WASHINGTON – I recently took several steps to promote more affordable, reliable and efficient energy.

On April 19, during a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Hearing, I pressed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on the millions of dollars the agency has requested for the Clean Power Plan.

I asked why 50 million dollars is budgeted for implementing the rule, even though it’s in limbo with the courts.

West Virginians know the threats posed by the harmful Clean Power Plan.

As the challenges to the rule continue to play out in the courts, I will continue fighting back against this overreach and holding the EPA accountable.

I also was pleased to help pass the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 – the first comprehensive energy update in eight years.

This bipartisan bill will improve how we use natural resources, streamline the pipeline permitting process, invest in energy research and innovation and ensure we remain energy secure for years to come.

This energy bill is not only good policy, it also represents good progress.

The Republican-led Senate continues its strong track record of passing significant legislation that will benefit the American people.

I’m also pleased that the appropriations process has begun early this year.

We began considering the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act on the Senate floor this week.

This bill includes construction funding for Bluestone Dam in Hinton, which I recently visited.

It also funds fossil energy research – like the work taking place at the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown.

And it increases funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, which plays an important role in my Capito Connect Plan to improve broadband access.

Capito, a Republican, is one of West Virginia's U.S. Senators.

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