Senate Appropriations Committee

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee

Fiscal Year 2023 President’s Budget for the Department of Interior (Postponed)

124 Dirksen
Wed, 25 May 2022 14:00:00 GMT

Hearing has been postponed to a date to be determined.

Chair: Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

  • Deb Haaland, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior

The Department’s 2023 budget totals $18.1 billion in current authority ($17.5 billion in net discretionary authority)—an increase of $2.9 billion, or 19 percent, from the 2022 continuing resolution. An additional $340.0 million is accessible through a budget cap adjustment for wildfire suppression to ensure that funds are available in the event the regular annual appropriation is inadequate to meet suppression needs. The budget also provides an estimated $10.9 billion in permanent funding in 2023.

The Bureau of Land Management budget proposes $249.9 million for Energy and Minerals Management. Effectively combating and mitigating climate change for the long term depends on moving our Nation away from its heavy reliance on fossil fuels. BLM plays a vital role in promoting and facilitating the development of renewable energy by providing sites for the environmentally sound development of renewable energy on public lands. The 2023 budget includes $49.7 million for BLM’s Renewable Energy program, which—along with funding in the Resource Management Planning, Assessment, and Monitoring program—will enable BLM to increase and accelerate renewable energy development on public lands. The funds will support the siting, leasing, and processing of renewable energy rights-of-way applications and the oversight of projects and transmission lines connecting to renewable energy projects. BLM’s Renewable Energy Coordination Offices (RECOs) will guide and execute this important work, including coordinating with other Federal agencies to streamline the review process for clean energy projects. The 2023 request for the Renewable Energy program includes staffing support for a national RECO at the BLM headquarters level as well as State and regional RECOs. BLM expects renewable energy demand and workload to increase significantly as more utilities and States seek to diversify or require increased renewable energy in their electric power portfolios. The 2023 request will better ensure that BLM has the manpower and resources to support this workload.

The budget proposes $115.8 million for Oil and Gas Management. The request will support continued progress in addressing legacy wells on the Alaska North Slope. The request for Energy and Minerals also includes $16.6 million for Coal Management and $16.7 million for Other Mineral Resources Management.

The 2023 Bureau of Ocean Energy Management budget requests $51.7 million for renewable energy activities, including permitting for the siting and construction of offshore wind farms and other renewable energy sources, such as wave and current energy, on the Outer Continental Shelf. The 2023 budget proposes $63.6 million for conventional energy development. The 2023 budget proposes $15.4 million to support BOEM’s marine minerals activities, which foster climate change resilience and restoration while supporting conservation partnerships. Foundational to BOEM’s offshore energy and mineral resource activities are the Environmental Programs, for which the 2023 budget requests $86.4 million.

The 2023 USGS budget is $1.7 billion; USGS estimates that staffing is 8,344 full-time equivalents (FTEs) . The budget prioritizes science addressing climate change and invests in research and development to support economic growth, inform balanced decisions regarding resources, and ensure the well-being of the Nation.

The 2023 President’s Budget for the Fish and Wildlife Service totals $3.7 billion, including current appropriations of $2.0 billion and $1.8 billion available under permanent appropriations, most of which is provided directly to States for fish and wildlife restoration and conservation. The budget for the principal FWS operating account, Resource Management, is $1.7 billion. The National Wildlife Refuge System is an FWS focal point for the Civilian Climate Corps, a program to put people to work improving America’s lands, waters, and infrastructure . The 2023 budget for FWS includes $10.0 million—including $8.0 million in the request for Refuges and $2.0 million in the request for the National Conservation Training Center in General Operations—to develop the next generation of conservation workers and create a new pathway to good-paying jobs. The 2023 request for Science Support is $38.5 million. The program supports adaptive science work with collaborative groups to design and implement conservation and habitat management strategies that improve climate adaptation and resilience on the ground.