This bill would authorize $37.4 billion in appropriations to be spent on various federal energy and water programs in fiscal year 2017, which is $259 million more than the prior year and $168 million more than the president’s budget called for. Funding would go toward nuclear weapons programs, protecting critical national and regional waterways, and the Army Corps of Engineers.
The Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) nuclear weapons security programs would receive $12.9 billion in funding, an increase of $327 million from the previous year, thus ensuring that the U.S. nuclear stockpile is secure and the military is ready to deter threats. Specifically, this would include:
$9.3 billion for weapons activities, $438 million more than 2016;
$1.4 billion for naval nuclear reactors, $45 million more than 2016;
$1.8 billion for defense nuclear nonproliferation, $118 million less than the previous year. Included in this total is $340 million to fulfill an international commitment to operate a Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility to dispose of surplus plutonium.
Additionally, $150 million would go to the Nuclear Waste Disposal program and another $20 million to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate and oversee the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository. Funding for non-Yucca nuclear waste activities would be denied.
ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
$6.1 billion in funding would go to the Army Corps of Engineers, which would be $100 million more than the previous year and $1.5 billion more than the president’s budget requested. Spending would be focused on activities that “will have an immediate impact on public safety, job creation, and economic growth” such as making ports and waterways more functional.
DOE energy programs would receive $11.08 billion in funding, which is $56 million more than the previous year but $1.3 billion below the president’s budget request. $1.8 billion of that total would go to energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, which is $248 million less than last year and just over $1 billion less than the president’s request.
Research and development into coal, natural gas, oil, and other fossil energy technologies would receive $645 million in funding, which is $13 million more than the previous year. Nuclear energy research, development, and demonstration activities would get $25 million more than in 2016, to reach a total funding level of $1.01 billion.
CLEAN WATER ACT
There are several provisions in this bill related to the Clean Water Act (CWA), including one preventing changes to federal jurisdiction under the law. Any changes to the definitions of “fill material” or “discharge of fill material” under the CWA would be prohibited.