On July 10, the U.S. House of Representatives
passed its version of the FY2014 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill
(H.R. 2609) by a vote of 227-198. The measure funds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) civil works
projects, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of the Interior’s
Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and several other independent agencies.
Sequestration continues to hit federal agencies
hard through this budget. The $30.4 billion bill is $2.9 billion less than
FY2013 funding levels and $4.3 billion below the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Water
Appropriations Bill (S. 1245), which was approved by the Senate Appropriations
Committee on June 27.
In the House measure, Corps civil works
projects are funded at $4.9 billion, $104 million less than FY2013 levels, and
the bill prohibits new projects in FY2014. Corps civil works projects include improving
and maintaining navigation channels, disaster relief, ecosystem restoration,
flood and storm damage, water infrastructure and levee construction. The bill
also contains language prohibiting the Corps from moving forward on navigable “waters
of the U.S.” definitional changes.
While DOE receives $24.9 billion in the
bill, renewable energy programs take a cut. After a proposal to consolidate renewable and
energy efficiency and electricity delivery and reliability offices, total
funding for those programs is cut nearly 50 percent for a total of $982.6
million. Another significant cut in the DOE budget is the Advanced
Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). ARPA-E funds innovative and
collaborative projects that focus on new energy technologies. Under the
bill, APRA-A would receive $50 million, which is $215 million below FY2013
numbers. Fossil fuel research would receive $430 million, $19 million
less than FY2013.
On July 8, the White House issued a veto threat over the House Energy and Water bill, stating
that it “drastically
underfunds critical investments” and “would hurt our economy and require
draconian cuts to middle-class priorities.”
This is the third appropriations bill
passed this year in the House. The Senate has yet to move on the bill,
and with a packed agenda, it is uncertain when the chamber will take up the measure.
It is likely Congress will have to pass
a continued resolution to keep the government funded until the appropriations
process is resolved.
Contact: Julie Ufner email@example.com