In this issue:
FY2008 House Energy & Water Appropriations bill moves forward

 

FY2008 House Energy & Water Appropriations bill moves forward


The House FY2008 Energy & Water appropriations bill (H.R.2641) and report (110-185) were released online yesterday, after the bill was successfully reported out of the House Appropriations Committee last week.The bill would provide $5.58B for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in FY2008, an increase of $246M above the FY2007 work plan and $713M over the President�s FY2008 budget request that was released in February.The bill had been scheduled for a possible vote on the House floor this week, but may be delayed due to partisan disagreements over the question of earmarks in appropriations bills in general.

 

Though this general increase in Corps funding is welcome news, it should be noted that House appropriators have not included spending guidance for individual projects.For the projects in the General Investigations (studies) and Construction accounts, there is no indication whether the House intends for each project to receive more, the same, or less funding when compared with the President�s request.For Operations & Maintenance (O&M), the House has followed the lead of the Administration, and reflected funding through large, unwieldy regional or watershed accounts.Most PNWA supported deep draft, inland, and coastal projects fall into Region 17, �Pacific Northwest�.The President�s budget provides $270M in O&M funding for this region, whereas the House bill would provide $286M.Again, this suggested increase in regional O&M funding is good news, but the lack of specific project funding makes it impossible to decipher the House�s priorities.

 

House appropriators have indicated that they may be prepared to discuss individual project funding levels after the Senate completes their version of the bill, and the two pieces of legislation are reconciled in a conference committee.Releasing the House�s supported project funding levels to the Senate, stakeholders, and Corps at such a late date will likely make for a difficult conference of a final bill in time for the start of the new fiscal year on October 1st.

 

The House bill continues the current restrictions on reprogramming, continuing contracts, and supports the Corps� five-year budget planning efforts.The bill�s accompanying report language also contains a clear endorsement of hydropower, noting that �hydropower improvements at existing facilities provide a reliable, efficient, domestic, emission-free resource that is renewable.�

 

The House bill and report language are now posted to www.pnwa.net.As attention now turns to the Senate, PNWA will continue to update you about how specific projects may fare as the appropriations process continues.For more information, or to find out how to get involved please contact PNWA at 503-234-8550 or www.pnwa.net.

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Staff Contact: Kristin Meira


Pacific Northwest Waterways Association                         �����������������www.pnwa.net

 

 

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