Senator Collins’ Statement on Committee Approval of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill

Washington, DC – May 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, voted today to approve the Energy and Water Development spending bill for the 2016 fiscal year. The bill now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

After the bill’s passage in the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins released the following statement:

“Despite increasingly strenuous fiscal constraints, this bipartisan legislation makes important investments for the next fiscal year in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research and development programs and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) water infrastructure projects.

“I’m pleased that this bill would provide $46 million for offshore wind technology development and demonstration projects, including $6 million to advance alternative project designs. Under the leadership of the University of Maine and a world-class consortium, the Aqua Ventus deepwater offshore wind initiative, which was first competitively selected by DOE in 2012, and again in 2014, has been awarded funding under this demonstration program.

“As other countries press forward on research and development for offshore wind technology, this investment is critical for keeping the United States competitive and positioning our nation as the global leader in clean-energy technologies.

“In addition, I was pleased that my amendment with Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island to increase funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program by $7 million was successful. Weatherization plays an important role in permanently reducing home energy costs for low-income families and seniors, and the bill would now provide $197 million for this important program.

“The bill also makes important investments in our nation’s water infrastructure, including $50 million for the operations and maintenance of Army Corps projects at our smaller ports and harbors. Ports and harbors are the economic lifeblood for many coastal communities in Maine, and I am encouraged with this increased investment.”

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