STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
(Rep. Obey, D-Wisconsin)
The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 3183, making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010.
The President's Budget called for significant investments that would help to build a new economy powered by clean and secure energy, expanded scientific research, and facilities that lead the world in innovation and development. These investments are designed to further new solutions to create new industries and new opportunities for Americans for decades to come.
This bill invests in the sciences, encouraging innovative technologies that will be central to the Nation's energy independence. The legislation makes long overdue commitments to improved infrastructure, focusing on high-return investments and the reliable operation of those facilities that are of central importance to the Nation. Additionally, and importantly, the legislation follows through on the Nation's commitments to the Gulf Coast region, still recovering from historic storms from years past, and works to prevent such devastation from future storms.
The Administration would like to take this opportunity to share additional views regarding the Committee's version of the bill.
Office of Science. The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, a key component of the President's Plan for Science and Innovation. The level would maintain the President's proposed path to double funding for this office over 10 years.
Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE). The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for cancellation of the planned refurbishment of LANSCE, which was built 30 years ago and no longer plays a critical role in weapons research. The Administration also appreciates the Committee's recognition of the need to analyze alternatives for the future of LANSCE.
Department of Energy
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Administration urges the Congress to restore $68 million for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The research and development of solar energy and building technologies are two areas where investments can make large contributions toward a clean energy economy.
Energy Innovation Hubs and RE-ENERGYSE. The Administration strongly urges support for the Energy Innovations Hubs and RE-ENERGYSE. The Hubs will advance highly promising areas of energy science and technology from their early stages and RE-ENERGYSE will encourage tens of thousands of American students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and entrepreneurship related to clean energy.
Office of Nuclear Energy. The Administration is concerned with the Committee's reallocation of funds among nuclear energy programs because it reduces the critical investment in longer-term research and development, undermining the goal of building a solid foundation for the long-term use of safe and secure nuclear power.
Energy Information Agency. The Administration urges the Congress to restore funds to allow the Energy Information Agency to undertake important energy analysis and statistical work, such as gathering critical information to understand energy use and the performance of Federal energy efficiency programs and to improve the statistical reliability of home energy use data.
Power Marketing Administrations. The Administration appreciates that the Committee adopted the proposal to reclassify power receipts from mandatory to discretionary to offset the annual expenses of the Southeastern, Southwestern, and Western Power Administrations. This will allow for better operations and maintenance planning and execution, leading to a more reliable power system.
National Nuclear Security Administration. The elimination of the $65 million funding for the B61 refurbishment study in FY 2010 will cancel refurbishment activities associated with replacing the B61 end-of-life components. Without refurbishment of these components, the sustainment of the B61 bomb family, a key component of our deterrence strategy, will be in jeopardy.
Corps of Engineers (Corps)
The Administration supports the funding level provided to operate and maintain existing Corps projects and the inclusion of a $19.5 million reserve to address key emergency maintenance and repair needs. The Administration welcomes the Committee's continued efforts to advance legislation that will produce sufficient revenue to meet the established cost-sharing for inland waterways capital investments.
The Administration appreciates the Committee's support of the South Florida ecosystem restoration program and its recognition that each of the activities in this program is part of a single, ongoing, integrated Federal ecosystem restoration effort. The Congress is urged to fully fund the Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park project.
The Administration urges the Congress to restore the requested $41 million for a base annual level of funding needed to prepare for floods and other natural disasters in lieu of continuing to provide these funds through periodic supplemental appropriations. The Administration also welcomes the Committee's support of funding to begin work on the Water Resources Priorities study, a high-priority interagency evaluation of the Nation's vulnerability to flooding.
Sections 101 and 201 of the bill contain restrictions on the reprogramming of funds that present significant management challenges for the Department of the Interior and the Corps of Engineers in the execution of their responsibilities. The Congress is urged to adopt the President's proposal with respect to these provisions.