Chairman Hal Rogers Prepared Statement on H.R. 2028, the FY 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill

Apr 29, 2015

House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today released the following prepared statement in support of H.R. 2028, the FY 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2028, the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.

"This is a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that smartly funds our nation’s energy programs and water infrastructure. In total, it provides $35.4 billion – $1.2 billion above last year’s enacted level.

"This funding affects every district, every county, and every state in the country – facilitating American commerce, encouraging energy independence and innovation, and boosting our national security. 

"The bill provides strong support for our nuclear weapons programs – a total of $12.3 billion for weapons, nonproliferation and naval reactors. This will help continue the safety, security and reliability of our nuclear stockpile, maintain our deterrence posture, and make sure that our military is ready to respond to any and all threats from our enemies.

"In addition, the bill focuses funding on Army Corps of Engineers activities that have a direct effect on public safety and the economy – particularly those that help keep our waterways open for business. The Army Corps receives $5.6 billion for these purposes – an increase of $142 million above last year’s levels.

"The bill also prioritizes funding for important energy programs that advance our goal of an all-of-the-above solution to energy independence.

"A strategy that both utilizes our domestic resources and invests in future solutions is the best path forward for this nation, and will help keep down energy costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. For instance, the bill increases funding for fossil energy  – tapping into our domestic energy resources and helping to make them more efficient and effective.

"But investments like this can only go so far if the Administration continues to push a regulatory agenda that stifles growth in America’s energy industries – including coal, which is our most abundant natural energy resource.

"The regulatory overreach pushed by the Administration is bad for U.S. energy production, bad for energy independence, and bad for our economy, so this bill includes language that will stop the most egregious of regulations.

"The bill prohibits any changes to the federal jurisdiction under the “Waters of the United States” proposal - changes that could impact nearly everywhere water could conceivably run and cause great harm for America’s farmers, small businesses and other job creators.

"The bill also prohibits changes to the definition of “fill material,” which could shut down coal mines nationwide, eliminate good-paying jobs, and wreak havoc on our economy.

"By including language to cut the Administration’s red tape and making smart, targeted investments in our energy and water infrastructure, this bill is good for the economy, good for American businesses, and good for the American people.

"Before I close, I’d like to thank Chairman Simpson, Ranking Member Kaptur, and the Energy and Water subcommittee for their work putting together this bill. I also want to recognize the staff – particularly Donna Shahbaz (Sha – Baahz), who is the new clerk of the subcommittee – for their hard work in bringing this bill to the floor.

"This is a good bill. This is a responsible bill. And this is a bipartisan bill. I urge all of my colleagues to vote “yes” on it today. Thank you, and I yield back."