Cramer and Noem Successfully Urge House to Add $25 Million for Rural Water Projects
Washington, D.C. – Today Representatives Kevin Cramer and Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) successfully urged the U.S. House of Representatives to accept an amendment transferring funding to rural water projects while saving a net $5 million.
The amendment to the Fiscal Year 2014 funding bill for Energy and Water Development was introduced by Noem and cosponsored by Cramer. It adds $25 million to rural water development projects by removing $15 million from solar energy research and $15 million from administration costs for the Department of Energy. This saves $5 million for deficit reduction.
Many North Dakota municipal and rural water systems have received such funding in the past including the Southwest Pipeline Project, the Southeast Water Users District, All Seasons Rural Water, the South Central Regional Water District, the North Central Consortium, Ramsey County Rural Water and the Northwest Area Water Supply, as well as the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System in South Dakota.
“The amendment reprioritizes funding in a way that recognizes the changing of our nation in recent years,” said Cramer. “So much of the policy and the appropriations of our Department of Energy are based on an old order which recognized a scarcity of natural resources for energy development. But this is no longer the case. We are now a nation of abundant energy resources, but we are also a nation of scarce water resources. Our rural communities, tribes, farms and ranches need water for drinking, industrial growth, and irrigation.”
“This additional funding will be a big boost for rural water projects like Lewis & Clark,” said Noem. “The federal government needs to be a better partner when it comes to projects like Lewis & Clark. Communities in South Dakota have paid their share of the funding for this project and the federal government needs to follow through on its funding commitment.”
Representatives Steve King (R-IA), and Steve Pearce (R-NM) were also cosponsors of the amendment. Final passage of the full Energy and Water bill is expected Wednesday.