Press releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, secured key Louisiana provisions in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2019, this week.

“Louisiana is a driving force for our nation’s economy, providing seafood, oil and agricultural products to millions around the country and world.  Without investments in our infrastructure, Louisiana’s vital industries will not be able to grow and thrive,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “I will continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and my colleagues in the Senate to make sure that Louisiana’s priorities are fulfilled.”

Bill Highlights:

Army Corps of Engineers - Provides more than $6.9 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.  This is a 45% increase over the President’s budget request of $4.8 billion in funding for the Corps of Engineers.  Included in the funding is the following:

  • Guidance from the Subcommittee to the Corps to prioritize funding for projects providing, among other benefits, flood and storm damage reduction.  This guidance is intended to benefit projects such as the Southeast Louisiana Flood Control project that is commonly known as SELA in the Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes region.
  • $350 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) Program.  This program provides vital flood risk management and efficient navigation within the Mississippi River system.
  • $1.53 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. In 1986, Congress enacted the Harbor Maintenance Tax to recover operation and maintenance (O&M) costs at U.S. coastal and Great Lakes harbors from maritime shippers. O&M is mostly the dredging of harbor channels to their authorized depths and widths.

Delta Regional Authority- Provides $25 million for the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). The DRA invests in programs that promote the growth of a skilled workforce, support job creation and invest in local and regional infrastructure in the Delta region.

Department of Energy- This bill also provides stable funding for the Department of Energy.

  • Includes $4 million to support the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence.  The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 authorized establishment of a joint U.S.-Israel Energy Center to utilize and exchange the experience, knowledge and expertise of universities and businesses to enrich offshore energy development.  Louisiana’s offshore energy expertise should provide it the leadership role for the center.