The League of Conservation Voters led 25 environmental organizations in sending the below letter to the House of Representatives urging Members to oppose H.R. 4394, the House Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024, when it comes up for a vote. The League of Conservation Voters will strongly consider including votes related to these amendments in our 2023 National Environmental Scorecard.
October 25, 2023
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Re: Please oppose H.R. 4394, the House Energy and Water bill, which would lock in fossil fuel infrastructure, increase household energy costs, and jeopardize access to clean water
On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, the undersigned groups urge you to oppose H.R. 4394, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2024, as well as any amendments to the bill that would further undermine climate action, clean energy, clean water, and environmental justice.
2023 has shattered one record after another, featuring the hottest summer ever recorded and a historic number of billion-dollar natural disasters that cost more than $57.6 billion in combined damages. The urgency of the climate crisis has never been clearer, and yet instead of doubling down on efforts to reduce climate pollution, invest in clean energy innovation, and address environmental injustice, H.R. 4394 takes us in the opposite direction.
This legislation, along with the many harmful proposed amendments to it, includes countless provisions that would lock in fossil fuel infrastructure, increase our dependence on foreign energy, and cede leadership in clean energy innovation to our competitors – all while raising energy costs for everyday Americans. The bill slashes billions of dollars from critical energy and water programs, including historic investments from the Inflation Reduction Act that would reduce costs for American consumers and businesses. These cuts include $4.5 billion in rebates to help low- and moderate-income households to replace dirty, inefficient appliances with cleaner alternatives; $1 billion to make buildings more efficient; $200 million for workforce development; and hundreds of millions of dollars across popular energy efficiency and renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy (DOE). The legislation also stifles investment in transformational U.S. clean energy manufacturing, repealing $15 billion in loan authority from DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program.
H.R. 4394 would also jeopardize the clean water our communities depend on by violating the Endangered Species Act and preempting state laws in mandating operations of State and Federal water projects, threatening salmon and thousands of fishing jobs. Additionally, the bill mandates enlargement of Shasta Dam, which has been opposed by the State of California because it violates state law, destroys Native American sacred sites, and harms fish and wildlife. Finally, the bill includes numerous harmful policy riders, such as a provision to block the Biden administration’s “Waters of the United States Rule,” language prohibiting funds from prioritizing underserved communities, and provisions to block federal agencies’ efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
Harmful amendments to H.R. 4394, if approved, would make this partisan legislation even more devastating. These measures would undercut DOE’s ability to set cost-saving energy efficiency standards for household appliances, repeal funds for innovative clean energy projects, eliminate programs that expand the use of cleaner and more affordable transportation fuels, and more. We are particularly opposed to the self-executing amendment in the rule that cuts $1 billion from the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which plays a critical role in saving businesses and families billions of dollars, developing the U.S. clean energy sector, and reducing pollution.
Again, we urge you to REJECT H.R. 4394, the Energy and Water appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2024, which would reverse progress on climate action, stall clean energy innovation, jeopardize our water resources, and harm communities already disproportionately impacted by pollution and the climate crisis.
League of Conservation Voters
Alaska Wilderness League Action
Center for Biological Diversity
Clean Energy for America
Clean Water Action
Climate Action Campaign
Defenders of Wildlife
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Interfaith Power & Light
Kids for Saving Earth
National Audubon Society
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Ocean Defense Initiative
The Earth Bill Network
The Wilderness Society
Union of Concerned Scientists
Western Watersheds Project