Chairwoman Kaptur Statement at Subcommittee Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Funding Bill

2022-06-21 17:34

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Chair of the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2022 bill:

Today, we will consider the fiscal year 2023 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies bill. This legislation meets the needs of the current moment and propels American energy independence and our nation’s security forward. Our bill continues the intensive focus on diversifying energy sources and managing precious water resources to sustain life on Earth.

As we address events on the world stage right now, the imperative of national energy independence again moves centerstage as essential to national security and global stability. Russia is using natural gas supplies as an economic weapon to disrupt supplies across Europe and create instability in global energy markets.

The great progress our nation has made in the last 40 years in restoring our nation’s energy security is impressive. America cannot be dependent on foreign adversaries to power our way of life. This bill ensures American inventors, scientists, workers, and American companies power our future.

In the 20th century, America slid into reliance on imported oil for the nation’s energy needs. Thanks to the diligent work of DOE, our research labs, our universities, and the private sector, America now leads the world as the largest net exporter of natural gas.

Fossil fuels are part of America’s current energy strategy – and will be in the years ahead. But with prices rising – America must embrace our future and continue to lead on energy innovation. Deploying a diverse array of renewable energy sources – from wind and hydrogen, to solar and biomass – is necessary and vital. We cannot allow China and other nations to outwork and outcompete America in this space.

That is why I am excited by this bill’s forward-thinking investments in Defense Production Act capabilities for domestic solar and critical supply chain industries. The bill includes $100 million to grow the American energy supply chain faster. In so doing, protects and creates American, living-wage jobs for hardworking American families. This is surely important in my region of Northwest Ohio, which is home to American solar companies First Solar and Toledo Solar that are creating the new America.

The energy sector has been one of America’s fastest growing job sectors. In the years prior to the pandemic, energy sector employment expanded twice as much as the overall economy.

Now, turning to water, this bill provides necessary resources for water agencies to rebuild crumbling infrastructure and address the worsening drought conditions that are plaguing the West and the historic flooding incident we all have witnessed at Yellowstone most recently, but also in Houston, in St. Louis, in the Mid-Atlantic, and in New England.

Let me briefly walk through the investments we make in this funding bill:

  • The bill provides $8.9 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, an increase of $2.3 billion above the budget request to meet immediate needs.
  • It provides $1.9 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation, an increase of $480 million above the budget request, including programs to respond to the severe western drought.
  • It provides $48.2 billion for the Department of Energy, an increase of $3.3 billion above enacted.
  • And within the Department of Energy, the bill provides historic levels of funding across energy and science programs, including:
  • $4 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, $800 million above enacted. Recognizing that buildings consume about 40 percent of energy in the U.S., the bill includes $370 million for weatherization of over 40,000 homes occupied by families of modest means.
  • $8 billion for the Office of Science, $525 million above enacted.
  • $550 million for ARPA-E, $100 million above enacted to invent the future.
  • Additionally, the bill responsibly funds America’s nuclear deterrent and increases funding for nonproliferation programs.

In short, this bill provides critical funding for our energy security, water infrastructure, and a strong nuclear deterrent – all in support of good-paying jobs in every state and region of America.

I’d like to thank our Subcommittee members for their engagement and express my deep gratitude to Ranking Member Simpson. I’d also like to thank Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger.

Finally, I’d like to thank the staff who worked tirelessly to put this bill together: Jaime Shimek, Scott McKee, Brian Smith, Will Ostertag, Daniela Todesco, Eric Lipka, John Howes, and Angie Giancarlo.

I’d like to especially thank Jaime Shimek for her dedicated and faithful service as the Clerk of this subcommittee – and for her work on behalf of the American people – as she prepares to move on to her next adventure. She is the consummate professional in all her dealings. We value her integrity, intelligence, deep patriotism, and good nature. All the while, handling some of the most complex challenges facing our nation. Jaime, your service is a credit to your generation of patriots. We will miss you dearly, Jaime, and wish you all the best in your next endeavor in Washington state.

I will now turn to Mr. Simpson for opening remarks.

117th Congress