U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a senior member, approved an energy security and water infrastructure bill including increased federal funding for projects in Kentucky. The Energy & Water Appropriations Bill provides critical resources Senator McConnell secured for several Kentucky energy, water infrastructure, and economic development programs, including:
$314 million for cleanup operations at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PDGP) – a $40 million increase over last year’s funding level.
$38 million to complete the Olmsted Locks and Dam project in Ballard County. This and additional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding in the bill will support construction and maintenance of inland waterways infrastructure – including the Kentucky Lock project — that is vital to Kentucky’s more than 20,000 maritime jobs.
$175 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). In particular, Senator McConnell helped secure resources for the following priorities:
$50 million for the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) grant program. Funding for POWER gives local organizations the tools they need to make a positive impact in their communities. For example, just this year a Kentucky organization received a $1.7 million POWER grant to establish new centers to help Kentuckians in recovery combat their substance abuse addictions. In the past two fiscal years, Senator McConnell has secured $100 million for the POWER grant program;
$16 million for infrastructure priorities for distressed counties in Central Appalachia; and
$10 million for a new pilot project secured by Senator McConnell to address the substance abuse crisis in Appalachia.
$30 million for the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) — a $5 million increase over last year’s funding level. DRA supports economic and infrastructure development in the Mississippi Delta region, including a number of counties in Western Kentucky.
$800 million for the Fossil Energy Research and Development Program, which includes support for research on clean coal technology as well as for research on rare earth elements. In years past, money from this program has gone to Kentucky to support clean coal technology. Last year, the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research received funding through the program.
“We are investing today in the future of Kentucky, helping families and communities throughout our Commonwealth reach their full potential,” said Senator McConnell. “As Majority Leader, I’m consistently looking for ways to make Kentucky’s interests into national priorities. Once enacted, the federal resources provided by this bill will support good jobs, better infrastructure and relief from the opioid and substance abuse epidemic throughout the Bluegrass State. I’ll keep working with my colleagues in the Senate to advance this legislation to the president’s desk.”
The full Senate must now approve the Energy & Water Appropriations bill.