White House blasts Energy and Water spending bill

In a statement of administration policy (SAP) released Wednesday, the White House slammed the Energy and Water appropriations bill, which House lawmakers are slated to begin considering Thursday.

“[T]he Administration has concerns regarding the level of resources the bill would provide for a number of programs in a way that undermines core government functions, investments key to economic growth and job creation, as well as national security,” the SAP says.

The legislation, which was passed the House Appropriations Committee last month, will negatively affect a slew of Energy Department programs, including clean energy and climate change research, environmental management and nuclear nonproliferation, according to the White House.

The White House also took aim at language in the legislation that would require the administration to restart the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility in Nevada. The administration abandoned the proposal last year.

“Continued funding of the Yucca Mountain license application will divert funds from the Nation’s efforts to advance fuel cycle technologies and develop waste management options,” the SAP says. “The Administration has established a Blue Ribbon Commission to inform the development of a new strategy for nuclear waste management and disposal.”

The $30.6 billion appropriations bill cuts spending by $1 billion compared to current levels and by $5.9 billion compared to President Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget request.

The bill makes major cuts to the administration’s clean energy priorities, including solar energy, efficient vehicles, energy efficiency research, weatherization and biomass research and development.