PDT Staff Writer
U.S. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt says the U.S. Department of Energy has the power to move funds around and come up with the $50 million needed to fund the Research Development and Demonstration project, being done in conjunction with the American Centrifuge Project at Piketon.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill Wednesday, as a part of the Energy and Water Bill, that provided $100 million for that project, but was $50 million short of what is needed to keep it funded.
Several amendments opposing the funding were voted down by the House. Those amendments were offered by Rep. Ed Markey D-Mass, Rep. Steve Pearce R-New Mexico, and Rep. Michael Burgess R-Texas.
“Congresswoman Schmidt believes that the $100 million is a very good starting point, Schmidt Spokesman Barrett Brunsman said. “The House vote shows strong congressional support for this program. Her expectation is that the remaining $50 million will be made available down the road. The Department of Energy could receive authority to transfer $50 million of its existing funds to fill the gap.”
Last week, Sen. Sherrod Brown announced that the Senate version had included all $150 million.
Brown, who has recently worked with Senate Leadership to include that $150 million in the Senate-passed bill, said research and development funding should keep Ohioans at work, strengthen the American Centrifuge Plant’s commercialization abilities, and protect U.S. national security.
Brown said the vote secured resources for ACP in the Senate’s Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Brown said the funds will help ensure that the ACP is in the strongest position possible to receive a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy (DOE), which would help create 4,000 construction and 400 permanent jobs in southern Ohio.
“The ACP isn’t just an important job creator in southern Ohio, it’s also a critical component of our national security,” Brown said. “That’s why we see bipartisan support in the Senate for continued research and development. The ACP is too important to terminate. I will continue working to keep these jobs in Piketon and ensure that our nation is secure.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com.