West Virginia is well known for a lot of things. One of those things is Joe Manchin, but another is the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest fully-steerable radio telescope, one of the most successful projects of the National Science Foundation, and a massive contributor to radio astronomy since going live in 2000. It’s also a tourist attraction. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That’s right. Jobs.
But hold up. Who was Robert C. Byrd? He was a United States Senator from West Virginia from 1959 until 2010, whose seat is now occupied by Joe Manchin. I get it. Everyone is irritated by Joe Manchin. But I believe Byrd left a clear playbook on how to get around this guy.
I formally propose the creation of the Joe Manchin III Green Bank Telescope, which will be even bigger and more awesome than the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, and will work alongside it to further expand our astronomical knowledge. It will be built using a gigantic grant from the National Science Foundation, which will supply who knows how many jobs to West Virginians.
The telescope will be powered by the Joe Manchin III Solar Electric Generating System, whose construction will create even more jobs, and will prioritize employing local builders. It will be built by the United States Department of Energy, on land supplied by the Federal Government.
The Joe Manchin III Solar Electric Generating System will be the largest solar power facility in the United States, eclipsing the 794 MW capacity of California’s Mount Signal Solar plant. It will employ even more people for its day-to-day operations, with preference given to West Virginians looking to transition out of coal industry jobs, and in doing so, will improve West Virginia’s economy and lay the groundwork for a smooth transition to 21st-century power production paradigms for the state and its inhabitants.
Let’s face it. West Virginia could use some love. It ranks at or close to the bottom of a bunch of economic lists. I am happy to bribe their Senator with a bunch of jobs and investments in both astronomy and green energy. We can use this to get Manchin to agree to go along with things like an increase in the minimum wage, investing in a greener economy, and moving us toward a universal healthcare system.