Committee Approves FY2019 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Appropriations Committee today advanced the FY2019 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that funds U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs and critical infrastructure projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation.
The $43.766 billion measure, which funds programs to advance American energy security and economic competitiveness, is $566 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $7.24 billion above the President’s budget request. The bill was approved 30-1.
The measure provides resources to strengthen the U.S. nuclear deterrence posture, ensure nuclear stockpile readiness and safety, and prepare for existing and future nuclear threats. For the fourth year in a row, the Committee approved the highest-ever level of funding for the DOE Office of Science in a regular appropriations bill and recommended historic, record-level funding for the program to spur greater innovation in energy research, high-performance computing, and next-generation technologies. The bill also includes the funding necessary to improve and maintain flood control projects and ensure the viability of national and regional ports and waterways.
“This legislation provides funding to address critical national security needs concerning nuclear energy, while allowing for improvements to our water infrastructure and investing in basic science and energy research,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “Senator Alexander and Senator Feinstein have worked diligently on this bill, and I commend their thoughtful, bipartisan approach to the legislation.”
“I would tell President Trump and the Office of Management and Budget that science, research and innovation is what made America first, and I recommend that he add science, research and innovation to his ‘America First’ agenda,” said U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. “This funding bill is a good first step to doing that – it prioritizes federal spending to keep America first in energy research and increases funding to develop the next generation of supercomputers.”
The Senate FY2019 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill totals $43.766 billion, $566 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $7.240 billion above the budget request. While meeting national priorities, the legislation makes targeted reductions to lower-priority programs.
Nuclear Security – $14.8 billion, $111 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $311 million below the budget request, for DOE nuclear security programs, including Weapons Activities, Naval Reactors, and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. This includes:
- $10.9 billion for Weapons Activities, $208 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $311 million below the budget request,
- $1.6 billion for Naval Reactors, the same as the FY2018 enacted level and $167 million below the budget request, and
- $1.9 billion for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, $97 million below the FY2018 enacted level and $39 million above the budget request.
Army Corps of Engineers – $6.927 billion, $100 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $2.142 billion above the budget request.
- For the fifth consecutive year, the bill meets the spending targets in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 for appropriations from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for the Corps of Engineers.
- For the fifth consecutive year, the bill makes full use of the estimated annual revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to advance American competitiveness and export capabilities.
- The bill also provides $1.289 billion above the budget request for construction of river and harbor, flood storm damage reduction, shore protection, aquatic ecosystem restoration, and related projects authorized by law.
Bureau of Reclamation – $1.493 billion, $498 million above the budget request, for the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation to help manage, develop, and protect the water resources of Western states.
Science Research – $6.65 billion for the DOE Office of Science, $390 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $1.26 billion above the budget request, to support basic science research and enabling research capabilities, development of high-performance computing systems, and research into the next generation of clean energy sources—all important areas for improving economic competitiveness, national security, and quality of life.
Environmental Cleanup – $7.2 billion for DOE environmental management activities, $56 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $581 million above the budget request, including $6.0 billion for Defense Environmental Cleanup to continue remediation of sites contaminated by previous nuclear weapons production. The bill also funds cleanup activities at other non-defense related nuclear sites.
Solving the Nuclear Waste Stalemate – The bill includes a pilot program for consolidated nuclear waste storage, introduced by Alexander and ranking member Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). It also includes funding to allow DOE to store nuclear waste at private facilities that are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Energy Programs – $13.3 billion, $379 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $9.5 billion above the budget request. Within this total, the bill prioritizes and increases funding for energy programs that encourage U.S. economic competitiveness and that will advance an “all-of-the-above” solution to U.S. energy independence.
Fossil Energy Research and Development – $727 million, $183,000 above the FY2018 enacted level and $225 million above the budget request, for technologies to advance coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy resources.
Nuclear Energy Research and Development – $1.2 billion, the same as the FY2018 amount and $449 million above the budget request, for nuclear energy research, development, and demonstration activities, including:
- $302 million for Reactor Concepts Research, Development, and Demonstration, including $150 million for Advanced Reactor Technologies; and
- $22 million for industry-led Advanced Reactor Concepts program.
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