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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PERLMUTTER. To the ranking member and the chairman of the subcommittee, thank you for your work. H.R. 2609 appropriates $30.4 billion for fiscal year 2014 for the Energy Department and Federal water projects, which is $4.1 billion below the President's request and $6.3 billion, or 17 percent, below the enacted level for 2013.

The reductions in H.R. 2609 undermine America's strategic energy investments and remove vital funding for laboratories such as the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado. Facilities such as NREL are leading proponents in energy research and innovation. The clean energy market has grown exponentially from $1 billion a year to $211 billion per year over the past decade. This number continues to grow.

Congress should be funding facilities which help to bring next-generation renewable technologies to market. These technologies are not only helping local energy entrepreneurs but are also helping business owners drive down energy costs.

The Energy Systems Integration Facility, otherwise known as ESIF, located at the National Renewable Energy Lab, is a perfect example of this kind of partnership. ESIF is the Nation's only facility to model on a megawatt scale how clean energy technologies such as wind and solar interact on the electrical grid with traditional energy sources such as coal and natural gas. The facility is aimed at overcoming generation transmission distribution and end-use challenges to support a cleaner, affordable, and more secure U.S. energy mix, including research into next-generation building technologies, microgrids, energy storage batteries, and utility-scale renewable energy.

As the cost of clean energy technologies continues to come down, seamless and efficient grid integration will help make these resources and products even more affordable. Funding for programs like ESIF and labs like the National Renewable Energy Lab is good for our utilities and our consumers. It's good for our economy, and it's good for energy security. Yet the majority continues to believe that cuts to our Energy Department will provide us a brighter future. I say, No way.

Lastly, while I believe the funding in the entirety of this bill is wholly inadequate, I cannot allow our energy investments to be reduced to rubble. My amendment would transfer $15 million to the Office of Renewable Energy, Energy Reliability and Efficiency, with an equal offsetting reduction from the Production Support for the W76-(1) Life Extension Program under the Weapons Activities account.

While I appreciate the committee's attempt to support the National Renewable Energy Lab, the proposed funding of $31 million is $15 million below the budget request. Thus, my amendment seeks to fully fund the Facilities and Infrastructure line item. The committee recommends to the House we fund $345 million for Production Support, which is an additional $23.5 million over the administration's request. The administration sites a lower level of funding from fiscal year 2013 to 2014 due to the completion of a modern manufacturing floor process. So what the committee has done is raise $23.5 million over the President's request. I'm asking that that be backed up by $15 million so that the National Renewable Energy Lab and EERE is increased by $15 million.

I ask for an ``aye'' vote on my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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