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Schumer Fought Non-Stop For Over A Year, Calling Commerce Secretary Multiple Times For Binghamton University’s New Energy NY Proposal To Transform The Southern Tier Economy With Federally-Backed, Cutting-Edge Battery Research And Manufacturing

Schumer Worked Hand In Hand With Dr. Whittingham Standing Together At Multiple Events, And Penning An Op-Ed Together On The Importance Of Bringing Battery Manufacturing Back From Overseas To Places Like Upstate NY

Schumer: Upstate NY Is Ready To Power America’s Battery Future, And Dr. Whittingham’s Presence At The SOTU Will Show Nation Binghamton’s Electric Growth!

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that he will bring Dr. Stan Whittingham, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Binghamton University and the 2019 winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on the development of lithium ion batteries, as his guest to attend President Biden’s State of the Union address. Following his long advocacy, working with Dr. Whittingham and Binghamton University, Schumer secured Binghamton University over $63 million in federal investment last year through the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, one of the largest grants in the program, to help make the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes a national hub for battery research and manufacturing. Schumer said that his legislation– the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science bill – is spurring new investments in electric vehicles and batteries across the U.S.. Dr. Whittingham’s attendance at the State of the Union shows that Binghamton is ready to power America’s battery future.

“I am proud to announce that Binghamton University’s Dr. Whittingham’s will be my guest to President Biden’s State of the Union address. Dr. Whittingham’s work has helped revolutionize the world of batteries and our energy economy, it continues to this day in the Southern Tier, and is even more integral as we seek to bring manufacturing jobs back from overseas and power the fight against climate change,” said Senator Schumer. “Binghamton and the Southern Tier have a national spotlight and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to power the future of battery research and manufacturing for America thanks to the historic federal investment I was able to help Upstate New York secure. Since becoming majority leader, I have fought tooth and nail to increase federal investment to bring manufacturing jobs and industry back from overseas and Binghamton’s emerging battery hub is a shining example as to how we are laying the foundation here in the Southern Tier. I can think of no better person than Dr. Whittingham to electrify the State of the Union and show how Upstate NY is prime to lead the charge to a brighter clean energy future in America.” 

"Senator Schumer has been such a supporter of our Battery NY/New Energy New York initiative which aims to bring battery manufacturing back to the United States and North America," said Distinguished Professor and Nobel Laureate M. Stanley Whittingham. "We could not do what we are doing without the Senator's support and without all of the federal programs funding domestic manufacturing and technology innovation. I am honored to be invited to attend the State of the Union as the Senator's guest and thank the Senator for all of his support for this program and for Binghamton University through the years."

Schumer has a long history both working with Dr. Whittingham and fighting to secure Binghamton’s recent major federal investment in battery manufacturing. One of Schumer’s first major acts as majority leader was leading the American Rescue Plan to passage to both bolster America’s response to the pandemic, and boost the long-term economic recovery of regions that needed it most through programs like the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. As the Regional Challenge program was stood up and Binghamton University developed its battery hub proposal for federal funding, Schumer began personally advocating to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo for the selection of the Southern Tier for major federal investment. In December 2021, following Schumer’s advocacyBinghamton’s project was selected as a Phase 1 awardee out of over 500 applications from around the country to compete for a final award. In April 2022, Schumer personally visited the Southern Tier to double down on his advocacy, standing with Dr. Whittingham, and again reiterate his support to federal leaders to select Binghamton as a final Regional Challenge awardee. 

In June 2022, Schumer, Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, and Dr. Whittingham, all joined forces and penned a joint op-ed on the importance of bolstering battery technology for America’s future to again try to elevate the profile of the project. Finally in September 2022, Schumer secured Binghamton’s spot as a final awardee, with a $63.7 million federal investment, one of the largest grants, which was matched by $50 million in funding from New York State, to help make the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes a national hub for battery research and manufacturing. Most recently, Schumer brought U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Alejandra Castillo, to Binghamton, to show the Biden administration firsthand the potential the Southern Tier has to be a national leader as a hub for battery innovation. 

At the same time, Schumer shepherded the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to passage, securing billions for battery manufacturing, critical mineral supply chains, and electric vehicles. The Inflation Reduction Act’s Advanced Manufacturing Production tax credit brings down the cost of making batteries right here at home – from critical minerals and catalysts, to battery cells and packs – which will speed up our transition to the next generation technologies that the Southern Tier is researching. Most recently, Schumer secured $10.8 billion in federal investment for key programs in his CHIPS and Science Act, including $1.8 billion in increased funding, compared to last year, to implement major provisions from his legislation that are key to supercharging the Upstate innovation economy. This includes the largest dollar increase for the National Science Foundation in history, the launch of the Regional Technology & Innovation Hub program, expansion of manufacturing programs, and STEM education and training programs to help prepare the next generation of Upstate NY workers for careers like those being developed by Binghamton University’s emerging battery hub.