Hoeven: Senate Unable to Overcome Filibuster on Energy and Water Funding Bill

Senator Worked to Secure Support in Bill for Key Flood Protection Projects in Fargo, Minot, LaMoure, North Dakota Energy Priorities

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Senate was unable to overcome a filibuster of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Water and Energy Appropriations bill. The bill includes language Hoeven authored that supports flood protection and water infrastructure projects for Fargo, Minot and LaMoure, as well as funding for energy research conducted in North Dakota. The measure required 60 votes to proceed to debate and a vote, but was blocked along party lines, 49 to 47.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Energy and Water, Hoeven worked to secure the provisions, which will help these communities move forward on important flood protection projects. Specifically, this legislation:

  • Provides for new start to fund construction of permanent flood protection projects with an emphasis on public private partnerships like the permanent flood protection project for Fargo and the Red River Valley.
  • Provides for new starts to fund studies for permanent flood protection, which is vital for communities like Minot and the Souris River Valley to develop and build comprehensive flood protection.
  • Increases the Corps’ funding for water development infrastructure by $10 million over FY2015. This increase will help communities like LaMoure with funding to replace sanitary sewer systems, which are routinely overwhelmed due to deteriorated pipes and high ground water.

“This measure includes important provisions for North Dakota communities that are struggling to put flood protection measures in place in a timely manner,” said Hoeven. “In the past, we have secured relief for many of our residents through investments in infrastructure, water retention and affordable flood insurance. Today’s bill would continue that progress for Fargo, Minot and LaMoure by giving the Corps the authority and funding it needs to help move these projects forward.”

On multiple occasions this year, Hoeven has urged Corps officials, including Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy and Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, to select the Fargo project as a candidate for the public-private partnership option. The senator made the same case with Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan. Hoeven stressed that this option would prevent delays in the construction of the project, leverage private investment and reduce overall costs.

The Energy and Water Appropriations bill also includes funding for key North Dakota energy priorities, such as:

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) – Increases funding to continue the federal-state partnership program to conduct engineering and scientific energy-related research at colleges and universities like the University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University.

Cooperative Research and Development – Includes language supportive of the DOE’s Cooperative Agreements to develop cost sharing partnerships to conduct basic and applied research, which has been beneficial to the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC).

Fossil Energy Research and Development – Includes funding for the Coal Advanced Energy Systems program, which includes improving the efficiency of coal-based power systems and enabling affordable CO2 capture.

Cruise missile warhead: Includes full funding for the W80 life extension program, which will refurbish the warhead that will go on the new Air Force long range standoff (LRSO) cruise missile carried on the B-52 at Minot Air Force Base.