Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Passes Subcommittee

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Passes Subcommittee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water today approved funding legislation for programs within its jurisdiction for Fiscal Year 2010. The bill provides $33.3 billion in total funding, which is $39 million - or less than 1% - over last year’s level. Other non-defense related Appropriations bills this year will average an increase of 12%.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis praised the bill for its balanced approach to providing adequate but restrained spending to key energy and water programs, especially those that seek to address our nation’s growing energy needs.
“While the bill still needs improvement, the Energy and Water legislation does what other Appropriations bills this year are failing to do – it responsibly funds important national priorities without spending taxpayer dollars with unrestrained abandon,” Lewis said.
The bill funds the various agencies and programs under the Department of Energy including the National Nuclear Safety Administration, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and various regional water and power authorities.
Lewis indicated his support for various aspects of the bill, including Department of Energy funding to meet the needs of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear submarine warhead schedule, and the bill’s focus on providing a balanced approach to addressing the nation’s energy needs through investment in renewable and nuclear energy technologies.
“As we all found out when gas hit $4 a gallon last summer, it is absolutely essential that we work to find and develop new and alternate sources of energy, whether it be clean coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, or enhanced domestic oil exploration and development. This bill goes hand in hand with an “all of the above” approach to meeting our growing energy needs while helping to lessen our dependence on foreign oil,” Lewis said.
However, Lewis expressed concern that the bill falls short in its recommendation for the Yucca Mountain Geological repository, and omits important increased loan guarantees to support a revitalized nuclear energy sector. Additionally, the bill cuts national security funding, calling into question our ability to increase nuclear weapons dismantlements while maintaining the reliability of our weapons. 
“I would have preferred to have done more to counter the Administration’s decision to shutter the Yucca Mountain repository.  The bill before us contains the Administration’s significant cut to the program and I’m deeply concerned,” Subcommittee Ranking Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen said.
“I would hope that these concerns and any others can be dealt with in a normal, fair Appropriations process that allows Members the open opportunity to offer amendments to improve the legislation on the House Floor,” Lewis said.

112th Congress