Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Bill
The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation provides annual funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy, and other related agencies.
The bill totals $34 billion – a $50 million reduction from the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and an increase of $327 million above the President’s request.
“The bill holds the line on spending, while prioritizing programs with the highest national need. This includes bolstering our national defense by ensuring the safety and readiness of our nuclear weapons, and increasing economic opportunity with critical infrastructure projects such as those through the Army Corps of Engineers,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This is a well-balanced, responsible bill that reflects thoughtful budget decisions and makes the best use of taxpayer dollars.”
Energy and Water Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson also commented on the importance of the bill:
"This bill reflects the tough decisions necessitated by our challenging fiscal environment, while placing emphasis where it is needed most: meeting critical national security needs and investing in our nation's infrastructure," Chairman Simpson said. "It prioritizes the maintenance and safety of our nuclear weapons stockpile, while also funding important infrastructure projects and research that will increase U.S. economic competitiveness and growth."
A summary of the subcommittee draft of the fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill follows:
The bill totals $34 billion –$50 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and an increase of $327 million above the President’s request.
The bill prioritizes funding for our national security, providing increases for nuclear weapons programs above fiscal year 2014. The bill also protects funding for critical national and regional waterways – which handle commerce valued at more than $1.7 trillion annually – through the Army Corps of Engineers, and programs that encourage energy independence and economic competitiveness. To meet these needs, the legislation contains targeted reductions to lower-priority or unnecessary programs.
Nuclear Security – The bill provides a total of $11.4 billion for DOE’s nuclear weapons security programs, including Weapons Activities, Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Naval Reactors. This is a $154.6 million increase from the fiscal year 2014 level. This critical national defense funding will allow the U.S. to uphold its nuclear deterrence posture, and prepare for current and future nuclear threats by maintaining the safety and readiness of our nuclear stockpile. This includes:
- $8.2 billion for Weapons Activities – $423.2 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level;
- $1.2 billion for Naval Nuclear Reactors – $120.3 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level; and
- $1.5 billion for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation – $398.8 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and the same as the President’s request.
Army Corps of Engineers – The Army Corps of Engineers is funded at $5.5 billion, an increase of $25 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $959.5 million above the President’s budget request. The bill focuses funding on activities that will have an immediate impact on public safety, job creation and the economy, including those that help ensure our waterways stay open for business. For example, the bill provides:
- $2.3 billion for navigation projects and studies, including $1.1 billion in funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to help advance American competitiveness and export ability; and
- $1.7 billion to support public health and safety by funding flood and storm damage reduction activities – including $326 million for the most critical dam safety improvements.
Environmental Cleanup – Included in the legislation is $5.6 billion for environmental management activities, $202.2 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes $4.8 billion for Defense Environmental Cleanup to safely clean sites contaminated by previous nuclear weapons production, as well as additional funding for various other non-defense related nuclear sites.
Energy Programs – Funding for energy programs within the Department of Energy (DOE) is $10.3 billion – an increase of $113 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this total, the bill prioritizes and increases funding for energy programs that encourage U.S. economic competitiveness and that help advance the nation’s goal of an “all of the above” solution to energy independence.
In order to balance investments in all energy sources, research and development to advanced coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy technologies, which will help the country make greater use of our rich natural energy resources and help keep down energy costs, are funded at $593 million – an increase of $30.9 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. In addition, funding for nuclear energy research, development, and demonstration activities is increased by $9.8 million for a total funding level of $899 million. Renewable energy programs, which are funded at $1.8 billion in the bill, are cut by $113 million from last year’s enacted level.
Science Research – The bill includes $5.1 billion for science research – the same as the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will help strengthen the nation’s science and technology innovation by supporting basic energy research, development of high-performance computing systems, and research into the next generation of clean energy sources. This basic research will lay the groundwork for more efficient and practical domestic energy solutions to help reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, and help promote future growth in American businesses and industries.
Bureau of Reclamation - The legislation contains $1 billion – $100.7 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $29 million below the President’s request – for the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation to help manage, develop, and protect the water resources of western states.
Yucca Mountain – The bill continues Congressional efforts to support the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository, providing $150 million for the Nuclear Waste Disposal program and $55 million for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to continue the adjudication of DOE’s Yucca Mountain License application. The legislation also denies an Administration proposal for non-Yucca nuclear waste activities.
Other policy items:
- The bill prohibits any changes to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.
- The bill prohibits any changes to the definition of “fill material” and “discharge of fill material” for the purposes of the Clean Water Act.
- The bill includes language requiring that proceeds from a recent “test sale” of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) be used only to purchase refill crude oil for the SPR.
For the complete text of the subcommittee draft of the FY 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, please visit: /UploadedFiles/BILLS-113HR-SC-AP-FY2015-EnergyWater-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf