Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $7.4 million grant to Public Utility District No. 1 of Skamania County, Washington, to upgrade an electrical power substation to support the energy needs of commercial and industrial customers. The EDA grant, to be matched with more than $1.8 million in local investment, is expected to save 175 jobs and spur nearly $2.5 million in private investment.
“President Trump is committed to creating new opportunities for Americans to make our workforce stronger across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new upgrades to Skamania County’s electrical substation will provide businesses with uninterrupted power sources, allowing them to continue operations in the event of a natural disaster.”
“Sustaining economic activity during and after natural disasters is a key factor in keeping our country resilient and strong,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “Additional power lines, distribution feeders, larger transformers, generators, and new voltage regulators will all contribute to supporting the business needs of regional customers.”
“The hardworking families and employers in Skamania County need efficient, reliable energy to power their homes, community centers and businesses,” said Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03). “I was proud to support legislation that will help bring much-needed upgrades to the county’s electrical substation, including strengthening its reliability in the event of a natural disaster. I’m grateful that the Department of Commerce is putting these tax dollars to good use where they’ll ensure our power sources are safe and dependable for the thousands of workers and residents in Skamania County.”
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.