Rep. Peters’ Energy, Environment Priorities Passed Within Bipartisan, Bicameral Funding Package
December 21, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass a historic bill that authorizes federal spending for Fiscal Year 2021. The $1.4 trillion package contains sweeping measures to fund programs and projects that make substantial investments in San Diego priorities like research, energy sustainability and health care.
“The legislation we passed last night includes dozens of policies important to San Diegans and Americans,” said Rep. Peters. “The bill honors our veterans with better access to the care they’ve earned with their service and fights for a more humane immigration approach. It extends my Employer Participation in Repayment Act for another five years, which helps recent college graduates reduce student loan debt. And it protects patients from the exorbitant out-of-network charges people are often saddled with unexpectedly after a medical procedure.”
“Finally, it delivers big on renewable energy progress, one of my top priorities,” continued Rep. Peters. “We must invest in a clean energy economy to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of the climate crisis. This package offers our country a chance to heal the planet, create green economy jobs and better enables us to compete globally.”
Specifically, the House approved two legislative efforts led by Rep. Peters that work to move our country towards a cleaner and more resilient future:
- Rep. Peters’ Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USEIT) Act incentivizes carbon utilization and direct air capture research and development - technology that reduces CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. It creates competitive financial awards for innovative technologies that advance direct air capture, which helps to fights the adverse effects of climate change.
- A Senate version of the American Innovation and Manufacturing Leadership Act introduced by Rep. Peters and his colleagues will phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) over 15 years, potentially preventing up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming. HFCs are powerful super pollutants tens of thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide and are large contributors to global warming. It builds on the congressman’s longstanding effort to reduce harmful emissions of super pollutants while simultaneously fortifying the American economy.
- Major investments in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) spurred by a floor amendment offered by Rep. Peters, Reps. David B. McKinley (WV-01) and Marc Veasey (TX-33), and others. It establishes a carbon capture technology program, including $500 million in grants for eligible CCUS demonstration projects and commercial-scale demos, as well as a commercial Direct Air Capture (DAC) prize.
The package authorizes other funding for our nation’s defense; commerce, justice and science; additional energy and water projects; financial services and general government; labor, education and health and human services; transportation, housing and urban development; state and foreign operations; agriculture, interior and environmental efforts; rural development; military construction; and veterans affairs.
Below are some of the programs and activities that Congress funded for FY2021:
- Science & energy
- $43 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
- $7.9 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- $361 million to strengthen epidemic and laboratory capacity.
- Policies and funding that align with Rep. Peters’ Health STATISTICS Act to improve national health data reporting and sharing:
- $50 million to support modernization of public health data surveillance and analytics at CDC, state and local health departments.
- $175 million to bolster health statistics programs, including the National Center for Health Statistics.
- Provision that requires HHS to expand and enhance public health data system modernization.
- Adds $542.5 million for cancer research, including $17.5 million for the rare cancer research program.
- $192 million in NOAA climate research.
- $45.4 million for NOAA’s Sustained Ocean Observations and Monitoring Program, which provides essential data for effective weather forecasts, natural disaster mitigation and climate change planning.
- $7.5 million for Coastal Ocean Data System (CODS) to ensure the maintenance and expansion of CODS buoy network and the data products it enables, including high-resolution observations and models of shoreline change. This is particularly important for academic research institutions in the district.
- $40.5 million for Regional Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) to support coastal resource management, detection of harmful algal blooms, and safe and efficient marine operations – another win for San Diego research institutions.
- Major investments in algae research:
- At least $40 million for Advanced Algal Systems, with $10 million provided to continue research and development activities to support carbon dioxide capture from the atmosphere using algae-to-energy technologies.
- $110 million for Conversion Technologies.
- $50 million for System Development and Integration.
- $9.5 million for Data, Modeling and Analysis.
- $40 billion for the DOE:
- $156 million for cybersecurity, energy security and emergency response.
- $211.7 million for technologies to increase grid resiliency and efficiency.
- $1.5 billion for nuclear energy research and safety activities.
- $427 million for ARPA-E.
- $43 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
- Interior & environment
- $5.27 billion for wildfire management, which includes $2.35 billion in cap adjusted fire suppression funding.
- $9.24 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
- $53 million for scientific and regulatory work and cleanup assistance for per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), needed to establish a drinking water standard and cleanup standards.
- $2.77 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.
- $30 million for International Programs, which includes funds for U.S.-Mexico border cleanup projects: directs the EPA to increase its efforts to address toxic cross-border flows through the Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP) in coordination with the International Boundary and Water Commission and the North American Development Bank.
- National defense, homeland & military construction
- 3 percent pay raise for servicemembers.
- $335.5 million for sexual assault prevention and response programs.
- $50 million for noise mitigation efforts.
- $9.5 billion for U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
- Investments in aircraft procurement, including $344 million for 16 MQ-9 Reaper air vehicles.
- $23.3 billion for shipbuilding.
- $12.84 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard.
- $21.67 billion for FEMA.
- $118 million for border security technology, the right alternative to a wall.
- $21.26 million for San Diego VA SCI and Seismic Building construction.
- Over $169 million in funding for two Camp Pendleton projects and the Pier 6 replacement in San Diego.
- $10.3 billion for VA mental health services, $313 million for suicide prevention outreach and $661 million for gender-specific care.
- $1.9 billion for veteran homelessness assistance.
- $3.18 billion for reducing backlogged disability claims.
- Health care
- Ends surprise patient billing:
- Patients are responsible for in-network cost-sharing for out-of- network emergency care, certain ancillary services provided by out-of-network providers at in-network facilities.
- Ends surprise air ambulance bills, as patients will be required to pay in-network cost-sharing for out-of-network air ambulances.
- Bans gag clauses that prevent enrollees, plan sponsors or referring providers from seeing cost and quality data on providers.
- Ends surprise patient billing:
- Children, community, education & labor
- $5.9 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants.
- $82 million for Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program.
- $10.7 billion for Head Start program.
- Increases by $150 the maximum Pell award to $6,495.
- $5 million for Basic Needs Grants pilot program.
- $1.7 billion for Worker Protection Agencies, including a $10 million boost to OSHA to help ensure safe working environments.
- Transportation, housing & infrastructure
- $3 billion in Homeless Assistance grants.
- $40 million for VASH vouchers.
- $3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants.
- $1 billion for TIGER/BUILD grants, funding national infrastructure investments.
- $2 billion for Amtrak.
- $2 billion for Capital Investment Grants, which fund projects like the Mid-Coast Trolley.
- $1.2 billion for Maritime Administration.
- Financial Service & general government
- 1 percent pay raise for federal civilian employees in calendar year 2021.
- $33 million for improved broadband maps.
- $270 million for Community Develop Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.
- Preserves six-day delivery for the USPS and prevents further closure or consolidation of small post offices.