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Frankel Champions Everglades Funding, Fighting Climate Change in Appropriations Bill

With $250 Million for Everglades Restoration Included, Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill Heads to House Floor for Final Passage

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West Palm Beach, FL, July 13, 2020 | comments

Today, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21), released the following statement after helping pass the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies funding bill for Fiscal Year 2021 out of the House Appropriations Committee.

The bill provides $250 million for Everglades restoration and allows authorized projects to move forward. The bill also invests in the restoration and maintenance of beaches, harbors, and waterways, and responsibly responds to the ever-growing challenge of climate change with a large increase for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. 

“Not only is the Everglades a natural beauty and national park, it also serves as the main water source for eight million Floridians and visitors, and is home to 180 endangered plant and animal species. Today, we continue our commitment to caring for this important ecosystem for generations to come,” said Rep. Frankel. “This bill will also increase the funding for renewable and energy efficiency programs critical to fighting climate change and reducing our carbon emissions as we strive to make our nation carbon neutral by 2050. It also restores and maintains the beaches, waterways, and harbors that are so crucial to South Florida’s way of life and economy.”

This year, the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes an overall $49.6 billion in funding, a $1.26 billion increase over current levels. It provides an additional $43.5 billion in emergency spending to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic recession, to build and repair water infrastructure projects, modernize energy infrastructure for a clean energy future, and for harbor maintenance trust fund projects.

As a member of this Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Frankel advocated for an array of programs, including:

Florida Priorities:

  • Provides $250 million for Everglades Restoration.
  • Provides $50 million for beach restoration.
  • Provides $7.36 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Provides $1.68 billion for Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund projects
  • Encourages the United States Army Corps to use best science when determining proper water levels for Lake Okeechobee, to ensure proper water supply for all water users of South Florida.
  • Provides $160 million for intracoastal dredging.

Department of Energy:

  • Provides $2.85 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to provide for clean, affordable, and secure energy and ensure American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy.
  • Provides $6 million for the US-Israel Cooperative Energy Center.
  • Provides $7.05 billion for the Office of Science, an increase of $285 million above FY19 enacted levels, to support scientific research in physics, biology, chemistry, and other science disciplines.

For a full summary of the bill, click here.

Now that the legislation has passed out of committee, it will be brought to the House floor for a vote in the coming weeks. If the Senate passes its own bill, appropriators will reconcile the differences to then send the result to the President’s desk for a signature.

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