Source: Senate Appropriations | Release | July 18, 2017

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies today approved a $38.4 billion measure to fund U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs and critical infrastructure projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation.

The FY2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill totals $38.4 billion, $629 million above the FY2017 enacted level and $4.1 billion above the President’s request.  It was approved by voice vote.  The measure is scheduled to be considered Thursday by the full Senate Appropriations Committee (http://bit.ly/2uvnEvh).

The subcommittee measure provides added resources to strengthen the U.S. nuclear deterrence posture, ensure nuclear stockpile readiness and safety, and prepare for existing and future nuclear threats.

The bill funds programs to advance American energy security and economic competitiveness.  For the third year in a row, the subcommittee approved the highest-ever level of funding for the DOE Office of Science in a regular appropriations bill to spur greater innovation in energy research, high-performance computing, and next-generation technologies.

Rather than accept the administration’s proposal to cut U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding by 17 percent, the bill includes a responsible level of funding to improve and maintain flood control projects and ensure the viability of national and regional ports and waterways.

“This legislation approved today by the Appropriations subcommittee contains record levels of funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to improve our nation’s water infrastructure, the Office of Science, which conducts basic science and energy research, and ARPA-E, which supports transformational, high-impact energy technologies,” said U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

“Senator Feinstein and I have worked together on this bill in a bipartisan way and I congratulate her on her leadership.  I look forward to the bill being considered by the full Appropriations Committee on Thursday,” Alexander said.

Bill Highlights:

The Senate FY2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill totals $38.4 billion, $629 million above the FY2017 enacted level and $4.1 billion above the President’s request.  While meeting national priorities, the legislation makes targeted reductions to lower-priority programs.

Nuclear Security – $13.7 billion, $747 million above the FY2017 enacted level, for DOE nuclear security programs, including Weapons Activities, Naval Reactors, and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.  This includes:
•    $10.0 billion for Weapons Activities, $755 million above the FY2017 enacted level,
•    $1.4 billion for Naval Reactors, $17 million above the FY2017 enacted level, and
•    $1.9 billion for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, $31 million below the FY2017 enacted level.

Army Corps of Engineers – $6.2 billion, $190 million above the FY2017 enacted level and $1.225 billion above the President’s budget request.  The bill provides:
•    For the fourth 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;
•    Full use of the estimated annual revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to advance American competitiveness and export capabilities; and
•    $700 million above the President’s 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 – $1.3 billion, $190 million above the President’s 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 – $5.55 billion for the DOE Office of Science, $158 million above the FY2017 enacted level, to support basic science and energy research, development of high-performance computing systems, and research into the next generation of clean energy sources—all important areas for lessening U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources and for improving economic competitiveness.

Environmental Cleanup – $6.6 billion for DOE environmental management activities, $214 million above the FY2017 enacted level, including $5.6 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 U.S. 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 – $11.1 billion, $189 million below the FY2017 enacted level and $3.6 billion above the President’s 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 – $573 million, $95 million below the FY2017 enacted level and $293 million above the President’s request, for technologies to advance coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy resources.

Nuclear Energy Research and Development – $917 million, a $214 million increase above the President’s request, for nuclear energy research, development, and demonstration activities.