CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is urging Amazon.com Inc. to put its second headquarters in West Virginia.
The letter to CEO Jeff Bezos came after the company announced Feb. 14 it was canceling plans to build a second headquarters in New York City’s Long Island City location.
“You once wrote that your strategy for philanthropy could be found at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact, and I am certain that influenced your search for a second headquarters, asking states to think big and creatively for their proposals,” Manchin wrote in a letter dated Friday.
“Unfortunately, the final decision lacked the forward-thinking that has marked your career. You now have another chance to have a lasting impact on not just a city, but an entire region.”
Manchin’s pitch included mentioning the state’s natural landscape, low cost of living, low crime rates, veterans population and energy resources, which he said are “necessary for cloud computing.”
The senator also mentioned the business environment, which he tied to tax efforts made while governor.
“Over the last decade, our state has seen more than $15 billion worth of investment from a broad array of industries as many global companies have made the decision to locate and grow in West Virginia,” he said.
Manchin did point out the issues facing the Appalachian region, including the opioid crisis and difficulties adjusting to a modern economy.
“But these problems can be overcome, and our small cities – many of them once industrial powerhouses – have incredible potential,” he noted.
Amazon has said it will continue to develop sites in Crystal City outside of Washington, D.C., and in Nashville. New York leaders have asked Bezos to reconsider his decision.