FY15 Energy & Water Subcommittee Markup Bill Summary

Release Date: 
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Contact:                                  Vince Morris w/ Appropriations:        (202) 224-1010                                                                                  
Feinstein Press Office:         (202) 224-3841
 
 
 
SUMMARY
ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT
 FISCAL YEAR 2015 APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Subcommittee Mark:  June 17, 2014
 
Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development today approved fiscal year 2015 funding legislation that totals $34.2 billion in discretionary budget authority, an increase of $148 million above the fiscal year 2014 level and an increase of $525 million above the President’s request level. 
 
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement:
 
“The fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water bill focuses on 3 priorities: advancing water resources projects, mitigating the effects of drought and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism. The bill restores $600 million to the Corps of Engineers to complete ongoing studies and construction projects that dredge America’s waterways to support the movement of critical commodities and reduce the risk of storm damage from floods and hurricanes. The bill also increases funding available to the Bureau of Reclamation to improve water management in parts of the country facing severe drought. To keep Americans safe, the bill significantly increases nuclear nonproliferation activities to help secure and permanently eliminate the most dangerous nuclear and radiological materials that could be used by terrorists.”
 
 
Bill Summary
 
The Energy and Water Development bill invests in a wide range of critical programs that are vital to America’s economic competitiveness and protect Americans from the threat of nuclear terrorism. 
 
The bill recommends $5.134 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge America’s waterways to support the movement of critical commodities, reduce the impact of natural disasters by focusing on flood control efforts and providing recreation opportunities at campgrounds, lakes and marinas.  The bill also provides $1.23 billion for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation to improve the management of water resources for 31 million people in 17 states and mitigate the impact of recent droughts in Western states.
 
The bill also recommends $28.372 billion for the Department of Energy to develop clean energy technologies that combat climate change while creating U.S. jobs, modernize the nuclear deterrent, secure dangerous nuclear and radiological materials around the world and clean up the country’s Cold War environmental legacy.
 
Title I—Corps of Engineers
 
The Energy and Water bill recommends $5.134 billion, an increase of $601 million above the budget request, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
 
Highlights
 
Investigations of Water Resource problems and needs: The bill recommends $125 million for water resources studies.  This amount is $45 million above the Administration request and the same as the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount.  The recommendation provides for the 10 new study starts that were in the Administration’s budget request plus 10 additional studies that are to be chosen by the Administration.
 
Water Resources Construction:  The bill recommends $1.421 billion for water resources projects that provide for improvements to navigation, flood risk management and for ecosystem restoration.  This amount is $235 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount and $296 million above the request.  The recommendation includes the one new start in the President’s request and provides for five additional new starts to be chosen by the Administration.  Within the amounts recommended, $60 million above the budget request of $169 million is provided for inland waterways projects.
 
Mississippi River and Tributaries: The bill recommends $305 million for the construction, operation and maintenance of navigation, flood control and ecosystem restoration projects along the Mississippi River and its tributaries from Cairo Illinois to the mouth of the Mississippi River.  This amount is $2 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount and $60 million above the fiscal year 2015 budget request.
 
Water Resources Operation and Maintenance: The bill recommends $2.8 billion for operation and maintenance of water resources projects.  That is $61 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount and $200 million above the fiscal year 2015 request.  The recommendation includes over $1.06 billion for eligible activities that are reimbursed by the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
 
Title II—Department of the Interior
 
The Bill recommends $1.23 billion for the Department of Interior, which is $115.6 million over the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount and $187 million above the budget request.  This amount includes $7.3 million for the Central Utah Project and $1.22 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation. 
 
Highlights
 
Providing water and power to the West:  $1.07 billion is recommended for water and related resources to address water storage and conveyance, power and environmental compliance and restoration activities in the west.  Over $100 million is recommended to allow the Bureau of Reclamation to address the exceptional drought conditions that are impacting many parts of the Western U.S.
 
 
Title III-Department of Energy (DOE)
 
The Energy and Water bill recommends $28.359 billion for DOE.  This amount is $1.091 billion above the fiscal year 2014 level and $64 million below the President’s budget request.  Of this amount, $11.891 billion is for the National Nuclear Security Administration.  This amount is $684 million above the fiscal year 2014 level.
 
Highlights
 
Scientific Discovery: The bill recommends $5.086 billion, which is $20 million above the fiscal year 2014 level, for the Office of Science.  The Office of Science is the largest federal sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences and supports 22,000 researchers at 17 national laboratories and more than 300 universities.  The bill continues to advance the highest priorities in materials research, high performance computing and biology to maintain U.S. scientific leadership.
 
Applied Energy Research and Development: The bill recommends $3.917 billion for applied energy programs.  This funding supports research, development, demonstration and deployment of an extensive range of clean energy technologies, including for nuclear, fossil and renewable energy applications, that keep the United States in the forefront of energy innovation.  This amount includes $280 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to develop next-generation, innovative energy technologies.
 
Next-Generation Computing: The bill recommends $151 million, including $91 million in the Office of Science and $60 million in the National Nuclear Security Administration, for the Exascale Computing Initiative.  This amount will keep DOE on track to deploy this next-generation computing system by 2022.  Exascale computers will not only be substantially faster than today’s highest-performing systems, but also provide new capabilities to answer complex problems needed for scientific discovery, national security and applied energy research.
 
Cybersecurity: The bill recommends $304 million, which is $25 million above the fiscal year 2014 level, for cybersecurity activities.  This amount will better protect the DOE and the national laboratories from increasingly frequent cyberattacks and improve the cybersecurity of the energy sector.
 
Nonproliferation: The bill recommends $1.978 billion, which is $24 million above the fiscal year 2014 level and $423 million above the budget request, for nonproliferation activities that reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.  This amount will accelerate efforts to secure and permanently eliminate remaining stockpiles of dangerous nuclear and radiological materials around the world.  The bill also invests in new technologies that can detect uranium and plutonium production activities in foreign countries.
 
Nuclear Weapons: The bill recommends $8.315 billion, which is $534 million above the fiscal year 2014 level and the same as the budget request, for nuclear weapons activities.  This amount will advance life extension programs for the B61 gravity bomb and the W76 submarine-launched warhead, invest in the science, technology and engineering needed to maintain a safe and secure stockpile without underground nuclear weapons testing and upgrade or replace aging infrastructure, especially for uranium and plutonium activities.
 
Naval Reactors: The bill recommends $1.208 billion, which is $113 million above the fiscal year 2014 level, for naval reactors.  This amount includes $156 million to continue the design of a 40-year nuclear reactor core to power the Ohio-class submarine and $126 million to refuel a research and training reactor in New York. 
 
Environmental Cleanup: The bill recommends a total of $5.942 billion, which is $111 million above the fiscal year 2014 level and $320 million above the budget request, for environmental cleanup activities of across the DOE complex.  This amount will complete retrieval and treatment of sodium-bearing waste, finish major facility cleanout and demolition projects, treat radioactive liquid waste and remediate contaminated soil and groundwater across 11 states.  This amount also includes $323 million for recovery efforts at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant—the nation’s only deep geologic repository for nuclear waste.
 
Title IV—Independent Agencies
 
The Energy and Water bill recommends $250 million for eight independent agencies, including the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, five regional commissions, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.  This amount includes $124 million for NRC.
 
Reforms
 
The bill includes two major reforms to help better manage the growing inventory of spent nuclear fuel and protect radiological sources in the United States that could be used as dirty bombs.
 
Managing Spent Nuclear Fuel: The bill includes a provision for a pilot program to establish one or more interim storage sites to start consolidating 65,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear reactors at more than 70 sites across the United States.  This effort will increase the public’s confidence in the government’s ability to manage this waste in a safe and secure manner and reduce the government’s financial liability.
 
Securing Radiological Sources: The bill includes a provision that requires NRC to establish minimum security standards for radiological sources at medical and industrial facilities.  Recent investigations found that these sources are vulnerable to theft and current regulations are not sufficient to protect the public against radiological terrorism.
 
###
Energy and Water Development
Press Release