2019-05-21 National Governors Association

Letter Regarding Importance of Federal Financing for Water and Energy Infrastructure

May 21, 2019

The Honorable Lamar Alexander
Chairman
Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Marcy Kaptur
Chairwoman
Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Ranking Member
Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Mike Simpson
Ranking Member
Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Alexander, Ranking Member Feinstein, Chairwoman Kaptur and Ranking Member Simpson:

On behalf of the National Governors Association (NGA), we urge Congress to include funding and financing for water and energy infrastructure in any infrastructure package considered this Congress. The country’s aging water, maritime and energy infrastructure is an opportunity to provide necessary resources that meet long-term economic, public health and environmental needs. We recently released NGA’s Principles for National Infrastructure Investment and welcome the opportunity to work with Congress and the Administration to move a bipartisan, 21st century infrastructure package this year. As you consider Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations, NGA requests that you prioritize:

• Water Infrastructure: Governors share Congress’ concerns about aging water, inland waterways, port and wastewater infrastructure. We commend your leadership in supporting the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 and the increased resources for flooding mitigation and resilience. NGA supports continued efforts to ensure the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and Inland Waterways Trust Fund receipts are equitably allocated and dedicated for their intended purpose to ensure our ports and inland waterways are maintained at the highest level.

• Energy Grant Programs: Governors support full funding for the State Energy Program (SEP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). These programs are critical tools for the development and implementation of our state energy strategies and goals and examples of successful state-federal programs. SEP is the primary state-federal cooperative program addressing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in all sectors of the economy. States have a history of successfully matching federal dollars with state, local and private funds to help homeowners, small businesses, schools, municipalities and hospitals save energy. Similarly, WAP helps low-income families, the elderly and the disabled by improving the energy efficiency of low-income housing.

As Congress determines how to appropriately prioritize investments, NGA asks that you give our requests careful consideration. Governors and states are key partners and co-regulators alongside
federal agencies and committed to the successful implementation of these priorities. We realize the difficulty of the decisions the Subcommittees must make and welcome the opportunity to work with you as Congress considers FY 2020 appropriations.

Sincerely,
Governor Janet Mills
Chair
Natural Resources Committee

Governor Larry Hogan
Acting Vice Chair
Natural Resources Committee

Cc:
Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations
Chair and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations
The Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget

National Governors Association

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the nonpartisan organization of the nation’s 55 governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, address issues of national and state interest and share innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.