Chairwoman Kaptur Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Funding Bill
Congressman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Chair of the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Appropriations Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2022 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies bill:
Thank you, Chair DeLauro. Thank you for your leadership of this great Committee.
Today we will consider the 11th subcommittee bill of the 12 total that we will complete consideration of today. For this our Chair Rosa DeLauro, all cardinals, and staff deserve applause. The fiscal year 2022 funding bill for Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies not only continues our nation’s firm pathway to energy independence and scientific innovation of the highest order, it meets the needs of the current moment. Our bill provides a foundation for addressing the energy and water challenges our nation will increasingly face as a result of the changing climate.
Headlines this week tell the story: NBC News reports that “the West catches fire while the East goes under water as climate change fuels both extremes.”
In Chicago and the Great Lakes, the New York Times reported that the “past few years have been the wettest on record.” On Monday, up to a foot of rain fell in Pennsylvania – which I can personally attest to, as I drove from my hometown of Toledo in 7 and a half hours of pounding rainstorms across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
And the West is baking from record-setting temperatures while an Oregon wildfire is robbing California’s critical electric supply as the Bootleg Fire continues to rage, burning along a critical interstate transmission corridor. Lake Mead is at its lowest level since it was first created, threatening the water supply of many western communities.
While these weather extremes spread across our country, our goal remains to provide the necessary energy and water assets to make adjustments to help sustain life in our nation.
Our bill invests over $53 billion dollars to provide strategic resources to communities to address these changing environmental challenges. We know too many places are struggling to recover from decades of underinvestment. We also know reinvestment is essential to creating good-paying jobs in communities left behind in the transition to the new economy.
Our bill does so partly by rebuilding long-neglected critical energy and water infrastructure. Our bill also enhances our national security through a robust nuclear capability and deterrent. This legislation — a core component of our promise to the American people to Build Back Better — will better connect power, water, goods, and services to markets and provide for the safe delivery of energy and water to over 31 million people residing across vast region’s reliant on federally managed energy and water resources.
After this past year where the stable and affordable delivery of fossil fuels to consumers has repeatedly been disrupted, the need to diversify our energy sources has never been more urgent. This legislation takes concrete steps to develop and deploy the infrastructure necessary to ensure a cleaner, greener, affordable, and more reliable energy future across all sources, as well as push harder to develop new sources right here in the USA, right down to the neighborhood level where net zero homes are beginning to be installed. These homes include solar roofs and water heaters, electric cars with battery storage in your garage, and new types of shingles and roofing. America has always invented its way forward, and invention in the 21st century is well underway.
The bill also provides necessary resources within our water agencies to help address the worsening western drought and to steward and enhance our freshwater resources.
Our goal is to sustain energy and water independence for the secure future of our nation.
Let me briefly walk through the priorities and investments for our nation in the 2022 Energy and Water Development bill:
- The bill provides $8.6 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers to support water infrastructure throughout our great nation – the third most populated in the world after China and India – an increase of $1.9 billion above the budget request.
- It provides $1.9 billion to the Bureau of Reclamation, so pivotal to western states, an increase of $413 million above the budget request.
- It provides $191 million for programs to respond to the severe drought crippling much of the West.
- It makes use of the budgetary adjustment for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund included in the Water Resources Development Act – so important to harbors and shipping across our country.
- It provides $45.1 billion for the Department of Energy, an increase of $3.2 billion above fiscal year 2021 amounts.
And within the Department of Energy, the bill provides historic levels of funding across applied energy and science programs at our nation’s finest labs, universities, and companies that propel innovation, including:
- $3.77 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $906 million above enacted.
- $600 million for Advanced Energy Research Projects – Energy, $173 million above enacted.
- $398 million for Weatherization programs, $83 million above enacted, to help ensure low-income households have energy-efficient, more livable homes.
- We also fund — for the first time within DOE — a sensible and comprehensive program that helps make improvements to homes with structural, health, or safety defects that would otherwise be unable to participate in the traditional Weatherization program. With blistering heat, punishing storms, and debilitating drought enveloping the nation just this month, this bill provides resources for a comprehensive weatherization program.
- Additionally, the bill responsibly funds America’s nuclear deterrent and increases funding for nonproliferation programs.
In short, this bill meets our mandate to sustain life on earth by providing critical funding for water infrastructure, clean energy, and promoting a credible nuclear deterrent, all while supporting the creation of good-paying jobs related to updating key infrastructure in every region of our country.
I’d like to thank all our Committee members for their engagement, and I also want to thank our able Ranking Member, Mr. Simpson. I’d like to thank Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger as well for their strong support.
Finally, I’d like to thank the staff who worked tirelessly to put this bill together: Jaime Shimek, Scott McKee, Mike Brain, Brian Smith, Will Ostertag, Lauren Leuck, Matt Kaplan, and Angie Giancarlo.