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Advocacy / Industry News

December 20, 2019

Congress Boosts Clean Energy and Environmental Spending

by Lynn Schloesser

The $1.4 trillion appropriations and tax extenders package deal that Congress sent to the White House contains a host of clean energy and environmental wins on the spending side, including large funding boosts for Department of Energy research programs and more money for EPA and the Department of the Interior.

The EPA will get $208 million more in fiscal 2020 than its current $8.8 billion budget under the deal. The EPA amount is nearly $3 billion more than President Trump’s budget request.  

Energy Department funding will rise to $38.6 billion, $2.9 billion above the fiscal 2019 level.

Senate Democrats and top Republicans offered to include language from the Senate-passed defense authorization bill that would have set a deadline for EPA to set drinking water standards for two members of the PFAS family, PFOA and PFOS, but House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats pushed for a provision to ensure that any drinking water standard would be no less stringent than EPA’s current lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

The bill includes $172 million in additional funding for PFAS cleanup efforts and studies at military bases, an issue that cuts across party lines.

The Army Corps of Engineers will receive a roughly $650 million increase for fiscal 2020, with a mandate to build more climate-resilient infrastructure, particularly amid incessant flooding in the Midwest.

The appropriations bill contains $2.8 billion for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy—a $469 million increase—a record $425 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, and a big jump for the Office of Science and national lab activities. That provision would allocate $230 million to start a demonstration program for advanced reactors, including $160 million for the first year of funding to build two advanced reactor demonstrations, along with other funding to expand fuel supply research for advanced reactors.

Lynn Schloesser is ACEC Director Environmental and Energy Programs.

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.

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December 20, 2019



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