Senate panel approves $35B Energy-Water spending bill

The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee approved a $34.97 billion fiscal 2011 spending bill without opposition Tuesday, deferring amendments, as usual, to the full committee, which is expected to consider the measure Thursday.

The Senate proposal is more than $200 million above the $34.7 billion approved last week by a House Appropriations subcommittee, but still is $376.3 million below President Obama's request.

It is $1.5 billion above the current year's funding, 82 percent of which would go to the National Nuclear Security Administration to sustain the nuclear weapons stockpile and for nuclear nonproliferation programs, Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said.

Dorgan said improvements and life extension of the nuclear arsenal was a key element behind the weapons reductions proposed in the new START arms control treaty awaiting Senate ratification.

He said "this is not an easy bill to put together," because the subcommittee was unable to fund many of their colleagues' requests for water projects or for the billions of dollars in Army Corps of Engineer projects that are ready to go. But, he added, the subcommittee was not willing to accept the nearly $500 million cut in water projects Obama proposed.

The panel restored money to "a majority of the ongoing projects," Dorgan said.

Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee ranking member Bob Bennett, R-Utah, agreed the panel had done as good a job as possible with the budget allocation it was given and thanked Dorgan for his bipartisan cooperation. Noting that neither of them will be back next year, Bennett said he hoped the new subcommittee leadership "will have the kind of working relations we've had."

The Energy Department would receive $28.3 billion, with $7 billion of that going to DOE's nuclear weapons programs and $2.6 billion to nonproliferation efforts to safeguard nuclear material that could be used to produce weapons.

Defense environmental cleanup programs, which mainly are at the nuclear weapons production facilities, would receive $5.3 billion. Nondefense environmental cleanup would get $244.2 million.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives would receive $2.3 billion in the bill, nuclear energy programs would get $783.2 million and fossil fuels $726 million.

DOE's science office would receive $5 billion, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy would get $200 million for high-risk experiments.

The bill would provide $10 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear energy programs and a similar amount for renewable energy projects.

The Corps of Engineers would be provided $5.3 billion, of which $2.5 billion would support operations and maintenance, $1.8 billion would go to construction, and the Mississippi River and Tributaries accounts would get $335 million.

The Interior Department would be allocated $1.13 billion, most of which would go to the Bureau of Reclamation's water projects, including the California Central Valley Project restoration effort.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she was disappointed that the bill contained no funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, and said she believed that the president had made a mistake in trying to close the Nevada site. Murray said she would offer an amendment in the full committee to address Yucca.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.