Reed Welcomes U.S. Interior Secretary to RI to Celebrate Construction of Nation’s First Offshore Wind Farm
Senator Reed welcomed U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to Rhode Island to join Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper, Governor Gina Raimondo, the congressional delegation, and representatives of Deepwater Wind to celebrate an historic “steel in the water” milestone for America’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm off Block Island.
The celebration included a boat tour of the project site to provide a close look at the turbine foundation work underway.
Deepwater Wind is constructing a five-turbine, 30-megawatt wind farm in state waters about three nautical miles southeast of Block Island. At 589 feet above sea level, the turbines will be among the tallest in the world. The project, scheduled to be online in 2016, is expected to power about 17,000 homes. It is the first project of its kind in the United States.
“Getting to this point has truly been a collaborative effort, and I would like to recognize all my colleagues, as well as Governor Raimondo and the state leadership for their efforts to position Rhode Island as a leader in clean, renewable energy. I am proud of the work being done here to help protect our environment, reduce long-term energy costs, support our local businesses, and create sustainable jobs. Together, we can build a local green energy industry here in the Ocean State for years to come,” said Senator Reed.
Senator Reed hosted a medal ceremony to honor World War II Veteran, Edward J. Imperatore, 93, of Cranston with the military honors he earned but never received during his service in the United States Navy.
Born in Providence in January 1922, Mr. Imperatore was just 20 years old when he enlisted in the Navy in October 1942.
Among other posts during the war, Mr. Imperatore served aboard the USS Marabout, a coastal minesweeper whose mission was to ensure safe passage for Allied ships.
Reed presented Mr. Imperatore with the military honors he earned, including the World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the Honorable Service Lapel Button, among others.
Reed Leads Senate Democrats, Rep. Duckworth in Calling for Stronger Consumer Protections for Military Families
Senators Reed was joined by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and a number of Senate Democrats in calling for additional tools to better protect members of the military and their families from abusive financial practices. The group also discussed their new Military Consumer Protection Act legislation.
The Military Consumer Protection Act, introduced in the Senate by Reed and Schumer and in the House by Rep. Duckworth, would empower the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to oversee and enforce compliance with certain existing provisions of the Service Member Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which was designed to ease financial burdens on service members during periods of military service. Despite these SCRA protections, which Congress enacted to enable service members to “devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation,” enforcement of this critical law has been found to be inconsistent and subject to the discretion of financial regulators.
The Military Consumer Protection Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Al Franken (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and supported by a range of organizations representing the interests of service members and their families, including: the Consumer Federation of America; the National Guard Association of the United States; the National Association of Consumer Advocates; the National Military Family Association; the Military Officers Association of America; and U.S. PIRG.
Sometimes the meals children receive at school are the only guaranteed meals they get each day. And with schools on summer vacation, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Governor Gina M. Raimondo and First Gentleman Andy Moffit, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, and others are teaming up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure every child has access to healthy food over their summer break.
This year they are partnering with non-profits, community organizations, and volunteers to offer the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) at over 200 sites across Rhode Island and hope to serve more than 300,000 meals to hungry kids in need.
The federal Summer Food Service Program is open to any child 18 years of age and younger, and gives them the opportunity to enjoy free, nutritious meals and snacks for most of the summer. The program is administered by the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) in conjunction with community partners throughout the state, such as the Providence Department of Parks + Recreation and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, and operates Mondays through Fridays in most locations, with some sites offering weekend options as well.
Senator Reed was joined by Senator Whitehouse, Amy Grzybowski, Acting Town Manager for the Town of Westerly, and other officials to celebrate the completion of the Westerly Town Beach Pavilion rehabilitation project.
Wind and wave impacts from Hurricane Sandy substantially damaged Westerly’s Old Town Beach Pavilion in 2012, including the complete destruction of the septic system. Reed, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was instrumental in securing $1.35 million in federal funds to rebuild the pavilion in the aftermath of the storm.
The rehabilitation of the Old Town Beach Pavilion included elevating the structure approximately four feet, installing a new onsite wastewater treatment system, reconstructing the stairways and ramps to accommodate the elevation change and relocation of the building, and upgrading the roof and windows to withstand 120mph winds.
Following Hurricane Sandy, Reed together with the federal delegation worked to provide over $100 million for Rhode Island’s recovery efforts, including $20 million through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery program.
Senator Reed was joined by Governor Gina Raimondo, members of the Congressional Delegation, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and Amtrak to kick off a high-speed rail project at the Kingston Railway Station that will have long-term benefits for transit in Rhode Island and throughout the Northeast Corridor.
Through a $41 million project, crews will build an additional 1.5 miles of track near Kingston Station. These improvements will enable the high-speed Amtrak Acela trains to bypass regional trains and aid future development of commuter rail in South County.
The work is supported through $26.2 million in federal funds dedicated through the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program. Rhode Island was one of 15 states awarded a competitive grant in 2011, and was the only state to receive awards for two projects on the Northeast Corridor main line, the other being for the development of a long range plan at the Providence Station.
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