The committee report accompanying that 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. Full Senate consideration of the bill is expected in June.
The House Committee on Appropriations approved its FY 2019 energy and water development appropriations bill on May 16. That legislation also provides $155 million for ARC’s nonhighway programs. The bill allocates $50 million for the POWER Initiative and $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. Full House consideration of the legislation is pending.