Chairwoman Kaptur Statement at Subcommittee Markup of FY 2020 Energy and Water Development Funding Bill

2019-05-15 10:00

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Chair of the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2020 bill:

This meeting of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Appropriations is called to order. Today we are considering the fiscal year 2020 funding bill for Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies.

This bill makes critical investments toward combating climate change, strengthening our nation’s energy and water infrastructure, and responsibly funding our nation’s nuclear deterrent, while providing the means to secure vulnerable nuclear material both at home and abroad.

This bill rejects the President’s drastic and short-sighted proposed cuts– including a 12% decrease to the Department of Energy, a 31% decrease to the Army Corps of Engineers, and a 28% decrease to the Bureau of Reclamation – and instead increases investments to these important programs.

Investments at these agencies keep our nation at the forefront of global energy innovation, enable American companies to ship goods efficiently, and provides water, electricity, and irrigation water to 31 million American and ten million acres of valuable farmland. These programs are the lifeblood for millions of Americans.

Let me briefly walk through the bill:

  • The mark provides $7.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, an increase of $357 million above 2019 and $2.5 billion above the budget request.
  • In the Corps, the mark provides significant additional funding for the Investigations, Construction, and Operation and Maintenance accounts – which supports more projects across the country, and in our districts.
  • The mark provides $1.63 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation, an increase of $83 million from 2019, and $523 million above the budget request.
  • The mark provides $37.1 million for the Department of Energy, an increase of $1.4 billion from 2019 and $5.6 billion above the budget request.
  • Within DOE:
    • The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program receives $2.65 billion, an increase of $273 million (12%) from 2019 and $2.3 billion above the request.
    • This bill provides an increase for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps ensure that low-income households across this country have energy-efficient, more livable homes.
    • The Grid security programs receive a total of $350 million, an increase of $74 million from 2019 and $11 million above the request.
    • ARPA-E receives $425 million – the first time it is funded at over $400 million – an increase of $59 million above 2019 and a rejection of the President’s proposal to eliminate the program.
    • The Office of Science receives $6.87 billion, an increase of $285 million above 2019 and $1.3 billion above the request.
    • The National Nuclear Security Administration receives $15.9 billion, an increase of $666 million above 2019. Within NNSA:
      • The bill responsibly funds America’s credible nuclear deterrent and existing weapons refurbishments while rejecting costly, poorly defined recommendations from the President’s Nuclear Posture Review.
      • Nuclear Nonproliferation receives $2.1 billion, an increase of $145 million above 2019 and $82 million above the request; and
      • Naval Reactors receives $1.6 billion and reflects a scheduled reduction.
    • Environmental Cleanup receives a total of $7.2 billion, equal to 2019 and $706 million above the request to clean up our nation’s nuclear legacy.
  • Finally, as a surprise to no one, this bill prohibits funds to be used for a border wall, and does not allow the President to bypass congressional intent to divert valuable Corps funding from previously approved appropriations.
  • Whether we agree or disagree on the need for a wall, or whether there is a crisis at the border, I hope this Committee can agree that funds for a wall should not be taken from Corps projects that protect communities across this country.

In short, this bill invests in energy innovation, promotes economic prosperity and prepares our country to mitigate and adapt to climate change. ARPA-E the Office of Science and EERE are all critical to our country’s economic independence and energy security because they invest in science infrastructure, our innovation pipeline, and help prepare American industry can compete. The bill will increase resilience and cybersecurity of the nation’s electric grid. It makes desperately needed investments in our nation’s water infrastructure. It also promotes a credible nuclear deterrent while providing funds for nonproliferation.

With that I want to thank all our Subcommittee members for their engagement during the hearing process and during the process of drafting this legislation.

I also want to thank my Ranking Member, Mr. Simpson, for his partnership. I am proud to have you as a Ranking Member and have learned much from you.

116th Congress