House Passes FY ‘12 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

After a week’s debate, the House passed the FY 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill on July 15.  The bill provides $30.6 billion for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers and Interior Department water programs.

The bill provides $4.8 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers including $1.6 billion for construction projects and $2.4 million for operations and maintenance.  This is less than a 2% decrease from FY 2011.  It also provides $27 million in general funds for flood control and navigation projects. The Corps must provide a spending plan for these funds to Congress within 45 days of enactment.  The Bureau of Reclamation’s budget is $971 million, including $35.9 million for CALFED.  The total is a decrease of almost 9% from last year.

During the House floor debate, Democrats once again tried to remove the rider blocking funding for the draft Clean Water Act Guidance. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) offered the amendment but it failed by a vote of  170 to 250.  All California Republicans voted against the amendment along with Democratic Reps Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza.

An amendment sponsored by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-19), defunding a section of the San Joaquin River Settlement passed by voice vote. Describing the amendment, Denham said “What this amendment does is to prohibit the premature reintroduction of an endangered species into an uninhabitable river, a river biologists say is not ready for salmon, a program that is supposed to occur after the construction of fish screens and the completion of an environmental study, neither of which is complete”. 

The committee report also prevents Reclamation from funding the settlement. 

The Senate has yet to begin work on its version of the FY 2012 bill.