U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) announced major wins for New Mexico in the Energy and Water appropriations bill, which was part of the minibus funding package that passed the House Thursday.
“This funding package makes significant investments in New Mexico, providing key federal resources for our local infrastructure, science and innovation initiatives, and clean energy programs.
“One of my priorities has long been to ensure local communities are made whole for the work they have completed with the Army Corps of Engineers. I’m pleased that the Energy and Water appropriations bill includes robust funding to reimburse our local governments for infrastructure projects that have already been completed, enabling communities in my district to use these funds on additional water resource projects.
“In New Mexico, our National Laboratories are a gem of scientific and technical capability. This funding package includes significant investments in the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is integral to continued innovation and economic development in our country. Our first-rate research scientists, engineers, and support personnel need our support to continue to tackle some of our nation’s biggest challenges. The bill also invests in computing capabilities at National Laboratories such as Los Alamos and Sandia, providing $163 million for continued development of the world’s fastest supercomputer — an exascale computer — that will be used to embark on new scientific frontiers, such as the discovery of cancer treatments, the impact of global climate change, and designs of renewable energy systems.
“This legislation also contains important funding for cleanup programs in New Mexico — including $220 million for cleanup at Los Alamos — recognizing our obligation to honor the commitment and sacrifices of the communities surrounding our nuclear weapons facilities. I will continue to advocate for additional funding for these essential cleanup programs in my district.
“It’s vital that, as we look toward our energy future, we ensure the safety and security of our infrastructure. I’m pleased this legislation includes significant funding in support of our National Labs’ missions.
“Our national investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and advanced energy technology is critical to our country’s competitiveness. That’s why it is so important that House Democrats successfully advocated to secure increased funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office, which supports clean energy programs in the United States.
“We must build on these significant investments in our local communities so that we can continue to be competitive as a state and as a nation.”
Specifically, the FY 2019 Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch Appropriations Conference Report includes:
- $25 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to reimburse local governments, such as the City of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo County, Town of Bernalillo, and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, for infrastructure projects that have already been completed.
- An increase of $325 million above FY 2018 enacted levels for the Department of Energy Office of Science. Congressman Luján co-led a letter advocating for this funding.
- $6 billion for Defense Environmental Cleanup to safely cleanup contaminated sites, including $220 million for Los Alamos National Laboratory. Congressman Luján sent a letter advocating for this funding.
- $2.38 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs in the Department of Energy to support the development of clean, renewable, and energy efficiency technologies across the country.
- $366 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which promotes and funds research and development of advanced energy technology.
- $11.1 billion for NNSA-related programs – $458 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. This amount includes $1.07 billion, $168 million above the request, to address the backlog of deferred maintenance at aging nuclear weapons facilities.
- $1.949 billion for nuclear nonproliferation.
- $163 million for continued development of the world’s fastest supercomputer – an exascale computer.