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Frankel Champions Everglades, Lake Okeechobee Water Security, Combats Climate Change in Appropriations Bill

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Washington, July 16, 2021 | comments

With $350 million for Everglades Restoration Included, Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill Heads to House Floor for Final Passage


Washington, DC –
 Today, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after helping pass the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies funding bill for Fiscal Year 2022 out of the Appropriations Committee.

This year, the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill provides $53.226 billion in funding, a $1.474 increase above last year’s level. 

Below, in part, are Rep. Frankel’s remarks from committee debate:

 

“Thank you, Madam Chair. I rise in support of this bill that protects our environment and advances our economy… As a Member of Congress from South Florida, I’d like to highlight some issues important to our 20 million residents of Florida and 100 million visitors.

In this bill we have again funded the restoration of the Everglades, the water system, for millions of Floridians at the highest level yet - at $350 million, and added necessary report language to allow previously authorized projects to move forward. Beaches and waterways are economic engines and a way of life in South Florida, and in that regard, we include robust funding for beach restoration and inter-coastal waterway dredging. Also included in the bill is the Central and South Florida Restudy Project, which will determine which flood control systems will need to be replaced in South Florida as sea level rises and the population increases. And we recognize our responsibility to our children and grandchildren, to leave them a livable planet with investments in clean energy technologies, which is a key to fighting climate change and reducing our carbon emissions. 

I’m proud to support this very good bill and urge its support.”

During debate on the bill, Rep. Frankel highlighted a provision that encourages the Army Corps of Engineers to follow the science when determining the proper water levels for Lake Okeechobee and to weigh the concerns of all water users: 

“There are a lot of stakeholders and people who use the water for drinking and farming and so forth Language in this bill directs and encourages the Army Corps to follow the science, not politics, in determining the proper water levels in Lake Okeechobee, and to weigh the concerns of all the water users.” 

Rep. Frankel helped secure support for an array of programs, including:

Florida Priorities:

  • Provides $350 million for Everglades Restoration.
  • Provides $20 million for beach restoration.
  • Provides $8.66 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Provides $2.05 billion for Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund projects.
  • Provides $500,000 for Central & South Florida Project Update Study.
  • 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 $175 million for intracoastal dredging.

Department of Energy:

  • Provides $3.7 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 $7.32 billion for the Office of Science, an increase of $294 million above FY21 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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