Chair Pingree Statement at Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the United States Department of the Interior Hearing

2022-04-28 09:07

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Chair of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the United States Department of the Interior Hearing:

Good morning Secretary Haaland, and thank you for being with us today to discuss the fiscal year 2023 budget request for the Department of the Interior. 

Joining the Secretary today is Denise Flanagan, Director of Budget.

Our focus for today’s hearing is the President’s $16.1 billion dollar request for the Department of the Interior, an increase of $1.9 billion (12%) over the Fiscal Year 2022 enacted level.  Notable increases include:
•    Advancing science and conservation efforts;
•    Renewable energy; 
•    Remediating and reclaiming orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mine lands;
•    Upholding our treaty and trust obligations; as well as
•    Bolstering wildland fire management.  

We look forward to a robust discussion on these topics.

I am proud that our fiscal year 2022 bill continued to build upon the increases this Subcommittee has provided since taking over the Majority in fiscal year 2021 to 
•    Address the needs of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, 
•    Preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services, and ensure the protection of our air, water, and natural and cultural resources for present and future generations. 

To illustrate that point, since the last Obama budget, the Subcommittee has provided a 31% increase for the U.S. Geological Survey.  

For fiscal year 2023, I look forward to expanding upon that work with significant and impactful funding that, in tandem with the resources provided in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will enable us to focus on improving our Nation’s economic prosperity while concurrently addressing the threats of climate change in our interconnected world.

Secretary Haaland, President Biden has again laid out an ambitious agenda for fiscal year 2023. You have a big challenge ahead for the Department to rebuild staff capacity and morale, reestablish trust in the Department and its science, and address a myriad of programmatic issues such as Indian education, wild horses and burros, and clean energy development. 

I hope our discussion today will afford us the opportunity to better understand your priorities, both short-term and long-term, as well as discuss how the Subcommittee can advance the important work of the Department of the Interior and achieve our mutual goals and objectives.

117th Congress