Dear Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Shelby:
As the Committee prepares to mark up the Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges you to support full funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Energy’s Innovation programs, and for the U.S.- Israel Energy Cooperative Agreement. We believe that the revitalization of water and energy infrastructure projects would contribute to job creation and economic growth.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps): The Chamber encourages the Committee to support full funding for the Army Corps’ Civil Works Program authorized in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. The Chamber also encourages the House to invest all revenues collected into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for their intended purpose of port dredging and maintenance. We strongly believe that funding for the Army Corps should be targeted to navigation, flood protection, resilience, and permitting priorities.
We believe that the Committee should include at least $8.66 billion for the regular (non-emergency) activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works program. This critical investment would allow water navigation projects that had been delayed due to funding constraints to move into construction. The Chamber also supports annual revenues collected and deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund must be made available to the Army Corps of Engineers for their intended purposes.
Energy Innovation: The Chamber commends the Committee for its longstanding, bipartisan support of energy research and development programs that are vital to economic security and environmental progress. Enacted in December 2020, the historic and overwhelmingly bipartisan Energy Act of 2020 provides a foundation upon which to accelerate efforts in this area. As the Chamber detailed in a letter to you earlier this year, funding this legislation is a top priority for the business community because the pace of technology development and commercialization is the single most important factor that will determine how quickly and at what cost greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced around the world. Simply put, global emissions goals and degree targets will not be attainable unless and until the technologies essential to meet them—many of which currently do not exist—are developed and deployed around the world. For these reasons, the Chamber recommends strong and sustained funding for energy innovation and R&D efforts authorized by the Energy Act of 2020.
U.S.-Israel Energy Center: The Chamber supports $6 million for the U.S.-Israel Energy Center. The Center would advance energy and water innovation by facilitating cooperative industrial R&D, technology sharing, regulatory convergence, training, and education among national laboratories, academic institutions, and companies in both nations. Israel has earmarked a minimum of $4 million per year for the Center, and the Chamber believes that the private sectors in the U.S. and Israel would be able to match each government’s contribution.
The Chamber appreciates your consideration of these recommendations as you mark up the Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Neil L. Bradley
cc: Members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations