Manchin says Senate bill protects Morgantown lab's work

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017, file photo, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. speaks during an Associated Press interview in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. It's a rare and momentous decision, one by one, seated at desks centuries old, senators will stand and cast their votes for a Supreme Court nominee. It's a difficult political call in the modern era, especially for the 10 Democrats facing tough re-election next year in states that President Donald Trump won. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says funding would continue next year for the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown in the spending bill advancing in the Senate.

Manchin says the funding includes $72.7 million for research and development and $58.7 million for infrastructure and operations at the lab, which employs more than 600 people on its campus.

The next federal fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The lab studies include ways to capture and sequester carbon dioxide from coal burning, harvesting rare earth elements from coal byproducts and reducing methane emissions in natural gas drilling, processing and pipelines.

In August, West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins said House-passed legislation would continue funding next year for the lab’s research on fossil fuels as well as Morgantown jobs.