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Friday, November 2, 2012

Energy and Water Development: FY2013 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), for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Department of Energy (DOE), and for a number of independent agencies.

President Obama’s FY2013 budget request for Energy and Water Development was released in February 2012.

For FY2013 the level of overall spending will be a major issue. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) contained an overall discretionary spending cap for FY2013 of $1.047 trillion. On March 29, 2012, the House passed a budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 112) that caps spending at a lower level, $1.028 trillion. The Senate has not passed a budget resolution, but on April 19 the Senate Appropriations Committee allotted subcommittee funding levels that totaled the $1.047 trillion cap in the BCA.

The difference between overall spending caps is reflected in differences in spending proposals for Energy and Water Development programs. The Administration’s request for FY2013 was $33.684 billion. On April 25, the House Appropriations Committee reported out H.R. 5325 (H.Rept. 112-462), with a total of $32.156 billion. The Senate Appropriations Committee reported out S. 2465 (S.Rept. 112-164) on April 26, funding Energy and Water Development programs at $33.432 billion. On June 6 the House passed H.R. 5325 by a vote of 255-165, with some amendments.

On September 28, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (P.L. 112-175). The act continues appropriations until March 27, 2013, for Energy and Water Development programs at 0.612% above the FY2012-enacted levels, with two exceptions: DOE’s Nuclear Weapons Activities program is funded at an annual rate of $7.577 billion, the amount requested for FY2013, instead of the FY2012 rate of $7.214 billion, and the Nuclear Nonproliferation program was increased by $100 million over the FY2012 level of $2.296 billion to fund domestic uranium enrichment R&D.

In addition, issues specific to Energy and Water Development programs included

  • the distribution of appropriations for Corps (Title I) and Reclamation (Title II) projects that have historically received congressional appropriations above Administration requests; 
  • alternatives to the proposed national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which the Administration has abandoned (Title III: Nuclear Waste Disposal); and 
  • proposed FY2013 spending levels for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs (Title III) that are 25% higher in the Administration’s request than the amount appropriated for FY2012.

Date of Report: October 23, 2012
Number of Pages: 67
Order Number: R42498
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