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Public Statements

Hearing of the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee - Bureau of Reclamation and Central Utah Project Completion Act FY 2012 Budget Requests

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

I'd like to call this hearing to order. Good morning, everyone. Our hearing today is on the fiscal year 2012 budget request for the Bureau of Reclamation and the request for the Central Utah Project Completion Act (CUPCA).

I'd like to welcome our witnesses, Michael Connor, Commissioner of Reclamation, and Reed Murray, Program Director for the CUPCA Office.

As I have mentioned at all of our hearings this year, I want everyone who appears before this subcommittee to understand that it is highly unlikely there will be any new funding in fiscal year 2012 for our subcommittee. Our subcommittee must do its part to reduce spending and bring down our deficit.
Our task this year is really no different than any other year, however -- we must find the right balance of investments into our most critical needs, with an eye towards those that protect our nation, and support and improve our economy and add jobs.

It is clear that water and power remain fundamental to the economy of the western United States, and the Bureau of Reclamation's activities are critical to meeting these needs.

Reclamation's fiscal year 2012 budget request reflects a reduction of 3% from the fiscal year 2011 Continuing Resolution. Within this overall funding, however, water and energy management activities continue to be cut disproportionately when compared to funding for fish and wildlife activities.
Your mission clearly states your primary responsibility is to meet the water demands of the West while protecting the environment and the public's investments in these structures. While I have been a long-time supporter of environmental conservation programs, I'm not sure now is the time to be making this shift of priorities away from your historical mission of water and power.

These tight budget times make it even more important that we use every dollar efficiently and effectively. The Subcommittee will take a hard look this morning at the criteria -- both quantitative and qualitative -- used to develop the specifics of your budget request. We may end up agreeing with the Administration's decisions or we may not, but we will not know until we fully understand your rationale.

Again, I'd like to welcome our witnesses to the subcommittee. Mr. Connor, please ensure that the hearing record, questions for the record, and any supporting information requested by the Subcommittee are delivered in final form to us no later than four weeks from the time you receive them.

Members who have additional questions for the record will have until close of business tomorrow to provide them to the Subcommittee office.

With that, I'll turn to Mr. Pastor for his opening comments.


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