Fact Sheet: Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water and Related Agencies Appropriations Conference Report
The Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Conference Report provides $33.5 billion in total funding, which is $200,000,000 above last year’s level for a 0.6% increase. This is in addition to the more than $58.7 billion provided in fiscal year 2009 emergency funding, mostly from the “stimulus” bill.
The conference report funds the various agencies and programs under the Department of Energy including the National Nuclear Security Administration, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and various regional water and power authorities.
However, while the Energy and Water conference report contains modest and reasonable spending increases - unlike the majority of other spending bills before the House this year - it falls short in several areas, including its funding recommendation for the Yucca Mountain geological repository and national security and weapons activity programs.
Department of Energy
The conference report provides DoE with $27.1 billion. This funding level is $1.3 billion below the budget request and $318.4 million above last year’s enacted level. This is in addition to the $46.5 billion provided for the Department in “emergency” spending last year, including $38.7 billion in the “stimulus” bill.
Energy Research and Development
The conference report increases research and development funding for both renewable energy and nuclear power, while supporting clean coal initiatives and other clean energy technologies, such as geothermal, solar and wind power.
The report funds nuclear energy programs at $786.6 million - or $25 million above the President’s request - rejects the administration’s short-sighted underfunding of this clean energy source, and supports nuclear energy’s critical role in supporting a reliable energy sector which minimizes environmental pollution.
The report contains $191.8 million for the Yucca Mountain repository, and maintains the Yucca Mountain licensing application process, allowing the nation’s only potential geological repository program for spent nuclear fuel to be continued. The report also ensures that the “Blue Ribbon Commission” considers all alternatives, including Yucca Mountain, for future waste storage plans.
However, the conference agreement further weakens the nation’s plan for managing spent nuclear fuel by cutting in half the Yucca Mountain license application review, ensuring the application process will be dragged out over many years.
Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program
$43 million - an increase of $23 million over last year - is included in the report to administer the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, which funds investments in renewable and low-emissions energy. However, the conference agreement does not provide for additional nuclear power loan guarantees to increase the availability of nuclear energy in the United States.
National Security Activities
The report provides $9.2 billion for national security activities, including weapons activities, nonproliferation, and naval reactors. The irresponsibly low funding level for weapons activities – just $4 million above last year which is far below inflation – raises real questions whether the Democrat Congress and the Administration are willing to contribute the funding necessary to keep our country secure.
Army Corps of Engineers
The report provides $5.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, which is $320 million over the budget request and $42.6 million over last year. This increase will help address water needs across this country, including flood and storm damage reduction, navigation projects, hydropower projects, and ecosystem restoration.
Bureau of Reclamation
The report contains $1.1 billion – $11.9 million above last year’s level – for the Department of Interior including the Bureau of Reclamation. This funding is intended to help manage, develop and protect our nation’s water resources.