April 29, 2015
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Chairman Mike Simpson gave the following statement on the House floor in support of H.R. 2028, the FY 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill:
"It’s my distinct honor to bring the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water bill before you today.
"Before I go into the details, I’d like to recognize the hard work of Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey on this bill and the appropriations process.
"I would also like to thank my Ranking Member, Ms. Kaptur. I appreciate her help and it is a better bill because of her work on it.
"The bill provides $35.4 billion for the activities of the Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies under our jurisdiction. This is $1.2 billion more than last year’s funding level and $633 million below the request.
"This is a responsible bill that recognizes the importance of investing in this nation’s infrastructure and national defense. As we do each year, we worked hard to incorporate priorities and perspectives from both sides of the aisle.
"The Administration’s proposal to cut the programs of the Army Corps of Engineers by $750 million would have led to economic disruptions as our ports and waterways filled in and would have left our communities and businesses vulnerable to flooding. Instead, this bill recognizes the critical work of the Corps and provides $5.6 billion for those activities, $865 million above the request and $142 million more than last year.
"The bill makes use of all estimated annual revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund for a total of $340 million.
"The bill takes a strong stand against this Administration’s regulatory overreach with regards to the Clean Water Act and includes three provisions that prohibit changes to the definition of “fill material”, the definition of “waters of the U.S.” and the permit requirement for certain agricultural activities.
"The nuclear weapons program run by the Department of Energy is funded at $8.7 billion, which is $526 million more than last year. This increase will support full funding for stockpile life extension programs and includes an additional $100 million above the request to address the growing backlog of deferred maintenance and physical security projects. The recommendation for Naval Reactors is $1.3 billion, an increase of $86 million, and includes full funding for the OHIO Class replacement submarine.
"This bill makes strong, balanced investments in our energy sector to ensure that our constituents continue to have reliable, affordable energy.
"Fossil energy, which provided more than 67 percent of our electricity production in 2014, receives $605 million, a $34 million increase above fiscal year 2015. Nuclear energy is increased by $23 million above last year. The bill also includes $40 million more than last year to ensure an electric grid that is both reliable and resilient now and in the future.
"This is a strong bill that will advance our national security interests and our economy. I urge everyone to support it."