On Monday, House Republicans proposed a $34 billion energy and water budget. The bill addresses funding for nuclear weapons, the Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Energy programs as well as some other agencies. It adds $113 million funding for energy programs within the DOE, totaling $10.3 billion, but cuts renewable energy funding by $113 million from last year’s level, to $1.8 billion.
The bill, authored by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), passed the subcommittee on a voice vote and heads to a full committee markup as early as next week.
According to The Hill, there are two measures in the bill aimed at limiting Environmental Protection Agency regulations relating to the coal industry, including one aimed at preventing the EPA from using the Clean Water Act to regulate smaller bodies of water.
On Tuesday, full committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said that these regulations were “fruitless attempts to legislate through regulation,” and that the rule would be “crippling for the U.S. economy.”
The bill aims to restore the nearly $1 billion that the Obama administration cut from the Army Corps of Engineers budget during a tight financial year. This is partially done by cutting the renewable energy programs that Obama clearly supports as he pursues efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The Obama administration had requested $2.3 billion for clean energy programs, however the House version provides 23 percent less than that, dipping below the 2014 amount. Spending on non-renewable sources of energy went up $117.5 million over the president’s request.
“In order to balance investments in all energy sources, research and development to advanced coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy technologies, which will help the country make greater use of our rich natural energy resources and help keep down energy costs, are funded at $593 million –- an increase of $30.9 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level,” reads the press release.