Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Works to Fund Clean Energy Programs, Environmental Restoration, and Environmental Research

July 31, 2020
Press Release
Washington, DCRep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced funding for Hawaii beneficial programs she led and supported which were included in the Fiscal Year 2021 Energy and Water Development funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee and then included as part of the “minibus” — a combination of 6 smaller funding bills — that was passed by the House of Representatives today.
“As island residents, we are connected to our natural environments through our sustainable Ahupua’a that extends from the mountains to the ocean. We understand that when conservation and economic development needs are balanced, we build strong, sustainable communities,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “The $93.1 billion Energy and Water funding legislation will help Hawaii transition to clean, renewable energy sources, protect coastal areas, mitigate flooding, improve harbor infrastructures, and help recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
In an effort to expand Hawaii beneficial clean energy technologies, the Committee included Rep. Gabbard’s request requiring the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to report on completed, ongoing, and planned Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) projects in non-contiguous states and U.S. territories as well as ways to expand these clean energy technologies..
This builds on legislation Rep. Gabbard introduced last year, the E. Cooper Brown Ocean Clean Energy Act, which incentivizes the use of these technologies to help urban and coastal communities meet their energy needs..
Rep. Gabbard led efforts to robustly fund Army Corps of Engineer Civil Works (CW) and Continuing Authorities Programs (CAP) programs including the Emergency Streambank and Shoreline Protection, Beneficial Uses of Dredged Material, Flood Control Projects, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, National Shoreline Management Study, Aquatic Plant Control, Flood Plain Management Services, Aquatic Plant Control, Emergency Streambank Protection, Shoreline Protection, and Regional Sediment Management programs. She also secured $305,000 for the Fort DeRussey Recreation Visitor’s Center and $200,000 for Hilo Harbor breakwater repairs.
Background: In addition to the provisions noted above, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard led and supported efforts to provide:
  • $7.5 million for the Coastal and Ocean Data System which provides high-resolution observations and models of coastal ocean waves and shoreline change that helps to protect life and property and improve the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce. 
  • $2.85 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, an important agency whose mission is to develop technologies to make renewable electricity generation more cost-competitive with traditional sources of energy. 
  • $310 million for Weatherization Assistance Program which helps reduce energy costs for low-income households.
  • $90 million for the State Energy Program to help states achieve greater energy security. 
  • $120 million for the DOE’s Wind Energy Program.
  • Robust funding for the Water Power Technologies Office in support of research, development, and deployment of new innovative hydropower, pumped storage, and marine energy technologies.
  • $300 million for the Bureau of Reclamation including the Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, a funding source for the Kalaeloa Seawater Desalination Facility and Kealakehe Wastewater Treatment Plant. 
  • $170 million for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Programs.
  • $8 million for emergency streambank and shoreline protection, a source of funding for the stabilization, construction and protection of infrastructure facing flood and storm damages.
  • $10 million for aquatic ecosystem restoration, a funding source for Hawaii’s wetlands. 
  • $10 million for beneficial uses of dredged material for projects shoreline protection, ecosystem restoration, and other needs.
  • $7 million for flood control projects to study, design, and construct small flood control projects.  
  • $5 million for the National Shoreline Management Study to improve coastal management in collaboration with other agencies and states to address erosion, sand movement, and the environmental and economic implications of shoreline change. 
  • $20 million for aquatic plant control for managing aquatic weeds in public waters.
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
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