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Congress Approves Energy and Water Funding Bill

Washington— Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking member of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement today on the fiscal year 2020 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill:

“The funding package passed by Congress helps address the energy and water infrastructure needs of California and our country. It takes climate change seriously and supports finding real solutions to mitigate its effects, including significant investments in clean energy.

“Science should be at the heart of every decision we make regarding our energy and water policies, and that’s exactly what this bill does. It rejects the administration’s proposed cuts to the Office of Science and other critical programs and instead invests in research and innovation to meet today’s challenges.”

California water infrastructure

The bill provides $565 million for Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure and drought resilience programs in California.

“Drought remains one of the greatest issues that California faces. Climate change is exacerbating the problem and we must drastically reduce our carbon emissions. But we also have to start dealing with the fact that our aging water infrastructure is not equipped to handle another historic drought. That’s why this bill invests in water conservation and storage so we’re ready for the next major drought.”

The bill provides:

  • An additional $206 million to fund California and Western drought programs under the WIIN Act, including $134 million for water storage, $20 million for water recycling, $12 million for desalination and $40 million for environment and science projects. That funding will support projects throughout the state including the Sites Reservoir Project, the Los Vaqueros Reservoir expansion, restoration of the Friant-Kern Canal and water recycling and desalination projects in Southern California, Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley.
  • $55 million for WaterSMART grants and $64 million for the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse program.
  • Additional $8 million for desalination research and development.
  • $28 million for the San Joaquin River Restoration project.
  • $5 million to update Army Corps Flood Control manuals to help the Oroville Dam and other dams operate more safely and efficiently.
  • $50 million for donor and energy transfer ports, such as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Clean energy

“This legislation includes record levels of funding to address climate change. This bill goes beyond rhetoric, making real investments in developing clean energy solutions. It also includes federal funding for the first time to spark the development of efficient carbon-capture technology. This bill represents real action to combat climate change.”

The bill provides:

  • A record $2.85 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program, an increase of nearly $500 million over last year, to fund critical research to reduce the cost and accelerate adoption of carbon-free renewable energy.
  • $7 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, an increase of $415 million over last year, which supports advanced and sustainable energy research.
  • $60 million in first-time funding for research on how to cost-effectively remove carbon directly from the air.
  • The highest-ever funding level for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which funds research and supports the development of cutting-edge energy companies.

Additional projects

  • California cliffs: Includes $4 million for shore protection projects in places like San Diego County where three people were killed in August after a sea cliff collapsed at Grandview Beach.
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy programs: Provides $2.8 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, the most ever appropriated. This funding will help combat climate change by supporting sustainable transportation programs that develop new fuels, lightweight materials, and vehicle engines; energy efficiency programs that develop standards and technologies to reduce energy bills; and renewable energy programs that work to lower the cost of solar, wind, geothermal and water power technologies.
  • Basic scientific research: The bill fully funds the requested operational levels of scientific facilities at the national laboratories, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

  • Environmental cleanup:
    Provides $31 million to continue the cleanup of the Old Town and Bayview sites at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. This will allow the laboratory to build new facilities on those sites without using additional green space.

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