Today the House passed the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (H.R. 2028) by a vote of 240–177.
I voted against this bill because it makes irresponsible cuts to infrastructure and research critical to economic growth and competitiveness in El Paso and around the country. H.R. 2028 reduces funding for renewable energy initiatives in the United States by more than $266 million while increasing funding for nuclear weapons programs by more than $500 million and fossil fuel research and development to $600 million. This emphasis on nuclear and fossil fuel research is the wrong direction for our future energy needs and puts at risk federal funds that universities like UTEP can use to research alternative energy sources
The legislation also weakens existing environmental protections that help protect our waterways and prevent water pollution. Specifically, H.R. 2028 prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers from regulating what types of toxic wastes mining companies dump into rivers, streams, and other bodies of water throughout the United States. The legislation also undermines the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce the Clean Water Act. I believe it is important to protect the health of American people and preserve our environment, and cannot support legislation that does the opposite.