House Democrats Release Partisan Interior and Energy & Water Appropriations Bills

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Washington, May 14, 2019 | Emilio Navarrete | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Gosar released a statement criticizing partisan provisions included in the Interior and Energy & Water Appropriations Bills that were released.
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For Immediate Release

Date: May 14, 2019

Contact: Emilio Navarrete

Emilio.Navarrete@mail.house.gov



House Democrats Release Partisan Interior and Energy & Water Appropriations Bills



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar released a statement and Western Caucus summaries of each bill after partisan appropriations bills were released by the House Democratic Appropriations Committee today in the form of the fiscal year 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill and the fiscal year 2020 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies bill:

Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04): "It is unfortunate that the House fiscal year 2020 Interior and Energy & Water Appropriations bills released today do not include key Western Caucus priorities that would be of great benefit to the West and rural America. These partisan bills blow through spending caps, impose new fees and policies that will kill jobs, restrict drilling in ANWR, prevent responsible offshore energy production, stop agencies from reorganizing to maximize efficiency and save taxpayers money, increase funding to file frivolous lawsuits against job creators and fail to include active forest management provisions that will help prevent catastrophic wildfires. 

"While it is encouraging to see a couple Western Caucus priorities included such as preventing the sale of transmission assets of the PMAs and progress on wild horse and burro management, America would be better off if these appropriations bills included more of our priorities and less partisan provisions from House Democratic members. Partisan provisions—I might add—that seek to undo the progress that this Administration has made in achieving energy dominance and streamlining efficiencies within government. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the American people to carefully review both of these important bills. Once you've done so, please reach out and work with the Western Caucus to strip these bills of their poison pills and ensure the final funding bill signed into law includes our priorities."

Background:

Interior Appropriations Bill Summary

The House fiscal year 2020 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill was released today and can be found HERE.

The Democratic Appropriations Committee press release and their summary can be found HERE.

Some negative things to note
:
  • Section 107 increases fees for OCS drilling rigs. Also includes new non-rig inspection fees.
  • Section 108 includes a political provision that requires disclosure of sensitive information and waivers in relation to the previous administration’s well control rule. The Obama Administration started these waivers.
  • Section 117 includes a political rider that prevents funds for offshore oil and gas pre-leasing, leasing and related activities until the Department publishes its final five-year plan.
  • Section 118 includes a cryptic, political rider that aims to prevent funds from being used for ANWR lease sales.
  • Reprogramming guidelines are included in the bill text that could negatively impact the Department of the Interior’s ability to complete its reorganization effort.
  • The bill also ignores DOI’s $28 million request for reorganization and provides no funding.
  • The bill includes $10.2 million for Environmental Justice activities (frivolous lawsuits meant to stop American energy production), a 47% increase above the 2019 enacted level nearly four-fold increase above the President’s budget request.
  • The bill proposes to increase discretionary spending by $1.73 billion above the fiscal year 2019 level.
  • The bill does not include any of our legislative forestry requests including those proposed by the Trump Administration.
  • The bill does not include the Western Caucus rider or this year’s Caucus request that repeals the previous Administration’s WOTUS rule that was included in the House bill passed last Congress.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that prevented funds for carrying out the EPA manure rule.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that prevented funds for carrying out the EPA cow methane rule.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that prevented funds for regulating lead ammo/tackle.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years or this year’s Caucus request that prohibited a listing of the Greater Sage Grouse as an Endangered Species.
  • The bill does not retain two provisions from previous years or this year’s Caucus request that the removed Gray Wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in Wyoming and other affected states.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that prohibits funds for implementing the Obama Administration’s job-killing National Ocean Policy.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that delays the Obama Administration’s Ozone rule.
  • The bill does not retain the House passed-provision from previous years or this year’s Caucus request that prohibits funds for the Social Cost of Carbon.
  • The bill does not retain House passed-provision from previous years or this year’s Caucus request that prohibits funds for listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken as an Endangered Species.
  • The bill does not retain the House passed-provision from previous years that prohibits funds for the Social Cost of Carbon.
  • The bill does not retain House passed-provision from previous years or this year’s Caucus request that prohibits funds for the EPA’s Methane Rule.
  • Lot of combating climate change rhetoric included in summary and quotes and the bill significantly increases funding for climate change and environmental programs while keeping funding for most of the programs we care about flat.
  • EPA would receive about $9.52 billion for fiscal 2020, which is $3.42 billion above the President’s request. It’s also a near-record for EPA which has only crossed the $10-billion mark once.
  • While some additional priorities may be included in the Committee Report, the bill does not include many of the Western Caucus’ requests found HERE.
Some positive things to note:
  • The bill provides $5.21 billion for Wildland Fire Management, which includes $2.25 billion in cap adjusted fire suppression funding. The total funding is $1.6 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $49 million above the President’s budget request.
  • The bill includes a $6 million down payment for a pilot program related to wild horses and burros. Outside organizations on both sides of this issue have been undertaking a historic compromise and making progress on this issue. 
  • The bill includes a provision that allows for excess wild horses and burros to be transferred to other governments for use as work animals.
  • The bill includes $3.5 billion for Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education.
  • The bill includes $2.65 billion for Operation of the National Park System and reserves $657 million for the agency's $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog.
  • The bill includes $50 million to leverage $8 billion in water infrastructure financing.
  • The bill accepts the Administration’s proposed separation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education.
  • The bill reauthorizes PILT for one year and provides full-funding.
Worth Noting:
  • The bill provides $523.9 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, including $244 million for the federal program and $280 million for state programs.  The total is $85 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $491 million above the President’s budget request.
Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Summary

The House fiscal year 2020 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies bill can be found HERE.

The Democratic Appropriations Committee press release and their summary can be found HERE
Some negative things to note:
  • The bill proposes to increase spending by $1.8 billion above the fiscal year 2019 level.
  • The bill does not include funding for the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository but does fund the Interim Storage Program.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that would lift a prohibition of guns on federal property controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that prohibits funds for implementing the Obama Administration’s job-killing National Ocean Policy.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that prohibits funds for the removal of any federally-owned or operated dam.
  • The bill does not retain the provision from previous years that prohibits funds for the Social Cost of Carbon.
  • The bill reauthorizes the CALFED Bay-Delta Authorization Act for a year and provides at least $33 million for the program.
  • The bill includes a rider that prevents funds previously appropriated or appropriated from this Act to the Civil Works Program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers from being used for the president’s wall, a fence, a barrier or border security on the southern border.
  • The bill rejects the President’s proposal to eliminate certain Loan Guarantee Programs.
  • The bill does not include the Western Caucus rider that repeals the previous Administration’s WOTUS rule that was included in the House bill passed last Congress.
  • Lot of combating climate change rhetoric included in summary and quotes and the bill significantly increases funding for climate, renewables and environment programs while keeping funding for most of the programs we care about flat.
Some positive things to note:
  • The bill rejects the President’s proposal to sell the transmission assets of the PMAs and change the laws governing how the PMAs establish power rates. Western Caucus letter and release on this issue HERE.
  • The bill provides a total $7.36 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers and provides $1.63 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation.
  • The bill provides $400 million in additional funding for water resources projects, including those authorized in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act (at least one important project not funded however) and $121 million is provided for rural water projects above the budget request.
  • The bill does not cut funding for Nuclear Energy and does not cut funding for Fossil Energy Research and Development.

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