12:45 PM EDT
Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ 11th

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.

The motion was agreed to.

Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Johnson of Ohio) having assumed the chair, Mr. Poe of Texas, Chair of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that that [Page: H4786]

Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2354) making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes, had come to

no resolution thereon.


12:45 PM EDT
Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ 11th

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.

The motion was agreed to.

Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Johnson of Ohio) having assumed the chair, Mr. Poe of Texas, Chair of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that that [Page: H4786]

Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2354) making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes, had come to

no resolution thereon.


12:46 PM EDT
Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ 11th

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to bring the fiscal year 2012 Energy and Water appropriations bill before the House this afternoon.

Before I begin my remarks, let me thank the full chairman, Mr. Rogers, as well as the ranking member, Mr. Dicks, for their support of a very open process and their support of me as well as the ranking member. I would particularly like to thank my ranking member, Congressman Pete Visclosky, for his dedication to our joint mission and our close working relationship. The bill is stronger for his input and knowledge.

I would also like to thank the committee staff, Rob Blair, the clerk; Joe Levin, Loraine Heckenberg, Angie Giancarlo, and Perry Yates. On the minority side, I would like to thank Taunja Berquam. I would also like to thank my personal staff, Nancy Fox and Kathleen Hazlett, and certainly recognize Mr. Visclosky's personal staff in the form of Joe DeVo.

Mr. Chairman, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill supports programs critical to our Nation's security, safety, and economic competitiveness. Mr. Chairman, for far too long Federal agencies have been assuming ever-increasing budgets, leading to programs with poor rationale and even less accountability. Those days are behind us now. This bill clearly shows that much greater fiscal discipline and a strong national defense and a strong economy can be achieved together.

The bill for fiscal year 2012 provides $30.6 billion, $1 billion below fiscal year 2011, and $5.9 billion below the President's request, bringing the total spending levels for our bill down to approaching the fiscal year 2006 level. An additional $1.03 billion is emergency offset funding which is provided to help recovery and repair efforts due to the severe floods we have seen in the Mississippi and Missouri River regions. These floods have resulted in immense devastation and loss of life and

livelihoods. I commend the good work of the Army Corps, which is in the front lines, along with municipal, county, State, and other Federal first responders when tragedies like this occur.

Mr. Chairman, there are no congressional earmarks in this legislation. The highest national priorities are protected by supporting the Department of Energy's national defense programs [Page: H4777]

and by preserving activities that directly support American competitiveness, such as water infrastructure and basic science research.

The bill also supports critical national security programs by providing $10.6 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration, including $195.3 million above fiscal year 2011 for weapons activities to support the modernization of our nuclear stockpile.

The bill also supports urgent, ongoing efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials worldwide and the full request to design a reactor for the replacement of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

We've seen how catastrophic flooding can affect many lives locally and the economy nationally, and we know that yesterday's crisis could be anywhere tomorrow. This bill protects public safety and keeps America open for business by providing $4.7 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, $195 million above the President's request, and $89 million below fiscal year 2011. The bill makes funds available above the President's request for navigation and flood control, the activities most critical to

public safety, jobs, and the economy, and gives the Corps 45 days to deliver and justify their spending plans.

[Time: 12:50]

This will give each project, whether in the President's budget or not, the opportunity to compete for these funds and ensure we understand how the Corps really develops its request.

Science research at the Department of Energy strengthens American competitiveness and enables true breakthroughs in the energy sector, and the bill preserves strong funding for this program at $4.8 billion, just $43 million below fiscal year 2011.

The committee continues to support nuclear energy, providing $8 million above the request for ongoing research in promising new programs such as small modular reactors, which it funds at the request level. By reducing funding where stimulus funds are still available or where the private sector is able to invest without Federal help, the bill reduces funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy to $1.3 billion, $491 million below fiscal year 2011.

The bill also upholds historic cleanup responsibilities by funding defense environmental cleanup at $4.9 billion, less than 1 percent below last year's programmatic level, and includes language to curb the department's use of bartering to evade congressional oversight.

Finally, this bill includes numerous steps across all accounts to ensure the administration follows the will of Congress. For example, it includes funding and restrictions enforcing that Yucca Mountain is the law of the land and cannot be stopped by executive action alone. Over the years, this House, in a bipartisan fashion, has been fighting this administration's disdain for sound science and the hard-earned tax dollars of our constituents that went into building that disposal site.

Now the Government Accountability Office has issued a report saying that there is no scientific reason for shutting down Yucca, and the administration has been forced to release its own review showing that the science actually supports Yucca. Even the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's own Inspector General has released findings highly critical of the way the NRC chairman has withheld information regarding Yucca Mountain from the public and his fellow commissioners. This bill supports these findings

by including $35 million to keep Yucca Mountain going and language to ensure that political appointees at the NRC can no longer inappropriately use their insider positions.

It also includes new reporting requirements so the administration must track, and show, that the investments we make in science and technology are effective uses of taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Chairman, I take seriously our responsibility to rein in Federal spending in fiscal year 2012. The bill is premised upon hard questions, and focused cuts where the answers didn't hold up to scrutiny. This is the sort of analysis that will get our fiscal house in order. This bill deserves our Members' support, and I look forward to an open and full process and discussion.

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I reserve the balance of my time.

12:53 PM EDT
Pete Visclosky, D-IN 1st

Mr. VISCLOSKY. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to express my appreciation to Chairman Frelinghuysen and his staff for their efforts to be inclusive and transparent in drafting this legislation. The chairman has ensured that the Energy and Water Subcommittee continues its tradition of bipartisanship and, within the constraints of the allocation, he has done wonderful work. While I hope that we can modify some elements of the bill, I would observe that our differences are marginal and our agreement is fundamental.

Also, I would like to join the chairman in thanking the other members of the subcommittee and also all of our staff for their exceptionally good and dedicated work.

As the chairman mentioned, the allocation for Energy and Water is more than $1 billion below fiscal year 2011. This allocation has necessitated severe cuts to crucial programs. While I appreciate the chairman's considerable efforts and recognize difficult choices must be made to address the Nation's serious financial situation, this bill starkly illustrates the shortsighted nature of the spending cap set by the House budget. The allocation for Energy and Water is simply insufficient to meet the

challenges posed by the economic downturn and to guarantee our national security.

Importantly, the chairman continues efforts to improve program and project management at all of the agencies under the bill's jurisdiction. He has honed provisions carried in the past and instituted others aimed at increased oversight. To point out one example, the bill includes a requirement that the Department of Energy complete independent cost estimates at major milestones for projects with a total cost in excess of $100 million. A recent review of the department's cleanup-related construction

projects by the Army Corps of Engineers paints a bleak picture of the management system for such projects and casts doubt on recent reforms intended to remove the department off the Government Accountability Office's list for high risk, a list that the department

has been on for the last 21 years running. I am pleased the chairman has included a number of reporting requirements and statutory limitations that will contribute to increased transparency and improved management, and I strongly support his actions.

The science account, critical to the competitiveness of our Nation, is essentially the same as in 2011, not an insignificant achievement in light of the challenge the allocation provided. The bill also provides funds for the continuation of a promising new program called ARPA-E, which can drive innovations to support our scientific competitiveness. While ARPA-E has shown some promise as a new organizational model, I am troubled that the same vigor that led to its creation has been largely absent

when it comes to addressing the systemic management and communication problems in other existing applied programs.

I support and appreciate the inclusion of emergency funding to respond to the historic flooding in the Mississippi and Missouri River basins. Communities devastated by natural disasters deserve our full support. I am, however, disappointed that the bill offsets this funding by withdrawing critical investment dollars from economic infrastructure in the United States. I would note that this is the second time this year that the committee has transferred funds between bills, the first time from

Energy and Water Development to Homeland Security, and now from Transportation to Energy and Water. We need to reconsider this practice and not strip investments in one area to pay for emergency needs in another.

I disagree with the notion that all funding for domestic emergency response should be offset immediately from domestic investment. In every year except two since 1997, the Congress has recognized the need for emergency funds to respond to the impacts of natural disasters on the Nation's water resource infrastructure. Since 2001, the Congress has provided more than $24 billion to the Corps for this purpose. While I grant that this figure is inflated by the enormous cost of reconstructing New Orleans

and the surrounding areas, perhaps New Orleans would not have flooded in 2005 had we invested in critical infrastructure in the prior years.

As we debate the long-term trajectory of taxes and spending, we cannot forgo actions necessary for the security and safety of our citizens. Yes, we must make difficult choices that will impact the future of this Nation, but we cannot allow those decisions to fall on the backs of those who have already suffered. Our country has provided billions in infrastructure funding on an emergency basis for dams, schools and roads in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet we don't have the fortitude to acknowledge that

it costs money to protect our citizens at home. We must stop disinvesting in the United States economy. In its 2009 report card on America's infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated an investment of $2.2 trillion is necessary to bring our Nation's infrastructure up to a good condition. Moving forward, we must have the strength to budget for emergencies on an annual basis. We know they happen every year, and it is time to begin to responsibly budget for them.

I appreciate the chairman increasing Corps funding by $195 million above the President's woefully inadequate request, ensuring that some ongoing projects will not be terminated.

[Time: 13:00]

Even with this additional funding, the bill provides $677 million less than it did in 2010.

Our ports, harbors, navigational channels and locks continue to provide the foundation for long-term economic growth. At this funding level, we are not close to addressing the dredging backlog that plagues waterborne commerce in the United States.

Currently, for the top 59 ports in the United States, the Corps is only able to maintain authorized steps within the middle of the channel 33 percent of the time. Every day, this costs companies that rely on these ports money and serves as a major impediment to expanding their workforce. This is merely one of the reasons why in 2009 the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our Nation's dams, levees and inland waterways grades of D or D minus.

Renewable energy programs in this bill are reduced. We can debate whether our dependency on imported oil and other carbon fuels is an environmental problem or an economic problem. Either way, it is clearly a national security problem. We must expand the mix of our energy supply, and we must use the energy supply we have more efficiently, and we must also transport it more effectively. We have to make an investment to do that, and I do not believe that the allocation allows for the support necessary.

I would note that the bill adds two hubs to the Department of Energy while cutting both the Science and Renewable Energy accounts that fund them, giving the Department a total of five. This organizational model has not yet been proven, and I have serious reservations about starting two new hubs in light of the cuts to the underlying accounts.

Nonproliferation accounts are reduced significantly, and while I appreciate the chairman's efforts to preserve some of the most critical activities, the bill reduces our ability to counter the most serious threat confronting our national security and that is the threat of nuclear terrorism.

The bill cuts the defense nuclear nonproliferation account by more than $460 million from the request. This comes on top of more than $360 million cut from the request that was provided in final fiscal year bill 2011. These cuts reduce our ability to secure vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, delaying the removal of bomb-grade uranium, and limiting our capacity to detect illegal and illicit trafficking of nuclear materials.

And, finally, I am troubled that the bill includes a misguided prohibition on funds to develop, adopt, implement, administer or enforce a change or supplement to rules related to the Clean Water Act regulatory guidelines. This provision applies not only to this fiscal year but to any subsequent energy and water act. We should be taking actions that address legitimate concerns while providing some clarity and certainty to the regulatory process, not prolonging the confusion, as this provision


In closing, I am truly appreciative that we are again doing the work of [Page: H4784]

this committee, and I commend Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Dicks for their efforts to this end. And as I said at the beginning of my remarks, Chairman Frelinghuysen has done a superb job. While marginal differences exist, our agreement on the overall bill is fundamental.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

1:03 PM EDT
Hal Rogers, R-KY 5th

Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Mr. Chairman, this is a great bill. It's a model of fiscal restraint. I can attest to the fact that the committee has taken a long, hard look at each and every line in this bill to make sure that we are getting the greatest value from each and every taxpayer dollar spent, cutting back funding for programs that are not operating up to par. This bill is also proof that we can make these commonsense spending reductions without damaging or impairing the programs that help

keep our country safe and our citizens at work.

This legislation rightly appropriates taxpayer dollars where they should be, in programs that provide the greatest benefits to the American people and that get the economy moving again. This includes $30.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Energy and a host of independent agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Now, that is $5.9 billion below the President's request; it's a billion dollars below current spending levels.

The Energy and Water appropriations bill funds important work that affects every community in every single one of our colleagues' districts. These are the quality-of-life programs that preserve our public safety and our economic competitiveness, including energy

independence programs and national defense programs within the Department of Energy. This bill supports Army Corps construction projects, projects which are vital to national security and which are of a tangible impact on job creation.

But this year's bill is unlike any Energy and Water appropriations bill in recent memory, or perhaps even in history, in one major way. Some of our colleagues and critics were no doubt wondering how we could write this bill under the earmark moratorium, but I am proud that we have been able to craft a responsible bill that funds projects across the Nation without one single earmark. By doing so, we have made the process much more transparent, requiring that organizations like the Corps provide

an outline of how, when, and why they are spending precious Federal dollars while maintaining the constitutionally mandated congressional authority over budget decisions. We have retained the power of the purse and strict oversight of these agencies.

On the subject of oversight, I would like particularly to note that $35 million is included to continue the Yucca Mountain review process. The committee has supported these efforts for years, and I am relieved to see that the rest of Congress is finally beginning to see the light and support this program and to realize the extent to which the administration's position ignores good science and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars.

While providing the vital funding for our Nation's energy and water programs, the bill abides by the committee's promise, and my promise as chairman, that we would cut spending wherever and whenever we can.

I must commend Chairman Frelinghuysen and the subcommittee members and staff and the ranking member who have worked so closely together on this bill. They have found the significant spending reductions in areas that seem excessive and unnecessary increases, and in these accounts with large unspent balances. This is the responsible and serious way to get our budgets back into balance and to help keep us on track toward economic recovery.

Again, I want to thank Mr. Visclosky and Chairman Frelinghuysen for doing a great job in bringing a bill to the floor under difficult circumstances. They work collegially and they work intelligently together, and I want to particularly thank the subcommittee staff on both sides of the aisle for their tireless effort putting together this legislation.

Mr. Chairman, this is a good bill that all of us can support, and I urge that we do just that.

1:08 PM EDT
Jo Ann Emerson, R-MO 8th

Mrs. EMERSON. Mr. Chairman, I deeply respect my colleagues coming here and raising the subject of increased funds in this bill for the Corps of Engineers. I also want to thank Mr. Frelinghuysen and Mr. Visclosky for understanding this very important need. That money, in construction accounts and the Mississippi River and Tributaries account, will go to address an immediate need to repair and rebuild flood protection so that the victims of the historic flooding all up and down

the Mississippi River and the Missouri River can recover from the terrible losses they have suffered.

It's not just the people in the southern Missouri district I represent who need help; it's also people in Louisiana, in Iowa, in North Dakota, in Kentucky, in Mississippi, Illinois and a host of other States.

[Time: 13:10]

Throughout the country, people who rely on flood protection to shelter their homes, their schools, their churches, and their workplaces have seen their lives and their livelihoods totally disrupted. In one Missouri county alone, the economic losses from flooding are estimated at over $300 million. In the entire MR&T, the total exceeds 4 billion.

Without the certainty of future repairs to the levee systems that protect them, these Americans will remain at risk. They will be unable to rebuild. They'll find it difficult to get insurance. They'll watch their family businesses slip away with the receding floodwaters. Long after the disaster, there will be many, many personal disasters--even if it never rains another drop.

I know that some of our colleagues have raised concerns that this funding will come at a cost to future years of high-speed rail development. I greatly appreciate the desire to retain the promise of funding for those projects, but I must ask them to weigh the immediate need for flood protection against the future need for high-speed rail.

If these repairs aren't completed by next spring, a flood protection system that barely holds against the record flood of 2011 will be in extreme danger in 2012. The Corps would not have the same tools at its disposal to avert flooding in many parts of the country, including major urban areas along the river, like Memphis, Tennessee, just for example.

The funds in this bill respond to an unanticipated disaster of enormous magnitude. Failure to fund the effort to reset the levee system nationwide is an unnecessary risk with widespread economic and public safety implications.

I urge my colleagues to recognize the certainty this funding provides to distressed families all over the country, and I ask them to support a responsible arrangement to fund the Corps of Engineers during a very difficult budgetary climate for the Congress and the Nation.

In closing, I'm very, very grateful for the support of Chairman Frelinghuysen for this funding increase.

1:12 PM EDT
Edward J. Markey, D-MA 7th

Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman from Indiana.

We continually hear from the Republicans that the pain of budget cuts has to be spread all around. Everyone has to deal with some pain. But we saw that was completely untrue in their budget plan. The GOP said, Sorry Grandma, not enough money for Medicare; sorry, low-income kids, we can't afford Medicaid. But billions, billions in tax breaks for Big Oil companies, they all stay on the books. They don't even touch any of the tax breaks for Big Oil, for Big Gas, for Big Coal. Tax loopholes that

help keep companies offshoring jobs, those were too important to cut as well.

The Republican plan is about misplaced priorities, and we see it in full [Page: H4785]

display here, once again, today in this bill on the House floor. When it comes to nuclear power, the Republicans want to spend more taxpayer money after Fukushima. When it comes to coal, Republicans want to spend more taxpayer money. This bill even keeps alive the deepwater drilling program, ensuring that millions in tax breaks continue to be wasted on developing oil drilling technologies

that rich oil companies already have and can afford to pay for themselves by tipping American consumers upside down at the pumps every time they go to refill their gas tanks. They don't need taxpayer money to do this. The last in line should be oil companies. They're the first in line. They are the first in line under the Republican agenda.

Now, when it comes to clean energy, though, when it comes to the future, what young people think should be the future of our country--solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, clean vehicles, hybrids, plug-in vehicles, all-electric vehicles, more efficient buildings, increases in science spending for research so we make the breakthroughs in energy research and weatherizing homes and buildings--what does this budget do? Down, down, down, down, down. They cut those budgets, every one of them. They cut

the future. They cut the future. What do they do for the past, for oil, for coal, for gas, for Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump? Up, up, up with the past. That's what this whole debate is about. It's a debate about the past versus the future.

And their budget, this budget, cuts the future. It cuts it in a radical way. And it says to the young people in our country, you're going to have to wait for another generation before we see the breakthroughs in wind and solar and all-electric vehicles.

That's the message to young people all across our country in this Republican budget. They cut wind and

solar $134 million. They cut clean vehicle technology $46 million, green building technology $61 million, science research $43 million, weatherization $141 million. The list goes on and on and on--more money for technologies of the past, less money for technologies of the future.

I will have an amendment next week that will give us an opportunity to rectify some of these misplaced spending priorities. But I have to hand it to my Republican colleagues for one thing. They are actually being honest.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

1:16 PM EDT
Edward J. Markey, D-MA 7th

Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman.

I have to hand it to my Republican colleagues. They are being honest with this bill. For the first time, unequivocally, the Republicans are telling Americans that their plan is to retreat from a clean energy future, from a solar, wind, biomass and all-electric future. They are saying it here, We want to cut all of those programs.

There's no hiding behind the numbers. They're screaming out here at the Members of the House on the floor and to the young people of our country. They're screaming, We are going to retreat from the future. They can't talk about their all-of-the-above energy program anymore. No, ladies and gentlemen. Their program is not all of the above. It's oil above all. That's what it's about. That's how they keep the tax breaks. That's how they keep the subsidies for the oil industry. They cut the programs

for wind and solar.

Now, which industry in America is the last one, right now, that needs a tax break? It's the oil industry. They're recording the largest profits of any corporations in the history of America. If we're going to begin anywhere, can we begin with them? Do we have to take it out of clean energy to keep all the tax breaks for those wealthiest companies?

Do you know who's the happiest right now, who is really smiling? The corners of their mouths are turned upwards all across Venezuela, all across Saudi Arabia, and all across OPEC. They're looking out here at the Republican budget for the future, and they're saying, Ah, we can sleep at night. We don't have to worry that there will be more efficient vehicles. We don't have to worry that they're moving to an all-electric vehicle future. We don't have to worry that they're going to tell us that they

don't need our oil any more than we need their sand. No. Their message is going to be, Bring it on. Let us continue to go on our hands and knees and beg for them to please produce more oil, please sell us more oil at $100 a barrel. Please do that. That's what this Republican budget says.

Vote ``no.''

1:19 PM EDT
Tom Latham, R-IA 4th

Mr. LATHAM. I thank Mr. Frelinghuysen for the time.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this bill and simply to make a point about the emergency funds and the offset that's provided to the Army Corps of Engineers.

I think everyone is aware, but I want to emphasize the dire situation we have today on the Mississippi River and, certainly, the very dire situation we have on the Missouri River that is costing lives, costing livelihoods, businesses, and the futures for so many families.

We also, Mr. Chairman, have a dire situation with our deficit today, and we've got to address that. In order to fund the immediate repairs for the lifesaving levees, the committee proposed an offset from the high-speed rail. And that's really a program that they're talking about that in 10 years still won't be beyond the planning phases.

[Time: 13:20]

As the chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee on Appropriations, I understand that a portion of this money would have gone to very important projects in the Northeast corridor. Some of these projects have great merit, and Chairman Frelinghuysen has been the strongest advocate for funding for these programs that do have merit. He understands it; I understand it. We will do everything that we can to fund those projects because they are needed up there.

But I will also say that today we have an emergency beyond anything that I have ever seen before in my years. It would be a week ago Wednesday that I was standing on a levee by the Missouri River by the town of Percival, Iowa. Farmers were there on the other side of the levee trying to fix boils that were coming through underneath the levee, trying to save their farms, their communities. Some of those farmers, they were fifth- and sixth-generation farms, and they were fighting desperately to

save their livelihood and their family's heritage. That was 3 in the afternoon on Wednesday. At 4 the next morning, Thursday morning, that levee blew out. And those livelihoods, those thousands of acres of farmland, the town of Percival itself is now underwater.

That is why these funds are desperately needed today, as soon as possible, to make sure that we can fund the type of emergency that we have going on today.

The Army Corps of Engineers needs that money today so they can repair those levees so we can save lives and livelihoods and the heritage for generations to come.

Mr. Chairman, today is not a question of what we want. We all want to see improvements in the Northeast corridor, and we are going to do everything we can to make that happen. But it is about what is needed today, what is an emergency today, what funds have to go to dire problems that we face and the dire consequences we will face if, in fact, we do not do the work that we need to do today.

I commend the chairman for his great work.

1:22 PM EDT
Pete Visclosky, D-IN 1st

Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chair and the members of the committee and the exceptional staff that we have for their good work.

I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.