PoliticalNews.me - Nov 20,2011 - ROCKEFELLER PROTECTS ESSENTIAL AIR SERVICE, AMTRAK AND CORRIDOR H AGAINST CUTS
Senate and House Reach Agreement On and Pass Appropriations Bills
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Jay Rockefeller announced that he protected Essential Air Service, Amtrak, NASA work in the state, and other critical West Virginia programs from facing drastic cuts.
This week the Senate and House of Representatives passed an appropriations package that includes funding for several key initiatives in West Virginia. The bills now head to the President for his signature.
“I’ve worked hard to make sure West Virginia has sufficient funds for these important projects, and I’m proud that the House and Senate were able to work together and come to an agreement on this bill,” said Rockefeller. “Amtrak, Essential Air Service, and the Small Community Air Service Development Program are lifelines for our small communities and help the economy by boosting tourism and creating jobs. And, the state-of-the-art NASA IV &V Center in Fairmont employs highly trained professionals who are leading the way in early testing for NASA products. West Virginia deserves access to essential resources and I am doing everything possible to keep this needed funding for our state.”
Key West Virginia Initiatives Funded in Multi-Bill Appropriations Package:
Appalachian Development Highway System (Corridor H) - Rockefeller helped protect $460 million in federal funding for ADHS, $33 million of which will be dedicated entirely to Corridor H.
Small Community Air Service Development - Rockefeller championed the cause to restore funding cuts to the Small Community Air Service Development program. Rockefeller created this program in 2005 to increase air service and help offset the cost of higher ticket fares from small airports. Rockefeller stood up for the program, recognizing that West Virginia airports across the state rely on this program for air service improvements – the airports in Parkersburg, Clarksburg, and Huntington are recent recipients of this competitive program.
Essential Air Service - Rockefeller led the charge for Essential Air Service. Rockefeller has been a stalwart supporter of this program throughout his career. The program is critical in sustaining air services in Beckley, Morgantown, Clarksburg, Lewisburg, and Parkersburg – regions of the state which are heavily reliant on transportation services for economic growth.
Amtrak - Rockefeller fought back efforts to privatize Amtrak and pushed for sufficient funding for this essential passenger transportation. Amtrak operates its Cardinal and Capitol Limited lines thorough West Virginia several times a week. These lines are critical to bolstering West Virginia’s blossoming tourism industry.
NASA Independent Verification and Validation Activities - Rockefeller led the effort to restore funding for NASA IV&V activities that are conducted in Fairmont. The President’s 2012 budget request recommended reducing funding for these activities, but Rockefeller advocated for the value of the work done at the IV&V Center for future NASA space missions.