BILL SUMMARY: Energy and Water Development Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill
Bill propels cutting-edge scientific research, protects energy security, keeps waterways flowing to irrigate crops, funds environmental clean-up projects, and more
Washington, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2024 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act provides $58.095 billion in total funding for the Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and independent agencies.
“Our energy and water infrastructure need significant investment to meet the needs of Americans throughout the country, particularly in the West,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. “This bill will help modernize our water systems to improve and increase dam safety, water storage, water recycling, desalination projects, and more. And as we experience new heat records, our bill also makes key investments in expanding clean energy and fighting against climate change. I want to thank Ranking Member Kennedy for being a partner in moving forward this important bipartisan legislation.”
“This is a strong bipartisan bill that keeps America’s lights on and water flowing to our farms, propels cutting-edge scientific research, ensures nuclear security, and advances key environmental cleanup efforts,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “These investments are key to making sure communities have the water resources they need to grow crops, strengthening our competitiveness globally, furthering clean energy research and capacity, and so much else. I’m also glad we are able to provide new resources to maintain our ports and harbors, which are so critical to trade, tourism, and even people’s daily commutes.”
Key Points & Highlights – Corps of Engineers
Delivers a historic funding level to maintain our ports and harbors and strengthen our competitiveness, invests in keeping communities safe and prepared for extreme weather events, and protects endangered species by supporting ecosystem restoration efforts across the country.
Corps of Engineers: The bill provides $8.934 billion in total funding for the Corps of Engineers.
Ports and Harbors: The bill provides a historic $2.77 billion for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund—a longtime priority for Senator Murray—to improve navigation through dredging ports, maintain waterways, and ensure goods and people can get to where they need to be. The bill also includes funding for critical inland waterways navigation projects, which transport important commodities like grain, iron, and petroleum.
Protecting Communities from Extreme Weather: The bill continues investments in critical construction projects to protect communities from extreme weather events and more frequent flooding. This funding supports projects and programs that use natural infrastructure and environmental restoration like using dredge material to rebuild and protect communities. The bill also expands the Water Infrastructure Financing Program to include levees, allowing low-interest loans for communities to make improvements and increase protection from flood events.
Key Points & Highlights – Bureau of Reclamation
Strengthens our efforts to combat drought, provide reliable water to irrigate crops that feed families across the country, and protect habitats for keystone species that are essential to local economies and ecosystems.
Bureau of Reclamation: The bill provides $1.921 in total funding for the Bureau of Reclamation to deliver reliable water and hydroelectric power to the western United States.
Combating Drought: The bill includes $186 million for Western drought programs under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which supports long-term drought strategies including, water storage, water recycling and reuse, and desalination. The bill also includes funding to support rural water supply projects and critical grant programs that invest in research and innovative applications of water-saving technologies.
Key Points & Highlights – Department of Energy:
Supports scientific research to keep America on the cutting edge and lead the world in scientific computing, and provides new resources to support our nuclear nonproliferation and environmental clean-up efforts and safely manage our nuclear weapons stockpile.
Department of Energy: The bill provides $17.3 billion for the Department of Energy’s non-defense programs.
Scientific Discovery: The bill provides $8.43 billion in new directed funding—$330 million over fiscal year 2023—for the Office of Science. This funding will help implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. 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, artificial intelligence, biology, and clean energy research to maintain and strengthen our global competitiveness.
Industrial Emissions and Technology Coordination: The bill provides $3.5 million in new funding for industrial emissions and technology coordination to coordinate clean industrial research, development, demonstrations, and deployment across the Department of Energy, with a focus on energy-intensive industries.
Renewable Energy: The bill provides $3.686 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, $227 million above fiscal year 2023. This includes increases for wind energy, water technologies, and advanced manufacturing to strengthen our global leadership in renewable energy technologies and manufacturing. These increased funds will help create domestic jobs and spur innovation.
Protecting Our Energy Grid: The bill provides $200 million for Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response to help ensure the continued success of the Department’s programs aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of our energy sector and grid. The bill also provides $290 million for the Office of Electricity and $60 million for the Grid Deployment Office to help deploy transmission for the buildout of clean energy.
Nuclear Energy and Fuel Security: The bill provides $1.55 billion for Nuclear Energy research and development, including funding for microreactor development and accident-tolerant fuel important for nuclear reactor safety. Further, there is repurposed supplemental emergency funding that provides funds for small modular reactors and the high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) program for advanced reactor fuel development, important for domestic fuel security with Russia and China. The bill also includes a provision that would establish a domestic content requirement for the enrichment and conversion of our nuclear fuel.
Tribal Energy: The bill provides $75 million for the Indian Energy Policy and Programs and updates the Tribal Loan Guarantee Program to help Tribal Nations deploy clean energy. The funding and new loan authority will also provide new funds to start electrifying the 30,000 Tribal homes that do not have access to power.
The bill provides $32.8 billion for atomic energy defense activities for the Department of Energy, including:
Nuclear National Security: The bill provides $18.8 billion for Weapons Activities, $1.7 billion above fiscal year 2023. This includes $142 million above the request for Savannah River plutonium pit production, and a nearly $400 million or 110 percent increase above fiscal year 2023 for the Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It also provides $685 million for the Inertial Confinement Fusion program, $55 million above fiscal year 2023. This funding level allows for necessary infrastructure sustainment at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California, which achieved ignition in December 2022.
Nuclear Nonproliferation: The bill provides $2.59 billion to support our nuclear nonproliferation programs, a $106 million increase over fiscal year 2023. The bill funds efforts to secure radiological materials in the U.S. and abroad, the installation of radiological detection equipment at border crossings and seaports around the world, and research and development activities on nuclear proliferation and detonation detection.
Environmental Cleanup: The bill provides a total of $7.29 billion to fund the federal government’s responsibility to clean up the nation’s defense sites. In particular, the bill provides additional funding for clean-up sites in Washington, South Carolina, Tennessee, Nevada, and California.
Naval Reactors: The bill provides $1.964 billion for Naval Reactors. The bill funds operations and infrastructure activities at facilities in New York and the Spent Fuel Handling Facility in Idaho at the budget request level.
Key Points & Highlights – Independent Agencies
Continues to invest in economically-disadvantaged communities across the nation, boosts economic opportunities for local communities affected by job industry shifts, and works to break down economic barriers communities of color face.
Appalachian Regional Commission: The bill provides a total of $200 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission to continue serving communities across the Appalachian region by creating economic opportunity and improving people’s quality of life.
Denali Commission: The bill provides a total of $17 million for the Denali Commission to serve indigenous communities and economically distressed communities in Alaska. Additionally, the bill increases the federal cost-share agreement for Indigenous communities.
Northern Border Regional Commission: The bill provides a total of $41 million for the Northern Border Regional Commission. The commission provides critical investments in infrastructure and economic development assistance for communities experiencing persistent poverty in the Northeastern United States.
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