The committee report accompanying the Senate energy and water development bill directs the Commission to provide Congress with a report that examines the feasibility of relocating the agency to the Appalachian Region and any potential long-term cost savings the move could accomplish. The report also states the committee’s view that if the agency were to move, it should relocate to West Virginia.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved its version of the FY 2019 energy and water development appropriations legislation on June 8. Like the Senate bill, it provides a total of $155 million for ARC’s nonhighway programs, and allocates $50 million for the POWER Initiative. The House bill also allocates $10 million to continue a program of high-speed broadband deployment in economically distressed counties in Central Appalachia that have been most negatively impacted by the downturn in the coal industry.
A Senate-House conference committee is expected to reconcile differences between the two measures later this summer.