Search Penny Hill Press

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Energy and Water Development:FY2011 Appropriations

Carl E. Behrens, Coordinator
Specialist in Energy Policy

The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy (DOE), and a number of independent agencies.

As with other funding bills, the FY2011 Energy and Water Development bill was not taken to the floor in either the House or the Senate in the 111
th Congress. Funding for its programs was included in a series of continuing resolutions, and at the beginning of the 112th Congress was part of a major debate over overall spending levels. Energy and Water Development programs were included in the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (P.L. 112- 10) that became law April 15, 2011.

Besides the overall spending debate, a number of issues specific to Energy and Water Development were important during the FY2011 budget cycle: 

  • the distribution of Corps appropriations across the agency’s authorized planning, construction, and maintenance activities (Title I); 
  • support of major ecosystem restoration initiatives, such as Florida Everglades (Title I) and California “Bay-Delta” (CALFED) and San Joaquin River (Title II); 
  • alternatives to the proposed national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which the Administration has abandoned (Title III: Nuclear Waste Disposal); and 
  • several new initiatives proposed for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs (Title III). 
Funding for FY2010 Energy and Water Development programs was contained in P.L. 111-85, which passed in October 2009. The legislation retained significance during the FY2011 budget process because the continuing resolutions passed by the Congress retained FY2010 funding levels except where specifying new levels for individual programs.

President Obama’s proposed FY2011 budget for Energy and Water Development programs was released in February 2010. On July 15, 2010, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development approved a bill to fund these programs, but the full committee did not report out the bill. In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee reported out S. 3635 (S.Rept. 111-228) on July 22. The bill did not reach the floor of either the House or the Senate. On September 30, the Congress passed H.R. 3081 (P.L. 111-242), funding government programs at the FY2010 level through December 3. Several more continuing resolutions extended funding through March 4, 2011. H.J.Res. 44 (P.L. 112-4) extended funding through March 18, 2011, and reduced funding levels for a number of Energy and Water Development programs.

On February 14, 2011, H.R. 1 was introduced, continuing funding through the rest of FY2011 at the FY2010 level, but with many specified exceptions in which funding was reduced. On February 19 the House passed H.R. 1 by a vote of 235-189. In the Senate, S.Amdt. 149 was offered as a substitute for H.R. 1, continuing funding through the rest of FY2011 but with fewer funding reductions. On March 9 the Senate rejected both the House-passed version of H.R. 1 and the S.Amdt. 149. After two more short-term extensions, H.R. 1473 was introduced April 11, passed by the House and Senate April 14, and signed by the President April 15 (P.L. 112-10).

Date of Report: May 11, 2011
Number of Pages: 56
Order Number: R41150
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail Penny Hill Press or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.