminal Complex after the roundtable discussion.

Sen. Jon Ossoff, Energy Sec. Jennifer Granholm visit Savannah to discuss clean energy

WJCL (Savannah)

  • Senator Jon Ossoff and the U.S. Secretary of Energy paid a visit to Savannah on Friday to discuss the future of solar energy with industry leaders.
  • The two addressed a variety of topics related to clean energy during a roundtable discussion. They talked about the need to invest in solar energy, the importance of investing in clean energy for minority communities and discussed two bills they feel would help our country to become a leader in clean energy.
  • Ossoff said, “There’s two bills: Solar roofs and solar manufacturing. Solar roofs is about making it affordable for everybody to install rooftop solar. So this isn’t something just wealthy people can invest in, but so that everybody in Savannah, everybody in Coastal Georgia, everybody across our state can benefit from solar energy.”
  • The second bill, Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, would essentially help to ensure solar technology is made here in the United States.
  • Granholm said, “Senator Ossoff’s great leadership in putting forward a tax credit for solar energy manufacturing in America, that is second to none. It is the game changer to be able to build up these supply chains and the whole solar industry in America.”
  • On top of addressing legislation during Friday’s roundtable discussion, Ossoff and Granholm invited Savannah Mayor Van Johnson to speak about Hostess City’s efforts towards clean energy.
  • Johnson announced the city has just submitted a request for permission for 22 city facilities to go solar.
  • “To put it quite plainly, Savannah has made a commitment to be able to help lead the way,” Johnson said.
  • After Friday’s roundtable, Ossoff and Granholm took a tour of Seapoint Industrial Terminal Complex, a manufacturing and logistics hub in Savannah that includes a 1-megawatt solar installation and an eight-acre pollinator site.
  • A study from the University of Georgia suggests Seapoint will be a major economic driver for Savannah, creating and supporting thousands of jobs.
  • “Georgia has got it all, Georgia has got so much in this space,” Granholm said.


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