July 7, 2011

FY12 Energy Bill Released

By Christy Gullion

The House released its Energy & Water Appropriations bill for FY12 today.  The bill provides a total $30.7 billion for the Energy Department and federal water projects in FY12, $5.9 billion (16 percent) less than requested by the President and $1.7 billion (5 percent) less than FY11 enacted totals.  The bill provides an additional $1 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers for emergency disaster relief in areas affected by storms, tornadoes and flooding in the Mississippi and Missouri River basins.  The funding is designated as “emergency” and does not count against the bill’s total appropriated amount.

Historically, energy- and water-related appropriations have been mostly noncontroversial and most bills have been enacted with wide margins of support by both parties.  This year, however, a number of key disputes have arisen out of the push by the House leadership to significantly reduce spending.  The disputes have centered on Republican attempts to reduce funds for general science, renewable energy, nuclear nonproliferation, advanced energy research, renewable-energy development, and a provision prohibiting the use of funds provided by the bill to supplement Clean Water Act-related regulations.

Programs of interest to UW:

Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

The bill provides $1.3 billion for Energy Department energy efficiency and renewable-energy programs — $1.8 billion or 59 percent less than the President’s request and $491 million or 27 percent less than the FY11 enacted level.

Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E)

The bill provides $100 million for ARPA-E programs — $80 million or 44 percent less than the current level and $450 million or 81 percent less than the President’s request.

Science

The bill provides $4.8 billion for the science account, which funds the Energy Department’s work on basic energy research, nuclear physics, chemistry, biological and environmental sciences, fusion, and other related endeavors.  The appropriation is $616 million or 13 percent less than the administration’s request and $43 million or 1 percent less than the current level.

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