The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has released the fiscal year 2014 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, legislation that provides annual funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other related agencies. However, the new bill proposes massive cuts to the DOE's budget.
The overall bill totals $30.4 billion – a decrease of $2.9 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and a reduction of $4.1 billion compared to President Barack Obama's request.
"In these tight budget times, sacrifices must be made to safeguard programs critical to the nation's security and well-being. This bill reflects these hard choices, prioritizing funding to maintain our nuclear weapons and ensure the safety and readiness of the nation's nuclear stockpile, and to invest in essential infrastructure projects to enhance safety and encourage commerce. This is a good bill that guarantees these programs are maintained, while recognizing current budget constraints," said Chairman Hal Rogers.
Under the bill, which goes to a subcommittee for consideration, funding for DOE energy programs is cut by $1.4 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.
The bill includes $450 million for research and development to advanced coal, natural gas, oil and other fossil energy technologies, as well as $656 million for nuclear energy research, development and demonstration activities. In addition, the legislation provides $390 million in funding for programs that the committee says can help address rising gas prices.
To focus funding on those energy resources upon which the country currently relies, the committee says renewable energy programs are funded at $1 billion – a cut by $911 million (50% below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level), and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program is reduced by $215 million (-81%).