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Committee Approves Rodney's Bill -- A Boost for Northern Jersey

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The House Appropriations Committee this week passed Rodney's fiscal year 2013 Energy and Water and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which provides the annual funding for the various agencies and programs under the Department of Energy (DoE) and other agencies. The bill totals $32.1 billion -- a cut of $965 million below the President's budget request.

"This legislation prioritizes investments in our nuclear security enterprise, programs to address gasoline prices, and opportunities to advance American competitiveness and get people back to work here at home," said Rodney, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

"All of our constituents are wrestling with how to pay for higher gasoline bills. This bill does not provide a quick-fix, since there is little these programs can do to immediately to change oil supply or demand. However, our bill provides investments to strengthen Department of Energy programs that address the causes of higher gasoline prices down the road," he said.

The legislation also contained provisions related to Passaic River flooding and the Port of New York and New Jersey. Specifically, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013 included $1 million for the Passaic River "Mainstem" project and $64.6 million for the harbor deepening project at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

"Because our area is all too familiar with damaging floods, relieving these conditions remains a top priority of mine," said Rodney, the Chairman of the Energy and Water Subcommittee. "This funding is vitally important to our residents and businesses."

The $1 million will be used to execute an agreement between the State of New Jersey and the Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate options to lessen the impact of storm events. In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers announced earlier this year that it had included an additional $250,000 in its work plan for the Passaic Mainstem for the current fiscal year.

The FY '13 Energy and Water Development bill also included $64.6 million for the ongoing harbor deepening project at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

"OurPort is a major economic driver in our region, generating nearly 300,000 jobs," Rodney said. "The funding in this bill keeps the vital harbor deepening program on track. After all, if large ships cannot navigate the shallow port channels, they will take their cargo - and their tens of thousands of private sector jobs - elsewhere on the East Coast."

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