SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Rev. Raphael Warnock came to his hometown of Savannah Thursday for his first official tour of the Port of Savannah as a U.S. senator.
Sen. Warnock spent time on a crane hundreds of feet in the air as cargo was being unloaded from a huge ship.
“To go up on that crane is to get a birds-eye view of the future,” said Warnock. “As a child of Savannah and this area, I am very proud of what’s happening right here and right now.”
Warnock says the growth of the port and the promise of more jobs is a tribute to the Georgia Ports Authority — and also to the concept of updating infrastructure. He used the new electric cranes as an example of innovation and a move toward trying to use more clean energy.
Warnock also used it as an opportunity to tout the American Jobs Plan.
“Through the American Jobs Plan, President Biden is calling on Congress to invest an additional $17 billion inland waterways coastal, ports, land ports of entry and ferries,” said Warnock. “Through this plan, the president is calling on Congress to position the United States as a global leader and Georgia as a national leader in clean freight.”
Warnock acknowledged few Republicans support it, in part because the opposition says the bill is too expensive and includes too many things they don’t consider traditional infrastructure such as new and improved housing and improving city water systems by getting rid of lead pipes.
“We do big things in America,” said Warnock. “There was a time when someone couldn’t imagine our national highway system, and none of what we’re viewing here at the port right would have ever been possible without imagination.”
The senator says he remains committed to working on a bipartisan bill that makes it to passage but said that the plan must pass.
In mid-afternoon, Warnock visited the SeaPoint Industrial Terminal Complex, owned by Dulany Industries Inc. A spokesman said SeaPoint Complex partnered with Five Hives and Vines (FH&V), a Statesboro-based beekeeping and meadery operation, to establish a pollinator garden and help grow the honeybee population. There is also an existing solar field that now powers up to 600 homes a day.
It’s a site that was successfully remediated and repurposed after seven years of effort, and with the support of the city of Savannah, the Georgia EPD, the US EPA and the Greenfield Environmental Trust.
The complex is poised to offer space and opportuity to clean energy companies.
“There must be recognition that we’ve got to have clean energy jobs into the future and that the way to have a sustainable economy is through sustainable measures,” said Warnock.