The House Appropriation Committee today approved the fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. The legislation provides annual funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy (DOE), and other related agencies.
WASHINGTON – The House Appropriation Committee today approved the fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. The legislation provides annual funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy (DOE), and other related agencies.
The bill totals $37.4 billion – $259 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $168 million above the President’s budget request. Funding is targeted toward national security efforts, and energy and water infrastructure investments.
In addition to addressing security threats, maintaining U.S. nuclear weapons, and promoting an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, the legislation includes several provisions to help Californians who have suffered extreme challenges from years of historic drought, exacerbated by excessive federal regulations. These provisions in the bill will help provide relief for these communities, and will assist in the capture and delivery of more water to towns and fields.
Following passage of the legislation, Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) stated, "Today’s passage of the Energy and Water appropriations bill is a substantial step forward in the fight for water.” He continued, “By including portions of my bill, H.R. 2898, in this appropriations bill, the House is acting once again in the best interest of Californians. This is the first time these water provisions have been included in an appropriations bill. By utilizing this new approach, I am continuing to pursue all available avenues until my constituents have the water they so desperately need.”
Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said, “The western water related provisions included in the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations bill reflect the gravity of the California drought and damaging current policies that have made the situation worse. The House Appropriations Committee is dedicated to resolving this issue.” He continued, “As a farmer and lifelong resident of the Central Valley, Congressman Valadao has witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of this drought and has been a steadfast advocate on behalf of his constituents impacted by this crisis.”
Specific California-related provisions include:
- Delta Pumping Requirements: Reclamation shall pump at -5,000 cfs OMR unless that jeopardizes the long-term survival of the Delta smelt or Chinook salmon
- First Few Storms Flexibility: Authorizes Reclamation to increase pumping to -7,500 cfs OMR to capture storm water runoff when there is high Delta outflow provided such action does not jeopardize the long-term survival of the Delta smelt or Chinook salmon
- State Water Project Offset & Water Rights Protections: Ensures that California State Water Project contractors benefit should the State of California revoke its consistency determination under California environmental laws between the SWP and Central Valley Project
- San Joaquin River Settlement: Prohibits the use of federal funds to implement the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Agreement
- Instream Flow Purchases: Prohibits the use of federal funds to purchase water to supplement flows in rivers for environmental purposes in basins that have suffered drought.
The fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill passed through the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday afternoon.
The full legislative text can be found here
Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.