Sen. Ossoff Focuses on Job Creation in Southwest Georgia as Senate Develops Infrastructure Bill

As Senate works on infrastructure legislation, Sen. Ossoff touted possible economic benefits for Southwest Georgia

Washington, D.C. —  Today in a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee, U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff pushed for infrastructure and clean energy investments to create jobs across Southwest Georgia, outlining how Albany, Bainbridge, Thomasville, Valdosta, and the entire region could benefit economically from major investments in solar energy production.

Sen. Ossoff continues to push for an ambitious bipartisan infrastructure plan in the U.S. Senate and has been focused on infrastructure and economic development for Southwest Georgia.

He spoke with Corey Woods, Mayor of Tempe, Arizona, about his experience investing in solar energy in and around Tempe, and about how Southwest Georgia could benefit economically from similar investment.

Mayor Woods spoke about the importance of renewable energy as a way to prioritize resiliency, sustainability, and economic growth.

In May, Sen. Ossoff traveled across the state highlighting Georgia’s key role in clean energy, inspecting the Q Cells Solar Plant in Dalton — the largest solar plant in the Western Hemisphere — and the SK Innovation Electric Vehicle Battery Plant in Commerce, a $2.6 billion investment he helped save from possible closure that will create at least 2,600 jobs.

Click here to watch Sen. Ossoff’s line of questioning:

Please find a transcript from the exchange here:

SEN. OSSOFF: “Mayor Woods, Tempe is making big strides in clean energy. And congratulations to you for the investments that you’re making in renewable energy infrastructure which creates jobs and helps us sustain our natural habitat. In Southwest Georgia, including areas of the state like Albany, Valdosta, Bainbridge, and Thomasville, we’re also uniquely positioned to take advantage of opportunities in solar energy production given our location and the infrastructure that already exists there. Can you please reflect, Mayor Woods, based on your experience on how Southwest Georgia, given the assets that we have, might benefit economically from increased investment in clean energy, as you have made such investments in and around Tempe?”

MAYOR WOODS: “Absolutely, Senator Ossoff, thank you for the question. So energy use like accounts for about 70% of our municipal carbon emissions, and about 50% of our community investments. We have actually six municipal buildings here in the city of Tempe with solar on them right now to minimize municipal carbon emissions. And so one of our big priorities is working on these sort of resiliency hubs, with our local electric companies – Arizona Public Service SaltRiver Project – these hubs really do demonstrate how solar and battery storage can be used in the case of extreme heat and temperatures. And right now, today is a 118 degree day right here in Arizona. So the fact that we’re studying the use of these resiliency hubs is huge, and really will help to protect us when there are issues when it comes to extreme heat. So funding that really helps to continue to prioritize this kind of work when it comes to solar for the purpose of creating our environmental sustainability and reducing emissions is huge for the city of Tempe and for the entire region.”

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