Interior Appropriations Passes House Committee With Anti-National Ocean Policy Rider

2017-07-24T14:55:24+00:00 July 24, 2017|
The House version of the bill prohibits funding for the National Ocean Policy. (Credit: BOEM.gov)

(Click to enlarge) The House version of the bill prohibits funding for the National Ocean Policy. (Credit: BOEM.gov)

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations committee approved the Interior and Environment appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 in a 30-21 vote.

This budget represents an $824 million decrease from the FY 2017 enacted level, which Subcommittee Ranking Member Betty McCollum (MN-4) said she was “deeply disappointed” about, although the president’s budget request would have provided $4.3 billion less. The bill’s $31.4 billion includes $114.2 million for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (matching the president’s request), $108.5 million for  the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (a more than 30 percent increase from FY 2017), and $1.039 billion for the U.S. Geological Survey ($46 million less than the FY 2017 level).

Attempts to remove policy riders failed, including Ranking Member McCollum’s amendment to remove a funding prohibition for the implementation of the National Ocean Policy (which was put in place by an Obama-era executive order to coordinate federal ocean planning across the federal family as well as with stakeholders). Several amendments were offered that would impact energy development. Representative Wasserman Shultz (FL-23)’s failed amendment would have prohibited funds for new offshore oil and gas leases in the outer continental shelf, while one from Representative Andy Harris (MD-1) limiting funding for wind turbine activities less than 24 nautical miles from the Maryland shoreline passed by voice vote.

The Senate has yet to release their version of the bill, and the House has not yet scheduled floor time for the bill.

Find funding charts here.