Chair DeLauro Statement at Subcommittee Markup of Fiscal Year 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Funding Bill

2021-06-28 17:55

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2022 bill:

Thank you very much, Madame Chair. And I want to congratulate you and Ranking Member Joyce for your work on this bill.

The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee has a broad mandate, from managing and preserving America’s natural resources and cultural heritage, protecting our environment, and upholding our treaty and trust responsibilities to Native Americans. 

And I know your dedication to these important issues and your commitment to this Committee, to the House itself, and the people we represent. I thank you and I thank the staff for your hard work on the bill that is before us.

For far too long, the deck has been stacked towards big corporations and special interests, including those who pollute our air and water and defile our land, at the expense of working families and the environment itself. This has led not just to toxic air and dirty rivers, but to the emissions that have made climate change a global crisis.

However, the climate crisis is also an opportunity to build back from the devastation of the pandemic with a green economy that creates good-paying American jobs and leaves no one behind. I am pleased that this bill takes many important steps to do so.

This bill brings an increased focus on offshore wind and other clean energy sources by investing $46 million in renewable energy development. To grow opportunity in regions of the country that have been too often left behind, the bill provides $213 million for a national initiative to reclaim abandoned mines and cap orphan oil and gas wells. And the Civilian Climate Corps will make a tremendous difference as we implement projects to reduce emissions.

I might add that I am especially grateful that this bill includes funding for the Long Island Sound project, which as you know is near and dear to my heart which will receive $40 million, a $9.6 million increase over last year. This funding will be critical to helping to preserve this regional and national treasure. 

Furthermore, as we build a clean economy, we must ensure that the environmental laws on the books are enforced and that polluters are made to pay for the damage they cause. That is why I am very pleased that this legislation provides $599 million, a $70 million increase, for the Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental enforcement efforts. And this bill’s focus on environmental justice dramatically expands efforts to address pollution in communities of color. 

As we enforce our environmental laws, we must also live up to the treaty and trust obligations our country has made to Native Americans. This legislation honors the federal government’s responsibility to native Americans. It invests in a strong and resilient Indian Country with $12.45 billion to support Native American families, including education and health programs. 

With these crucial investments, we can turn crisis into opportunity. We can keep the air we breathe and the water we drink safe and clean for those who come after us. We can confront the climate crisis while creating good-paying jobs and growing opportunity. 

Once again, I thank Chair Pingree and Ranking Member Joyce for their work on this bill and I urge your support. Thank you and I yield back.

117th Congress