[House Hearing, 117 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                       ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT
                         APPROPRIATIONS FOR 2022



                                 BEFORE A

                           SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE

                       COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS

                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES


                              FIRST SESSION


                          AND RELATED AGENCIES

                      MARCY KAPTUR, Ohio, Chairwoman

  TIM RYAN, Ohio			DAN NEWHOUSE, Washington
  CHERI BUSTOS, Illinois

  NOTE: Under committee rules, Ms. DeLauro, as chair of the full committee, 
  and Ms. Granger, as ranking minority member of the full committee, are 
  authorized to sit as members of all subcommittees.

            Jaime Shimek, Mark Arone, Mike Brain, Scott McKee,
                             and Will Ostertag
                            Subcommittee Staff


                                  PART 6

  Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for 
the Department of Energy................
  Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and 
Bureau of Reclamation...................

          Printed for the use of the Committee on Appropriations
46-215                     WASHINGTON ; 2021   



                  ROSA L. DeLAURO, Connecticut, Chair

  DAVID E. PRICE, North Carolina	HAROLD ROGERS, Kentucky
  BARBARA LEE, California		JOHN R. CARTER, Texas
  BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota		KEN CALVERT, California
  TIM RYAN, Ohio			TOM COLE, Oklahoma
  DEREK KILMER, Washington		DAVID P. JOYCE, Ohio
  MATT CARTWRIGHT, Pennsylvania		ANDY HARRIS, Maryland
  GRACE MENG, New York			MARK E. AMODEI, Nevada
  KATHERINE M. CLARK, Massachusetts	STEVEN M. PALAZZO, Mississippi
  PETE AGUILAR, California		DAVID G. VALADAO, California
  LOIS FRANKEL, Florida			DAN NEWHOUSE, Washington
  BRENDA L. LAWRENCE, Michigan		BEN CLINE, Virginia
  NORMA J. TORRES, California		GUY RESCHENTHALER, Pennsylvania
  CHARLIE CRIST, Florida		MIKE GARCIA, California
  ED CASE, Hawaii			 TONY GONZALES, Texas
  JOSH HARDER, California
  DAVID J. TRONE, Maryland
  SUSIE LEE, Nevada

                 Robin Juliano, Clerk and Staff Director



                                             Thursday, May 6, 2021.



    Ms. Kaptur. This hearing will come to order.
    Welcome everyone. As this hearing is fully virtual, we must 
address a few housekeeping matters.
    For today's meeting, the chair or staff designated by the 
chair may mute participants' microphones when they are not 
under recognition for the purposes of eliminating inadvertent 
background noise. Members are responsible for muting and 
unmuting themselves, and if I notice you have not unmuted 
yourself, I will ask you if you would like the staff to unmute 
you. If you indicate approval by nodding, staff will unmute 
your microphone.
    I remind all members and witnesses that the 5-minute clock 
still applies. If there is a technology issue, we will move to 
the next member until the issue is resolved, and you will 
retain the balance of your time. You will notice a clock on 
your screen that will show how much time is remaining. At 1 
minute remaining, the clock will turn to yellow. At 30 seconds 
remaining, I will gently tap the gavel to remind members that 
their time is almost expired. When your time has expired, the 
clock will turn red, and I will begin to recognize the next 
    In terms of the speaking order, we will begin with the 
chair and ranking member, then members present at the time the 
hearing is called to order will be recognized in order of 
seniority, and finally, members not present at the time the 
hearing is called to order.
    Finally, House rules require me to remind you that we have 
set up an email address to which members can send anything they 
wish to submit, but in writing, at any of our hearings or 
markups. That email address has been provided in advance to 
your staff.
    I now recognize myself for 5 minutes for my opening 
    The subcommittee will come to order. Let us begin our first 
hearing on the fiscal year 2022 budget request for the 
Department of Energy.
    Thank you, Secretary Granholm, for joining us today. I am 
so thrilled to have a fellow Great Lakes colleague with such a 
distinguished career as America's new Secretary of Energy.
    With Secretary Jennifer Granholm, a results-oriented 
leader, I just know, with her vast experience, she will ensure 
the transition to a clean energy future for our country, and it 
will be done with workers and communities in mind.
    As we begin our discussion on fiscal year 2022, I must 
first note that we appreciate the recently released budget 
overview, and we look forward to receiving the full budget 
request, hopefully very soon, to allow us to move forward 
expeditiously to craft our bill.
    The Department of Energy addresses our Nation's most 
pressing energy, environmental, and nuclear security challenges 
through transformational science, technology, and applied 
system investments across our Nation.
    The Department of Energy funding translates into jobs, and 
if you look across our country, there are over 7 million 
Americans now working in the energy sector.
    The Department's funding has helped to drive down the 
prices of wind, solar, energy storage, and efficient light 
bulbs by 60 to 95 percent since 2008. But did you know that the 
Department of Energy is helping to decode DNA through the Human 
Genome Project? It has developed the fastest computers in the 
world, and it has discovered 22 new elements of the periodic 
table. It is busy on many fronts.
    With new challenges comes opportunity, opportunity to 
achieve progress for our Nation to sustain life, to grow our 
economy, and to assure national security through energy 
independence; opportunity to meet the imperative addressing our 
climate crisis by making energy supplies cleaner and more 
resilient; opportunity to advance high science and yield 
innovation to heal our Nation, to meet new horizons in 
technology, and to keep our Nation globally competitive. And 
last but not least, opportunity to cost effectively sustain the 
Nation's nuclear deterrent while simultaneously supporting 
nuclear nonproliferation.
    The Biden administration has been clear from day one about 
the need to urgently address the climate crisis. Extreme 
weather events are becoming more frequent--from the winter 
energy disaster in Texas, to water surpluses in the heartland, 
to the ongoing and worsening drought in the West. Our way of 
life will continue to deteriorate if we don't act and make 
adjustments to secure a better future. In addition, extreme 
weather is extremely costly. Last year alone, natural disasters 
cost the United States nearly $100 billion.
    The Department of Energy holds a consequential opportunity 
to meet the needs of a new day. Our Nation must lead with 
upfront investments that will help reduce damaging costs to our 
way of life.
    As we discussed at hearings earlier this year, DOE-funded 
research and resulting technologies through path-breaking 
innovations are already helping address climate change.
    The cost decreases I mentioned have led to widespread 
deployment, consumer savings, more good-paying jobs, and more 
security for our people. The budget is an opportunity to invest 
in our Nation and our common future.
    I welcome the Department's leadership in advancing equity 
by creating an inclusive economy to expand opportunity. I am 
pleased to see a serious focus, not only on developing clean 
energy technologies, but new thinking about how to deploy them.
    Your focus and leadership will help get us closer, and, 
frankly, your experience as a governor, and a successful one, 
will propel the Department of Energy and the Nation into this 
new energy era.
    The proposed investments in scientific innovations will 
yield the technologies and jobs of tomorrow and keep the United 
States as a global leader.
    And I am so pleased to see a budget request that proposes 
more funding for advanced energy in the ARPA-E (Advanced 
Research Projects Agency-Energy) program and its 
transformational technologies of the future, rather than 
eliminating it and burying our Nation's potential in ignorance.
    Current ARPA-E programs are focusing on breakthrough 
innovations, like reducing methane emissions, engineering 
biology for the future bioeconomy, developing electric power 
systems for aviation, and even looking at the complex mysteries 
of the human brain.
    The budget request also makes a serious investment in one 
of DOE's most meaningful meet-the-streets efforts--the 
Weatherization Assistance Program. It is so pivotal to the 
mammoth task of energy conservation for existing structures and 
neighborhoods while helping lower-income families and 
individuals reduce their burdensome energy costs.
    Finally, I am excited that the President's American Jobs 
Plan creates new jobs by reinvesting in areas and workers too 
often left behind. Thankfully, it prominently features the 
Department's efforts. The Department should be looked at as the 
jobs department, because the Department of Energy produces the 
new technologies that produce jobs forward in this new energy 
    With that, I will close my remarks. Thank you, Madam 
Secretary, for being here today. We look forward to discussing 
this request and working with the Department to serve the needs 
of our great Nation.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Kaptur follows:]
    Ms. Kaptur. I would like to turn to our Ranking Member, the 
very able and affable Mr. Simpson, for his opening remarks.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Chairwoman Kaptur. I am pleased to 
join you in welcoming Secretary Granholm to the committee to 
discuss the fiscal year 2022 budget request for the Department 
of Energy.
    Madam Secretary, I understand this is your first hearing 
since your confirmation. I am not sure if it will make it 
easier or harder that we don't have many budget details to ask 
you about yet.
    As typically happens in the first year of a new 
administration, our first look at the budget request is just a 
high-level overview with specific agency details to come later. 
Based on the information we do have now, though, I think there 
are some proposals that could garner bipartisan support, but 
there are also some causes for concern.
    First, I was pleased to see support for research into the 
important new technologies like advanced nuclear and hydrogen 
development. While I have strong concerns about the impacts of 
the President's broader climate change policies, it is a fact 
that advancing any low-carbon energy goals must include 
advanced nuclear. Not only is it a zero-emission source, but it 
is a baseload power that helps ensure reliability of the grid, 
especially as more intermittent sources like wind and solar are 
    We must ensure that the U.S. is a leader in developing 
advanced nuclear technologies for deployment here at home and 
around the globe.
    On the other hand, I was concerned to see not a single 
mention of cybersecurity in the DOE's budget overview. Over the 
past year, our Nation has experienced a series of high-profile 
cyber attacks--SolarWinds, Oldsmar, and numerous ransomware 
attacks. Cyber threats like these are persistent and 
    As our world becomes more reliant on internet-connected 
capabilities and technologies, we know that the cybersecurity 
challenge in front of us will increase in scope. The omission 
of cybersecurity in the budget overview suggests it is not 
sufficiently prioritized by the administration.
    I was similarly concerned to see that the National Nuclear 
Security Administration gets short-shrifted in the budget 
overview. The NNSA's programs are critical to our national 
security and constituted almost half of the Department's budget 
last year, yet the budget overview devotes only two sentences 
to these programs.
    Unfortunately, the NNSA is simply one example of the lack 
of priority for national security in this year's President's 
budget request. The increase for nondefense programs is almost 
9 percent--or nine times the increase of defense programs. 
Using the administration's own numbers, nondefense programs are 
increased by $105 billion, or 16 percent, while defense 
programs only go up by $12 billion, or not even 2 percent. That 
amount doesn't even keep up with inflation.
    While I am not opposed to reasonable increases for some 
nondefense priorities, it is foolish to pretend that they are 
not equally or more pressing national security needs.
    This year's budget process is further complicated by the 
fact that we do not have an agreement in place on overall 
budget caps. We have a lot of work to do ahead of us and get 
our appropriation bills done. Not all of it is within the 
control of this committee.
    Secretary Granholm, I appreciate your being here today to 
shed as much light as you can on the DOE's budget request. I 
know my colleagues and I look forward to working with you to 
move forward a budget that will strengthen our national 
security and advance our energy independence.
    I thank Chairwoman Kaptur for holding this hearing, and I 
yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Mr. Simpson, very much.
    And let me say we are extremely grateful this morning--or 
this afternoon that full committee Chair DeLauro has joined us 
for this critical topic, and I will now turn to Chair DeLauro 
for her opening remarks.
    Thank you so much, Madam Chair.
    The Chair. Thank you.
    Thank you, Chairwoman Kaptur, Ranking Member Simpson, for 
holding today's hearing.
    Let me welcome Secretary Granholm, and I might add, just 
the second woman ever to lead the Department of Energy. And 
thank you so much for joining us.
    As Governor of Michigan, you successfully led efforts to 
prioritize clean energy in the State, and now one-third of all 
North American electric vehicle battery production takes place 
in Michigan. So your track record, along with your depth of 
knowledge and dedication to our environment, makes you a strong 
leader in this role.
    Today, I look forward to your testimony on the 
administration's discretionary budget request for the 
Department of Energy and its critical work in addressing the 
energy and environmental challenges that face our Nation.
    How we move forward with our energy initiatives will impact 
future generations, and it is our responsibility to take care 
of this planet that we call home. The threat that is global 
climate change impacts every aspect of life as we know it. For 
our economic, national, and environmental security, we need to 
shift away from fossil fuels and diversify with investments in 
the next generation of clean and renewable energy technologies.
    With President Biden's funding request for the Department 
of Energy, we are taking steps to provide a better, safer, and 
cleaner future for all Americans. The 10.2 percent increase in 
the budget for the Department reflects much needed advancements 
for clean energy jobs, community investments, and the safety 
and the security of our nuclear stockpile.
    The numbers do not lie. Investing in clean energy creates 
jobs and strengthens our economy. In my home State of 
Connecticut, a $1.2 billion investment in our clean energy 
economy generated over $75 million in tax revenues prior to the 
COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, there were more than 44,000 
clean energy workers--44,000 clean energy workers employed and 
over 4,300 companies with Connecticut's $6.5 billion clean 
energy economy. And once we recover from the impacts of COVID-
19, those numbers are expected to grow.
    President Biden has stressed the importance of creating 
jobs for the American people. Clean energy initiatives is one 
of the first steps to achieve that goal. Funding would be used 
for building clean energy projects, workforce initiatives to 
cut carbon pollution, while creating good-paying jobs.
    And by investing $8 billion into new technologies, such as 
advanced nuclear energy technologies, electric vehicles, green 
hydrogen, the President's budget request will transform 
American power and help move our Nation's economy into the 21st 
    In addition, the budget request prioritizes funding for 
Historically Black Colleges and Universities, minority-serving 
institutions, cleanup efforts at World War II and Cold War 
nuclear sites, and the recapitalization of the National Nuclear 
Security Administration's infrastructure and facilities. This 
will also support transformative solutions for carbon-free 
energy, adaptation, and climate resilience.
    As this committee puts together the appropriations bill for 
the next year, supporting the Department of Energy will be 
crucial in achieving these goals.
    And with that, I want to say thank you to Chairwoman Kaptur 
and Ranking Member Simpson, and I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Madam Chair, for your appearing this 
afternoon despite your extremely busy schedule, and we welcome 
your recommendations. Thank you so much for your leadership.
    We are very excited today, as you know, to welcome 
Secretary Granholm, who is joining us today, and wait for her 
observations of how the Department of Energy can confront the 
climate crisis while creating more and better jobs.
    Following a bipartisan confirmation vote, Secretary 
Granholm became just the second woman, as you have mentioned, 
to lead the Department of Energy. And, previously, Secretary 
Granholm was the first woman elected Governor of Michigan, 
serving two terms from 2003 to 2011. What a consequential 
period to have served as Governor of Michigan as America 
endured that Great Recession and this part of America battered.
    As governor, Jennifer Granholm faced economic downturns 
caused by the Great Recession and meltdown in the automotive 
and manufacturing sectors. She successfully led efforts to 
diversify the State's economy, strengthen its auto industry, 
preserve the manufacturing sector, to some level, and add 
emerging sectors, such as clean energy, to Michigan's economic 
portfolio. She understands what it is like to live in parts of 
our country that were harmed so greatly.
    With that amazing experience, I look forward to her 
leadership at the Department of Energy to apply those lessons 
across the United States. She truly understands the importance 
of American workers and communities at risk of being left 
behind. And I am excited to work closely with her to, as she 
puts it, kick-start America's clean energy revolution, create 
millions of good paying union jobs, and deliver benefits to 
America's workers in communities across the Nation.
    Thank you for taking the time to be with us here today. 
Without objection, your written statement will be entered into 
the record. Please feel free to summarize your remarks, 
Secretary Granholm.
    Secretary Granholm. Chairwoman Kaptur, thank you so much 
for that introduction. And, Chairwoman DeLauro, so great to see 
you here. Ranking Member Simpson and certainly members of the 
subcommittee, it is an honor to appear before you today to 
discuss the President's 2022 discretionary request for the 
Department of Energy.
    It is a privilege to serve as the 16th Secretary of Energy 
and lead the Department in delivering technological 
advancements and scientific discoveries and advancing the 
energy, economic, and national security of the United States.
    I am really proud to say that we have accomplished a lot 
since January 20. We have been focusing on our core missions 
around science and security. Our 17 national labs continue to 
make ground-breaking discoveries, including in the fight 
against COVID-19. Our teams at CESER (Cybersecurity, Energy 
Security, and Emergency Response) and the NNSA remain steadfast 
in safeguarding the electrical grid and our nuclear stockpile.
    And beyond that, we have jump-started efforts to build a 
clean energy economy that, as you have all noted, creates 
millions of good-paying jobs and lifts American families in 
every pocket of the country into the middle class.
    We declared that America is back at the international table 
for climate action. We announced over a billion dollars in 
grants and awards and funding opportunities for clean energy 
R&D (research and development) projects that will help us 
achieve a net-zero carbon future. We have set ambitious new 
goals to cut solar costs by more than half and add 30 gigawatts 
of offshore wind capacity by 2030, the latter of which is going 
to support 77,000 jobs and power 10 million homes, while 
cutting 78 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
    We created a new Office of Energy Jobs to ensure that the 
projects we support offer the highest possible potential for 
job creation. We made commitments to direct 40 percent of the 
benefits from clean energy investments in the communities on 
the front lines of climate change and on the front lines of the 
energy transition. And already we are following through on a 
commitment with investments in geothermal energy, in carbon 
capture, in critical mineral extraction that are all going to 
create jobs in coal communities.
    And these are just the starting points in our effort to own 
the global market for clean energy and sustainable 
technologies. That market is going to reach $23 trillion at 
least by the end of the decade. So you better believe we are 
going to capture some of that market with the right strategies, 
and we are in the game.
    But as our economic competitors race ahead, we have to put 
a lot more resources behind this effort, because they see that 
$23 trillion market and they are going after it as well. So in 
March, the President released the American Jobs Plan, which is, 
of course, a once-in-a-generation investment in our Nation's 
economic competitiveness through infrastructure, through R&D, 
through manufacturing.
    And, of course, infrastructure is what keeps our economy 
operating effectively, and it is not just roads and bridges. It 
is not just ports and airports. It is not just trains. But it 
is the electrical grid that keeps the lights on, and the pipes 
that pump water into the buildings, and the broadband that 
brings the world to our children and opportunity to our 
    We have to also jolt our commitments to R&D so that it is 
American researchers making the breakthroughs that drive clean 
energy and our future and American entrepreneurs taking those 
breakthroughs to scale. And by revitalizing our manufacturing 
backbone, we can build these technologies and products right 
here at home with American workers.
    So President Biden's proposed 2022 discretionary funding 
request would position the entire Federal Government to help 
our country stake our claim in this can't-miss clean energy 
    We invest $46.2 billion in the Department of Energy's key 
priorities, and those priorities include deploying cheap, 
abundant clean power on a modernized, secure, resilient, 
reliable energy grid and creating all those jobs in the 
process. The priorities include quadrupling clean energy 
research over 4 years to put America at the forefront of clean 
energy innovation worldwide, advancing carbon reduction and 
mitigation through technologies like carbon capture and storage 
and hydrogen, breaking down the barriers to increase diversity 
in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) 
fields, and of course, strengthening the Department's nuclear 
security mission. And we are committed to all of that.
    And in conclusion, I am humbled to reaffirm my commitment 
to lead the Department of Energy. I look forward to our 
continued partnership to achieve these goals. Thank you for the 
opportunity to be here today.
    [The information follows:]
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Secretary Granholm, very much for 
your statement and for helping our country.
    I remind all members and witnesses that the 5-minute clock 
still applies. If there is a technology issue, we will move to 
the next member until the issue is resolved, and you will 
retain the balance of your time.
    You will notice a clock on your screen that will show how 
much time is remaining. At 1 minute remaining, the clock will 
turn yellow. At 30 seconds remaining, I will gently tap the 
gavel to remind members that their time is almost expired. When 
your time has expired, the clock will turn red, and I will 
begin to recognize the next member.
    In terms of the speaking order, we will follow the order as 
we did in our first hearings, beginning with the chair and 
ranking member, and then members present at the time the 
hearing is called to order, recognized in order of seniority, 
and, finally, members arriving after gavel by order of arrival. 
Additional rounds of questions may occur after all members have 
an opportunity for a first round.
    We will now begin questioning under normal rules.
    Madam Secretary, I was interested to note that the position 
of solar installer is now the number one sought-after 
occupation, and there are positions that remain unfilled across 
our country. This is a sea change compared to 10 and certainly 
20 years ago.
    But my question relates to place-based strategies. 
Different regions have unique opportunities and challenges. So, 
for example, my northern Ohio heavily industrial region and the 
manufacturing and automotive belt of the Great Lakes has a 
robust automotive supply chain, numerous energy-intensive 
industries, like steel and refining, a diverse solar industry, 
expertise in specific R&D processes like advanced 
manufacturing, and access to world-class transportation and 
natural resources.
    Using a place-based approach can seed the future. For 
instance, in Toledo, my home, a home-grown scientist by the 
name of Dr. Harold McMaster, and his partner, Norm Nitschke, 
used their American genius and their knowledge in automotive 
manufacturing techniques to birth what now I am told is the 
largest solar company in our Nation called First Solar.
    That was 30 years ago, and those jobs and that company is 
delivering today thousands upon thousands of clean energy jobs 
and cementing our region as a leader of the green energy 
    As communities respond to challenges relating to climate 
change and building a clean energy future, can you elaborate on 
strategies for places like Toledo, Ohio, with a resource-rich 
economy, with major solar manufacturers and high-tech research 
and development capabilities, how can these places capitalize 
on their local resources to counteract growing regional 
    Secretary Granholm. Oh, I am so glad you asked this 
question, Congresswoman, because I completely agree that we 
have to target job creation for specific communities. We have 
to think about what assets a community brings to bear and what 
natural resources they can draw upon and what their industrial 
legacy is.
    And so, First Solar probably chose Ohio because of that 
manufacturing and automotive legacy, and that is unique to 
Ohio. So what are the other areas of the country? What assets 
do they have? What does their geography look like? What unique 
thing is their comparative advantage?
    And in this energy realm, there are all kinds of jobs for 
all kinds of people in all pockets of the country, because 
every place in the country is unique. I want this place-based 
work designed to help make sure that nobody is left behind, to 
be the core of this clean energy deployment strategy, both in 
this budget and in the American Jobs Plan. It is an opportunity 
to put our depth of human capital to work, but it has to be 
    So the President has identified several place-based 
initiatives, including the coal and power plant communities, 
communities that have seen industrial jobs disappear, and also 
environmental justice communities that have been 
disproportionately burdened by generations of pollution without 
always seeing the economic benefits of the energy industry that 
created the pollution.
    So these types of tailored approaches to regional job 
creation are key to getting all of our country to work as we 
compete for the global clean energy market.
    If you look at Michigan, because we built car 1.0, we 
decided we would diversify to build car 2.0. That was a 
comparative advantage that we had, and so car 2.0 has the 
battery, and the battery is the guts to that electric vehicle. 
So this is why we had a strategy around creating that component 
of this clean energy economy in Michigan.
    Every one of your States has something that is unique to 
you that you can create an industrial cluster around, and we 
want to focus our efforts to make sure that that happens and 
that the Department of Energy is a partner in that effort.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you. Thank you, Madam Secretary, very 
much. I think one of the challenges you will have is the 
Department of Energy itself, because it does such astounding 
work, but it has not focused heavily on regions. It tends to 
cluster around its--they won't agree with this statement, but 
they tend to focus around their lab region.
    And they have an impact across the country, but what you 
are saying, it will require muscling up inside the Department 
itself. They do well on so many fronts, and they impact our way 
of life, but I think your focus on place-based strategy is a 
new page for the Department, and we obviously want to help you 
achieve your goals.
    I will now turn the questioning to our ranking member, Mr. 
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Chairwoman.
    Madam Secretary, this committee has heard from numerous 
experts over the past few years, and I agree that nuclear 
energy must be a significant part of any plan for achieving 
low-carbon energy goals.
    To help ensure the United States will be a leader in 
advanced nuclear technologies, Congress has supported, on a 
bipartisan, bicameral basis, multiple near-term demonstration 
projects through the DOE and other agencies, as well as work on 
several options for the next round of demonstrations.
    Many of these efforts will depend on key capabilities 
located at the Idaho National Laboratory and the Nuclear 
Reactor Innovation Center housed here, as well as other 
national laboratories. In addition to building these 
demonstration projects, we must also continue to support the 
foundational research into fuels and materials that will help 
us maintain the current fleet and drive our nuclear innovation 
in the future.
    Secretary Granholm, can you please share how the Department 
will balance efforts to pursue demonstration activities to 
maintain research and development capabilities?
    Secretary Granholm. Yes, sir. I strongly believe that 
nuclear energy should play an important role in helping the 
U.S. meet our clean energy goals. We pursue, at the Department, 
both demonstration and early-stage R&D efforts for multiple 
nuclear technologies based upon where those technologies are in 
their development and how they are developing relative to the 
field's needs.
    For example, Department of Energy's Advanced Reactor 
Program supports the development of multiple innovative U.S.-
based design for small modular reactors. That technology has 
the potential, of course, to provide safe and clean and cost-
competitive energy generation options for both domestic and 
international markets.
    We are seeing promising results with the work of, for 
example, NuScale which is the first small modular reactor 
developer to obtain Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval of 
its final safety evaluation report, and that puts the NuScale 
design on track to receive the full Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission certification by this year, mid to late 2021.
    So completely agree that we have got to double down on our 
focus on both R&D, as well as deployment of nuclear, and 
keeping the fleet that we have.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you for that. I agree.
    Another question, as I mentioned in my opening statement, 
this is not the time to take our eye off the ball when it comes 
to cybersecurity of our Nation's critical energy 
infrastructure. How are you planning to maintain or increase 
the level of focus on cybersecurity in the Department?
    And as I said in my opening statement, I was disappointed 
that in the--or maybe even surprised is a better word--in the 
skinny budget, that cybersecurity was not mentioned.
    Secretary Granholm. Well, it is definitely a focus of ours, 
so don't let that fool you. I do want that to say I am not 
going to be Pollyannaish and tell you that protecting the grid, 
for example, from cyber threats is easy. It is another reason 
why it must be a focus.
    The power grid, as you know, is one of the most complex 
machines on earth. It's got more than 3,000 independent grid 
operators controlling portions of it. There are over 55,000 
substations, 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines.
    So some of the operators are large and sophisticated 
companies, and they have got robust tools, and others are small 
munis and co-ops with far fewer resources. So the threat, the 
cyber threat, it is getting more complex and it is becoming 
more frequent, especially as we continue to electrify 
everything in our lives.
    But I can tell you that I am totally focused on this. I 
know from our industry partners that I have spoken to that they 
are totally focused on it, and I am completely committed to 
getting them and us the tools and the intelligence and the 
cyber response that they need to address the threats that are 
out there.
    Making CESER an effective organization within DOE has been 
a mission of mine. I am taking steps now to refocus CESER on 
being a service to the grid operators, providing them with the 
tools and the intelligence and the cyber response capabilities 
that they need.
    And I am also going to be making sure that cyber R&D is a 
focus for all of our technology programs. I mean, the truth is 
that everything we are working on that will plug in to the 
power grid is a potential cyber attack vector, and we need to 
be thinking about all of our R&D through that lens.
    And the final thing I would just quickly say is that I have 
brought on board a fabulous senior leader for CESER to lead our 
cybersecurity efforts. His name is Puesh Kumar, and he comes to 
us with previous government service. And most recently, he was 
running the grid cyber efforts for SoCal Edison, so both public 
and private sector experience.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Simpson, and thank 
you for staying within the time limit, both you and the 
Secretary. That is pretty good.
    Chairwoman DeLauro. 
    The gentlelady will have to unmute.
    The Chair. Thank you.
    Madam Secretary, we can't reach a carbon neutral goal by 
2050 with only our technologies of today. So it is about 
investing, discovering the technologies of tomorrow, and 
accelerating that transition to a clean energy future that 
wards off the devastation of climate change.
    Can you discuss the Department's approach for deploying 
clean energy technologies while also continuing to innovate to 
develop the clean energy technologies that we will need for the 
    Secretary Granholm. Madam Chair, I could not have said it 
better myself. We have already got the technologies ready to 
deploy, right, from renewable energy and energy storage, to 
electric vehicles, building electrification. We have already 
got all of that technology to decarbonize the majority of our 
economy. So the combination of solar power and wind power and 
battery storage and energy efficiency is already cheaper than 
fossil fuels in much of the country.
    But at the same time, we have technologies like carbon 
capture and hydrogen that are absolutely essential for the 
harder-to-decarbonize fossil fuels in the economy, and they are 
essential in ensuring a vital economic future, especially for 
communities in the fossil fuel industry but aren't yet being 
widely deployed. So they need demonstration projects and they 
need continued R&D to keep bringing down the cost so we can 
take them to scale as well.
    And at the same time, all across our technology options, 
continued innovation is absolutely vital. So even as we have 
brought down the cost of solar power through all these tools, 
as Chairwoman Kaptur was saying, from R&D to demonstration and 
deployment, we have brought down the price to the point that it 
is growing so rapidly today in solar.
    We are still doing R&D, though, on materials that will make 
it even cheaper and better performing. And we are still 
innovating on soft costs, like permitting, that will mean our 
cost of installation is still higher than in other countries, 
and we want to bring that down.
    We want to work on how to boost American manufacturing of 
solar equipment and not let our economic competitors completely 
take that way.
    So as you suggest, Madam Chair, we have to do all of the 
above, essentially. We have to deploy, deploy, deploy the 
technologies that we already have, and we have got to 
decarbonize as fast as we can to create massive jobs and rein 
in the climate crisis. And we also have to innovate, innovate, 
innovate to get the whole economy decarbonized and to bring the 
benefits of that zero-carbon economy to every community in the 
    The Chair. I think you are up to the task, Madam Secretary.
    You mentioned hydrogen, and I wanted to get your view as to 
the potential of hydrogen in a future clean energy economy. How 
are you working to ensure that the hydrogen programs are 
coordinated across the Department, between the Office of Fossil 
Energy and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable 
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. This is a great, great question, 
because hydrogen does cover a wide band, right? So hydrogen has 
huge potential. It is versatile as a fuel that will help to 
decarbonize the industrial sectors, like steel production. It 
is a clean way to store energy from renewable sources like 
solar and wind, and those, of course, it can be used to 
generate electricity in turbines and in fuel cells.
    It can be used for transportation. It can be used for 
industrial applications. Clean hydrogen may also play a role in 
fueling trucks and buses and fleets where electrification 
hasn't been so easily addressed through batteries as it is for 
smaller vehicles.
    And because it has got a variety of applications across 
these sectors, there is, as you suggest, lots of DOE, including 
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Fossil Energy and 
Nuclear Energy and the Office of Electricity, and the Office of 
Science, and ARPA-E, they are all engaged in this important 
    These offices are closely coordinating on this issue to 
ensure that their work builds a cohesive and holistic approach 
to unlocking hydrogen in our path to a zero-emissions economy. 
They all work together, and that is a requirement, because this 
hydrogen economy is going to be necessary in all these vectors.
    The Chair. Thank you. And I have just about 20 seconds 
left, so I would submit a question for the record, that in the 
budget request, what is the potential for investment in scaling 
up a clean energy workforce and some of the educational 
programs and opportunities available to potential clean energy 
workers. So, you know.
    Secretary Granholm. We share that, and I am happy to 
    The Chair. Okay. That is terrific. Thank you.
    Thank you, Madam Chair. I don't want to go past my time. 
Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Chairwoman DeLauro, for taking time 
for our subcommittee. Really, thank you for your work, you're 
    The Chair. Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. I wanted to now call on--oh, I wanted to make a 
comment before I call on Congressman Calvert. The cyber issue, 
of course, affects the energy industry directly, and I can 
comment on behalf of private companies that I represent and how 
their technology is hacked all the time, not once a week, not 
twice a week, hundreds of times a week.
    And so this cyber issue is in the interest of the Nation, 
and it is certainly in the interest of those that are working 
in the energy realm and in high science.
    Congressman Calvert.
    Mr. Calvert. There we go. Thank you, Madam Chair. Can you 
hear me all right?
    Ms. Kaptur. There you go. Thank you, thank you.
    Mr. Calvert. Okay. All right. Thank you.
    Good afternoon, and thank you, Secretary Granholm, for 
joining us today. I look forward to working with you to address 
our Nation's most challenging energy and national security 
    I also serve as the ranking Republican on the Defense 
Appropriations Subcommittee, and I have already discussed my 
concerns with our military leaders, and the administration's 
proposed reduction of defense spending would prevent us from 
meeting the goals in our National Defense Strategy.
    As you are aware, the threats from Russia and China are 
real. We will soon face, for the first time in our history, two 
nuclear-capable peer competitors. Countering these threats and 
keeping our country safe requires a credible deterrent. Cold 
War-era weapons infrastructure will not remain credible to our 
enemies forever.
    Admiral Chase Richard, with whom I am sure you have met 
with, Commander of our U.S. Strategic Command, has said that 
the nuclear modernization, including NNSA's weapons complex and 
supporting infrastructure, is a high priority.
    Secretary Granholm, do you agree that maintaining a 
credible nuclear triad deterrent is important to our national 
    Secretary Granholm. Absolutely.
    Mr. Calvert. Good. I am glad to hear that.
    DOE and NNSA's role in ensuring a credible deterrent is to 
ensure a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear weapons stockpile. 
Unfortunately, after the end of the Cold War, we failed to 
maintain many of the necessary capabilities and infrastructure, 
such as plutonium pit production. So now we must reestablish 
those capabilities.
    Secretary Granholm, do you support NNSA's pit production 
activities? More specifically, do you support the goal of 
producing 80 pits per year through the two-site solution.
    Secretary Granholm. I do.
    Mr. Calvert. Good. I am glad to hear that too.
    One other comment I have also on--I am going to take you 
off the--my prior remark and ask about the broadband for a 
second. Our friend, Elon Musk, as you know, is putting up what 
he calls a space net and is actively putting up satellites, as 
you are probably aware, and believes he will be able to supply 
broadband through the whole world in a relatively short period 
of time.
    Why don't we play off the private sector rather than having 
to invest a significant amount of money in broadband if the 
private sector is doing that right now?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. Thanks for that question. I mean, 
I don't know a hundred percent whether that broadband effort by 
Elon Musk will reach the last-mile communities in rural areas 
that have been left behind. We just don't know, right? I mean, 
he is certainly a capable person, but I agree that the public-
private partnerships are important. But I also think it is 
imperative for all these communities to be able to access the 
internet, the high speed especially, so that we can have 
businesses and education and human beings evolve so that their 
communities are not left behind.
    Mr. Calvert. Yeah. You might want to check with him, 
because he claims it does. I mean, that he will touch every 
corner on the planet, including the depths of Africa.
    Secretary Granholm. Well, that is great. Let's see. We will 
    Mr. Calvert. That would save us a significant amount of 
    Real quick question on advanced nuclear reactors. Later 
this afternoon, I am going to discuss the importance of 
commercializing micro reactors in our national defense's 
Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center.
    The Department has a significant role, as you know, in 
helping develop this technology and has the potential to 
provide clean baseload power, as the chairman--or the ranking 
member mentioned earlier.
    On the micro reactor set, what are your goals for advancing 
micro reactor research and development?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. As I was mentioning a little bit 
earlier, the advanced nuclear reactors, the research that is 
being done, as well as accelerating the deployment of them in a 
safe and responsible way, is super important. It is one of the 
top priorities for our Office of Nuclear Energy. They have been 
doing research for both reactors and fuels to support these 
advanced nuclear technologies. I think in fiscal year 2020, 
Congress refocused the resources on an actual demonstration of 
those real reactors that you were mentioning.
    So, supportive, and we will continue to prioritize that 
because it also helps to meet our clean energy goals for both 
2035 and 2050.
    Mr. Calvert. And one quick shout-out for fusion. As you 
know, we have committed hundreds of billions of dollars over 
the years to fusion research. And it is always the elusive 
goal, but it is the one that is the magic one. It solves all 
the problems. So I would hope that we continue to invest in 
ITER and that the Department continues to have robust support 
of the fusion programs.
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah, you will have robust support 
here. I think it is the Holy Grail, if we can get there. The 
Fusion Energy Sciences program within our Office of Science is 
building the foundations it needed to develop that fusion 
energy source. And the fiscal year 2022 budget request invests 
in that transformative R&D to accelerate progress toward the 
fusion future, including investments in additive manufacturing 
and quantum and artificial intelligence.
    And so we are excited to be able to support that and hope 
for the ITER project to be completed within our lifetimes.
    Mr. Calvert. Right. Well, I thank you.
    And with that, I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you. Thank you very much.
    I wanted to just mention, before I move to Congresswoman 
Wasserman Schultz, that the subcommittee has a great interest 
in nuclear fuels and what we can do for storage long term.
    Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    And, Madam Secretary, it is good to see you. 
Congratulations. And, really, the future of our country is in 
good hands with you in the role that you are in [inaudible].
    Secretary Granholm. Appreciate it.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Well chosen.
    I want to build on a topic that Chairwoman DeLauro 
mentioned, and that is carbon capture. Lately, I have been 
concerned by the fact that some of my colleagues have been 
advocating against funding decarbonization tools like carbon 
capture and storage and direct air capture.
    Most mainstream climate scientists and environmental NGOs 
agree that we need to use every tool in the toolbox to keep 
warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, above preindustrial levels. 
And so I was encouraged to see that the overview of the 
President's fiscal year 2022 discretionary request includes 
funding to, and I quote: Advance carbon reduction and 
mitigation in sectors and applications that are difficult to 
decarbonize, including the industrial sector, with technologies 
and methods such as carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and 
direct air capture, all while ensuring that overburdened 
communities are protected from increases in cumulative 
    The bottom line is, we got to get there. We got to hit the 
goals. So what is the administration's view on utilizing tools 
like CCUS to capture carbon before it enters the atmosphere, or 
direct air capture, which would remove carbon that is already 
in the atmosphere?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah, thousand percent. This is a 
critical piece of our techno--suite of technology tools, to be 
able to get to that goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 
And as you know, I am sure, the Intergovernmental Panel on 
Climate Change has said that we cannot get there as a globe 
without this particular technology. So--and building out that 
technology involves industrial jobs and pipeline jobs. It is a 
huge jobs opportunity, particularly in the communities that 
have been left behind, in coal communities, for example, that 
have produced the fuels that power our economy. You know, it is 
an opportunity for them.
    So we think that leading the world in this technology, or 
at least taking this to scale, helping to bring down the cost, 
sharing that technology with our international partners, it is 
going to give our industries a competitive edge as the world, 
you know, turns to these low- and zero-carbon production 
    And we are looking to make this a major focus of our 
reorganized Fossil Energy and Carbon Management Office in the 
Department. We have created--you know, we have had an Office of 
Fossil Energy. We have added the name ``carbon management'' 
because this carbon capture use and sequestration will be an 
important aspect of what they are focused on.
    And I just want to say, you know, obviously as you 
mentioned, carbon capture technology does often refer to 
capturing carbon at the point where it is emitted. Just a word 
about direct air capture that you talked about. I mean, the 
technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere 
when it has already been emitted, that is part of the R&D focus 
of the Fossil Energy Office. And, of course, it is what trees 
and plants do, and that is why these nature-based solutions are 
one part of it.
    But we also need, and we are doing the research and 
development on the technology side that can speed up that 
carbon dioxide removal. So, excited to be able to know about 
your support for that.
    And as we all know, there is a big chunk of the American 
Jobs Plan too that has demonstration projects in carbon capture 
use and sequestration, as well as hydrogen, which are super 
important for these pockets of the country that have powered 
our economy through fossil fuels.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Thank you very much. And for my last 
minute, I will just ask my questions together. I want to just 
have you answer on the record. Are you at all worried that 
tools like CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization, and Storage) or 
direct air capture will create an incentive to keep dirty 
fossil fuel-fired plants open for longer?
    And then let me just ask you a quick Florida-based 
question. You know, I share the Biden administration's support 
for a whole-of-government approach to climate change. We are 
increasingly vulnerable in Florida to those impacts, and 
agriculture is really hugely a part of those impacts and 
important to my State.
    How can DOE work in the agriculture space to help 
agricultural producers reduce emissions? And can DOE work with 
USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) to advance 
science in this space? That is my two questions, if you can, 
you know----
    Secretary Granholm. Two questions in 20 seconds. On the 
working with USDA, yes. Secretary Vilsack and I have already 
been on conversations about this. This is a key part of this 
joint effort between Department of Agriculture and DOE.
    And with respect to CCUS incentivizing the prolonging of 
use of fossil fuels, no. The market has already made decisions 
about that. The globe has made decisions. This allows us to 
remove CO2 from fuels that we know will exist through 2050, but 
it will allow them to be clean, and that is what everybody is 
looking for. So we need both renewables and carbon management 
strategies in order to get to our goals.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Thank you so much for your pragmatic 
    Madam Chair, I yield back the balance of my time that I 
don't have.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz.
    Congressman Fleischmann.
    Mr. Fleischmann. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Good afternoon, Madam Secretary. I am Chuck Fleischmann, 
and I am privileged to represent people of the Third District 
of Tennessee, specifically the great city of Oak Ridge, where 
the great national lab, the Y-12 plant, we are building the 
Uranium Processing Facility. And perhaps what I am even most 
proud is our legacy cleanup which we do there and across the 
    Excuse the wordiness of this first question, but it is very 
important, and it will only require a yes or no answer, and I 
hope I get my second question in.
    Madam Secretary, I would like to talk about an important 
mission that without which we could not have cancer treatments, 
medical diagnostic techniques. NASA (National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration) wouldn't be able to explore Mars. That 
mission, Madam Secretary, is the production of isotopes.
    Isotopes are used for hundreds of applications, neutron 
detectors for Homeland Security applications, explosive 
detection, and many others. This work is done under the Office 
of Science Isotope Production Program. It is also done at 
several laboratories and universities, including the Oak Ridge 
National Lab in my district.
    Many of the critical isotopes for these missions can only 
be made in Oak Ridge's High Flux Isotope Reactor, also known as 
HFIR, which is the highest neutron flux available for isotope 
production in the United States and the nuclear infrastructure, 
including hot cells to process the materials after they go into 
the reactor.
    It is vitally important that we fund HFIR and those hot 
cells adequately to make sure that we continue to supply the 
Nation with the isotopes it needs. Over the last few years, the 
budget request for the hot cells has been inadequate. I have 
had to work through this committee to ensure the funding was 
adequate to keep those facilities operating, and I would like 
to specifically thank Chairwoman Kaptur for her support in that 
    My question for you, Madam Secretary, is, will you ensure 
that we will have adequate funding to make sure that we can 
continue to do the important work to deliver these needed 
    Secretary Granholm. Yes. The budget supports isotopes.
    Mr. Fleischmann. Thank you. By the way, I do invite you to 
Oak Ridge to see our great DOE reservation.
    Secretary Granholm. Completely want to go. I am excited to.
    Mr. Fleischmann. Yes. Thank you.
    Last year--this is very important, my next question. Last 
year in Oak Ridge, we celebrated Vision 2020, which saw the 
first successful demolition of the Gaseous Diffusion Plant. It 
was K-25, which at one point in time was the largest building 
in the world and was even more impressive with the contractor, 
that it was completed under budget, 4 years ahead of schedule, 
and saved the taxpayers half a billion dollars.
    One of the critical factors which allowed us to do this 
cleanup was that the East Tennessee Technology Park was having 
onsite disposal availability, and this is very important.
    The current onsite disposal facility is expected to be full 
by approximately 2027, and does not have the capacity to 
accommodate all the remaining waste from the cleanup at Oak 
Ridge National Laboratory or the Y-12 National Security 
Complex. This makes timely regulatory approval and construction 
of the new planned onsite disposal facility, Environmental 
Management Disposal Facility, crucial for ensuring continued 
efficient cleanup across the Oak Ridge Reservation and 
protecting the health and safety of the public and environment 
from mercury and other hazards.
    Is the Department still committed to pursuing EMDF and 
requesting adequate funding, ma'am?
    Secretary Granholm. Yes, yes. EM is planning on this second 
onsite disposal facility to support the cleanup efforts there. 
We are going to use the disposal facilities for low-risk 
materials with higher contaminated water offsite for safe 
disposal. And onsite disposal of the low-risk material is the 
approach that ensures the timely progress and the significant 
risk reduction and the environmental benefit as well.
    So we are working with EPA (Environmental Protection 
Agency) and the State of Tennessee on a scientifically-driven 
approach on this, and we are committed to designing and 
constructing and operating and closing the proposed facility in 
a manner that protects human health and the environment and on 
time and supported.
    Mr. Fleischmann. And, Madam Secretary, so that you know, I 
had the support of the Obama administration and the Trump 
administration in getting this done. Matter of fact, Secretary 
Moniz and I worked so well together. It was his first visit to 
come to Oak Ridge.
    When you see it, it will clearly show you the great work 
that DOE has done historically. We have got a national park 
there now that Republicans and Democrats worked together to get 
done. Again, I look forward to meeting you in person and 
inviting you to host you in Oak Ridge. Thank you.
    Madam Chair, I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Congressman Fleischmann.
    Madam Secretary, I am also going to send you a request to 
kind of help me unload the Department of Energy and help us 
understand in the area of brain research what the Department is 
doing to help us dig deep and understand the workings of the 
human mind.
    I understand Argonne, in its Advanced Photon Source, just 
discovered a certain type of behavior of neurons that impacts 
Individuals who have schizophrenia. And it has been very hard 
to get [inaudible] of how the Department looks at brain tissue 
and the DNA sets that exist across the United States.
    We think this is a really important area for inquiry, but 
it needs some type of focus, I think. And so you will get a 
question on that. I am just alerting you.
    All right. Now we are going to turn to Congresswoman 
    Mrs. Kirkpatrick. Thank you, Madam Chair, thank you so 
    And thank you, Secretary Granholm, for your testimony today 
and your appearance before the committee. And congratulations 
on your confirmation. I look forward to working with you to 
prioritize solar and clean energy infrastructure and jobs in my 
home State of Arizona and across the country.
    As you stated repeatedly in your testimony, we are indeed 
in a climate crisis, and the American Southwest is in the 
frontline of this crisis. We are blessed with abundant 
renewable resources like sun and wind, but our days are getting 
warmer and our water gets more and more scarce.
    I am grateful to have this conversation with you today, 
because it is crucial that we invest in tackling the climate 
crisis, and Arizona is a great, great place to do this.
    My question has to do with our Tribes. So we have 22 
federally recognized Tribes in Arizona, and a big portion of 
the State is Tribal land. Tribal communities have borne the 
brunt of the climate crisis for decades.
    Secretary, how do you plan to ensure that Tribal energy 
infrastructure and the needs of Tribal communities are met as 
this administration moves to Build Back Better? How will you 
ensure that the Tribes have a seat at the table when we talk 
about a clean energy transition?
    Secretary Granholm. Great. Thank you so much for asking 
this question. Engaging the Tribal Nations is so critical to 
our focus, not just in Arizona, but across the country on 
ensuring that we approach the energy transition while we put 
equity and justice front and center. I think the Navajo and the 
Hopi Nations in Arizona are probably right in the middle of 
this, and I think they are significantly impacted by the 
changing fortunes of the coal industry and also moving to 
establish a leadership role in clean energy development, which 
is very exciting.
    We plan to make full use of the assets that we have at DOE 
to partner with these Nations and to empower them to lead in 
the energy transition, and that includes getting going on--we 
have this Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee program that has been 
sitting unused for far too long. I am thrilled that we have 
Wahleah Johns, Wahleah is on board as the director of the 
Indian Energy program. I am excited to work with these parts of 
our DOE teams and collaborate on our collective desire to make 
sure that we move all communities forward and take advantage of 
the opportunity of clean energy.
    I want to mention that the interagency working group on 
coal communities work that we are leading, that Department of 
Energy, is leading from the executive order that President 
Biden signed, which is focused on smart investment and the 
economic future that is place-based strategies for communities 
affected by the coal transition, that particular report fully 
recognizes the Navajo and the Hopi and many other Tribal 
Nations that are affected by the shifting economics of the 
fossil fuel industry. And we want to proactively work with them 
so the tribes are totally part and parcel of our place-based 
and coal community and power plant community strategy.
    Mrs. Kirkpatrick. Thank you very much. You know, it is 
complicated because the coal industry provides a lot of jobs. 
So it is sort of a tradeoff. We don't want to lose those jobs 
where in some communities that is all there is.
    And so--but they want to transition into clean energy and 
so, you know, it is--we appreciate your interest and we would 
love to work with you going forward on how we make that happen 
for the best interest of the people who live up there.
    Secretary Granholm. Great.
    Mrs. Kirkpatrick. Thank you.
    Secretary Granholm. Thank you.
    Mrs. Kirkpatrick. I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Kirkpatrick. 
Congressman Newhouse.
    Mr. Newhouse. Thank you very much for recognizing me. Also 
thank Ranking Member Simpson, both of you, for holding this 
important hearing.
    Secretary Granholm, thank you very much for joining us 
today. It is still morning where I am, but I want to 
congratulate you, as others have, on your confirmation as well. 
As you probably know, at least I hope you do, my district 
contains the Hanford site.
    Secretary Granholm. Oh, yes.
    Mr. Newhouse. Good. It is our Nation's largest cleanup 
effort, and no one is more impacted by this cleanup than the 
surrounding communities of what we call the Tri-Cities. And 
certainly no one is more invested in its safe and expeditious 
cleanup than these communities, and I would say the men and 
women who make up the world-class workforce at this site.
    As you know, at least I hope you recall, I sent you a 
letter in March inviting you to tour the Hanford site and learn 
more about the clean up first hand. As I wrote, I really can't 
fully express my disappointment in what I would call 
unprofessional and unprecedented in the letter sent to you by 
our State's attorney general and the State director of ecology 
just mere hours after your confirmation vote.
    In that letter, and mind you that the State has a formal 
regulatory role at Hanford, but these State leaders signed 
their names, alongside multiple special interest groups outside 
the Tri-Cities area. And, frankly, I am embarrassed that this 
was your first interaction on behalf of our State, especially 
when there is so much we should be working to partner on. I 
can't begin to tell you the harm it causes when State officials 
defer to special interests over the voices and concerns of 
local communities who are directly impacted.
    At the heart of the letter, though, is a rule that began 
being developed during the Obama administration and it was 
finalized by the Trump administration to let science dictate 
our cleanup actions and the classification of waste at sites 
like Hanford. It must be stated, for the record, that there is 
overwhelming consensus in the scientific communities, both 
domestically as well as internationally, but a risk-based 
approach to nuclear waste management basing decisions on the 
actual radiological characteristics of the waste rather than 
where it was originated, is the safest approach for this 
important work.
    And contrary to what you may have heard from the State, 
this has nothing to do and should have nothing to do with 
politics. Even our local newspaper's editorial board stated, 
and I quote: What does Trump got to do with nuclear waste? 
Nothing. So don't go there, end quote.
    We cannot and should not be bringing politics into these 
serious decisions, and yet that seems to be what is happening. 
There are many challenges facing the Hanford site. So much work 
that needs to be accomplished and it requires a good-faith 
effort from all parties to overcome these challenges and 
develop comprehensive solutions.
    So to have this letter sent at the start of our 
relationship, I believe, achieves nothing more than creating 
contentious distraction. So I thank you for your patience. I 
truly do. And what I would like to ask is, if you could speak 
to your views on a science-based approach for the environmental 
management mission within the Department of Energy and whether 
you will commit to taking a science-based approach for decision 
making at sites like Hanford?
    And Madam Secretary, let me just add, when we do have the 
pleasure of you coming out to tour Hanford, I hope we can also 
have your commitment to meet with the mayors, community leaders 
in the Tri-Cities area to ensure their voices are heard by the 
Federal Government. So look forward to your response.
    Secretary Granholm. Thank you so much, Congressman. First 
of all, thank you for your outreach and your partnership on 
this. Clearly, we, this administration, certainly DOE, is a 
believer in science. That is what our Department does, and we 
believe that that is important. I do recognize that there is 
some friction and controversy, and I think the most important 
thing to realize about the environmental management effort at 
DOE is that we really do want to work with communities and make 
sure that things are done based on science and in a way that is 
acceptable to communities and bring people along with us.
    So I very much look forward to meeting with you and the 
mayors and community leaders and to whoever you think should be 
invited so that I can hear and see and experience first hand 
what you have been dealing with at Hanford and how we can make 
sure that the progress that has been made continues.
    So I look forward to working with you on that.
    Mr. Newhouse. And as far as the science-based approach, 
could you comment on that as well?
    Secretary Granholm. Yes. Yeah. No, no. I am reaffirming 
that we believe in a science-based approach, of course.
    Ms. Kaptur. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Mr. Newhouse. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congressman Newhouse.
    And I believe that Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chairwoman 
Lee, is next up.
    Mrs. Lee of Nevada. Might be Susie Lee?
    Ms. Kaptur. Oh, all right. Oh, I am sorry. All right. I 
thought someone had left. All right. I am sorry. Okay. 
Congresswoman Susie Lee. I am so sorry.
    Mrs. Lee of Nevada. That is okay. Well, I did have to step 
out because we just honored Juliana Urtubey as the national 
teacher of the year. She is the first Nevada national teacher 
of the year, so I am in a school having just celebrated. So 
exciting day on teacher appreciation week, but it is really a 
pleasure to have you, Secretary Granholm. Thank you, chairwoman 
and ranking member, for having this hearing.
    We have connected on this issue a few times, but I would be 
remiss if I didn't talk about nuclear waste in the Yucca 
Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. Yucca Mountain has been a 
failure of both policy and science for decades now with 
millions of dollars wasted and nothing to show for it. So I am 
greatly encouraged that this administration has committed to 
developing an alternative to the use of Yucca Mountain for the 
storage of nuclear waste.
    Secretary, could you elaborate on how the administration 
plans to work with States, Tribal governments, and other 
stakeholders to develop a consent-based siting process for 
nuclear waste storage?
    Secretary Granholm. Yes. Thank you for raising this. I know 
we have spoken about it, but just for everybody, the Department 
is really actively developing a strategic approach to moving 
forward with that consent-based sited Federal interim storage 
facility, which is what we are authorized to be able to do. We 
want to use and we will use the $20 million this committee 
included in the fiscal year 2021 bill to make progress on that 
interim storage.
    The possible steps, maybe, the Department might take 
include requests for information, engaging with stakeholders 
and Tribal governments, establishing a funding mechanism for 
interested communities, organizations, maybe Tribal governments 
to explore the concept of consent-based siting of Federal 
interim storage facility. So we, just so that you know, the 
Department of Energy hopes to announce the next steps with this 
process in the coming months.
    Mrs. Lee of Nevada. Thank you. I look forward to that. And 
I just want to give recognition to my colleague, Chuck 
Fleischmann and I are going to co-chair a nuclear waste caucus 
and so we hope to be able to work with you on that.
    Secretary Granholm. Great.
    Mrs. Lee of Nevada. I now want to shift to renewable energy 
and grid modernization. Nevada is a leader in renewable energy 
generation especially solar and has committed to a 50 percent 
standard by 2030 and a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but 
to achieve these goals, Nevada and--not in Nevada, but also 
across the U.S., major upgrades will obviously be needed to the 
grid infrastructure.
    How does the administration plan to support and manage the 
upgrades needed to modernize the power grid and support new 
renewable energy sources?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. Absolutely agree that we have got 
to invest in a 21st century grid that powers the 21st century 
economy. We are creating--your goals are a mirror or maybe 
informed the U.S.' decision to have that as their goal as well.
    So we need to make investments in our transmission lines to 
help move the electricity to where it is needed. So we need to 
add capacity to the grid. We need to add resiliency to the 
grid. We need to harden the grid.
    The Department of Energy has been leading in this space, as 
I am sure you are aware, through the coordination efforts of 
the Grid Modernization initiative that brings our R&D offices 
and national labs together with utilities and regulators and 
policymakers to support the research.
    I think it is also important to note as we talk about the 
grid that in order to add capacity, we are going to need to be 
able to make those investments, the American Jobs Plan has a 
significant component of that infrastructure piece attached to 
the transmission grid.
    So hopefully that can be the way that we are able to get 
across the finish line, the building of the grid that we know 
that we need.
    Mrs. Lee of Nevada. Great. You know, your answer just leads 
to my final point I would like to make. Beyond our reputation 
as a national leader in energy generation, we are also 
recognized for our progress in data storage security. Companies 
like Switch, which is headquartered in my district, are 
enabling new technological capabilities to ensure secure data 
storage and transfer.
    So as you mentioned hardening our grid security, I hope 
that you will accept our invitation to visit and learn from our 
local leaders here who are working to help the DOE improve its 
data storage. We would love to have you come visit.
    Secretary Granholm. Invitation accepted.
    Mrs. Lee of Nevada. Thank you.
    And I yield.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Susie Lee 
and Chuck Fleischmann, thank you for working together on the 
interim storage issue and I hope also the Department can 
comment on what can we use the Yucca Mountain hole for? Maybe 
you can give some thought to that as well since the taxpayers 
have invested in it.
    I wanted to turn next to Congresswoman Herrera Beutler. 
Thank you.
    Ms. Herrera Beutler. Thank you, Madam Chair. I know we have 
talked a lot about Hanford. I did also want to hit on it as the 
Columbia River makes up the southern border of my district in 
southwest Washington State and we are obviously directly down 
stream from Hanford where approximately 56 million gallons of 
nuclear waste is stored in underground tanks.
    And I know that Representative Lee, Representative 
Fleischmann, Representative Newhouse are all in this space and 
I wanted to just add my voice that this is obviously--you know, 
my feeling is this is a significant Federal liability. And 
getting it out of the tanks and treating it is critically 
important for my district and the environmental health of our 
region and the wild salmon runs that are very important to 
those of us who live along the Columbia River.
    And with that in mind, the Department of Energy announced 
last week that the single shell tanks at Hanford, B-109 is 
leaking. And it was somewhat reassuring to hear that DOE has 
stated that the leak poses no imminent threat to the ground 
water or to the public and that our Governor, Jay Inslee, has 
agreed with this assessment, but obviously there are a lot of 
folks concerned.
    And I know this is on your radar. There is no way it is 
not. And I just wanted to raise that and say it is also an 
issue that I am following. And then I want to switch to ask a 
question about pump storage.
    Again, along the Columbia River as you go up to my 
district, the water power technologies offices within EERE 
released a pump storage hydropower evaluation guide book in 
March of 2021 and that used the Goldendale closed loop pump 
storage project in my district as a case study. I was thrilled 
about this.
    Pump storage hydropower like the nearly 1,300-megawatt 20-
hour Goldendale project can provide cleaner energy, more jobs 
to our communities, and more than 3,000, actually, in our case 
in Goldendale.
    So I wanted to ask what role you see pump storage 
hydropower playing in the path to a more renewable energy in 
Washington State and across the Nation, obviously?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. I agree with you. Michigan has a 
huge pump storage facility off of Lake Michigan as well. It 
serves as delivering some great energy and energy storage in 
our State, so I understand the importance of it and of, you 
know, the need to be able to develop this clean source of 
    We all know that these big facilities are very expensive, 
but it is another aspect of how as a Nation we may want to 
choose to invest up front to bring down the cost, to cost 
share, to do public-private partnerships, to make sure that 
hydropower, whether it is pump storage, frankly, or other types 
of dams and we can get into the other issues related to dams as 
well, but I think that it is a key piece.
    And if it works--and there is different kinds of pump 
storage that is being developed now through research and 
development also including removable pump storage, which is 
really, really exciting.
    So we are looking at these--this is part of a place-based 
strategy depending on where a community sits, what the 
elevations are, what the circumstances are, but I am a big 
believer in pump storage and in hydropower to begin with.
    Ms. Herrera Beutler. It is good to hear. I appreciate that. 
And kind of furthering that along on the energy storage line, 
2020 DOE established the Energy Storage Grand Challenge as the 
Department's first ever complex-wide energy storage strategy.
    And DOE finalized the grand challenge roadmap in December 
laying out strategy for the U.S. to innovate here, make it 
here, deploy it everywhere, and that includes key performance 
targets for a range of advanced energy storage technologies. 
And this initiative enjoys bipartisan support in Congress.
    The Energy Act of 2020 established energy storage 
demonstration program through my legislation the Better Energy 
Storage Technology Act, the BEST Act.
    And I just wanted to hear what actions you will--I hope 
that you will be taken to ensure the Department continues to 
prioritize the Energy Storage Grand Challenge.
    Secretary Granholm. I am so glad that you raised this and 
so glad for your leadership on it because the Biden 
administration has made big commitments to supporting a 
transition to this net-zero carbon economy, and part of that, 
of course, is getting to make big plays in energy storage 
innovation. And so winning on storage means not only support in 
critical early and applied R&D, but also in addressing one of 
the domestic manufacturing barriers across the supply chain and 
driving that demonstration and financing and deployment of the 
new technologies for grid and transportation and other uses.
    We were excited to announce the next phase of construction 
of the energy storage launch pad in Washington, the grid 
storage launch pad, and we are continuing to advance energy 
storage innovation across all of these fronts and to further 
advance the technology through demonstration and deployment 
strategies like what you see in the American Jobs Plan.
    Ms. Herrera Beutler. Thank you. Appreciate it.
    Ms. Kaptur. The gentlelady's time has expired. Thank you 
very much.
    And I must say, I share the deep interest in hydropower. 
And I have often wondered why in my part of the country where 
there is some elevation--I mean, it is not Niagara Falls out 
here where we are, but why isn't there more innovation in that 
area. I really don't know the answer to my own question, so 
thank you Congresswoman Herrera Beutler very much for your 
leadership on that.
    Congressman Kilmer, Derek Kilmer.
    Mr. Kilmer. Thank you, Madam Chair. And Madam Secretary, 
good to see you. I hope if the last 20 minutes has any takeaway 
it is that there is plenty to see in the state of Washington. I 
am proud to represent the only marine lab in the DOE complex. 
As I shared with you recently, it is PNNL's Marine and Coastal 
Research Lab in Sequim, Washington, and I really look forward 
to the chance to host you for an in-person visit when you are 
    The EERE (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) Water 
Power Technologies Office is the largest single sponsor of the 
work at the marine lab, especially through PNNL's leadership of 
the Powering the Blue Economy initiative focused on bringing 
power to ocean-based applications and remote coastal 
communities. But being on the coast also gives the unique 
first-hand view of how coastal ecosystems are affected by 
climate change and can hopefully be made more resilient and be 
able to adapt to our changing conditions.
    So I was pleased to see that the skinny budget proposed a 
significant increase for foundational research with the focus 
on climate and clean energy science. We have one of the crown 
jewels in my district when it comes to understanding climate 
change and working to mitigate it.
    I was hoping you could discuss with us the role you see DOE 
and the labs playing in advancing ocean and coastal science and 
technology for addressing climate change?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. Thanks for asking that. I know 
the marine science lab at PNNL supports, as you were saying, a 
wide range of research capabilities, including, you know, the 
biotechnical side and harnessing sustainable energy from 
coastal environments and the study of environmental impacts on 
marine species and access to diverse marine environments.
    I am super interested in, because of our Department of 
Energy piece of things, I am really interested in exploring the 
energy components of our clean energy, whether it is wave 
power, whether it is, you know, floating turbines. I mean, you 
name it. There is a whole array of technologies in addition to 
the sustainable, environmental research that is being done.
    So I hope to visit the facility in my time as secretary and 
see first-hand the amazing work that is being done. And I still 
am thrilled that it is in Sequim.
    Mr. Kilmer. I am going to get a punch card for the number 
of times Sequim is mentioned in this committee. I am going to 
get a free latte out of this, I am sure. I represent a district 
that is, unfortunately, already seeing the consequences of 
climate change in coastal areas, and I appreciate that the 
administration's ``skinny budget'' called for quadrupling clean 
energy research over the next 4 years, including more than $8 
billion for DOE research in fiscal year 2022.
    With President Biden calling for the electric power sector 
to get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, I am proud that 
Washington State is already a leader in this effort. We are 
lucky to have a lot of clean energy tools in our toolbox 
already, but we know there is a lot of work to do in the 
advanced renewable space and grid modernization to meet this 
ambitious but scientifically mandated goal.
    Where do you see the most bang for DOE's buck when it comes 
to catalyzing investments in new carbon-free energy 
technologies? Do you plan to prioritize specific technologies 
whether that be wind or solar or nuclear? Will the focus be on 
how to effectively meet different categories of demand like 
base load versus peak versus on demand?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. This is a great question and, you 
know, you love all of your children, all your renewable energy 
and clean energy technologies, but I do think in terms of the 
biggest bang for your buck, I think research will demonstrate 
that it still is in solar and wind. We just announced that big 
offshore wind goal of 30 gigawatts and that is really 
    We have got to add, though, you know, hundreds and hundreds 
of gigawatts of clean energy to the grid. And so our focus will 
be both on doing the research that is necessary, but also now 
on deploying. And one of the biggest tools that we have in our 
deployment toolbox is through our Loan Programs Office and they 
are working on the whole suite of technologies to be able to 
assist in that deployment.
    And as you probably are aware, the President has a climate 
cabinet. So we are working together, the offices across 
government. So, you know, the Department of Interior is part of 
that. Department of Transportation is a part of that. 
Obviously, if we are going to add capacity to the grid, some of 
that is due to the increased demand due to electrification of 
the transportation sector. So that means that we also have to 
not just invest in the grid, but invest in energy storage and 
the capabilities associated with those batteries inside of the 
vehicles, and that means we have to invest in the supply chain 
to those.
    That is why this energy sector, man, there is just so much 
in terms of economic opportunity across the country. Because 
whether you are mining for cobalt or lithium or you are 
installing batteries in electric vehicles or you are installing 
them on the grid or you are installing wind turbines or you are 
installing solar panels or you are making any of those, it is 
just the whole suite. But in terms of the biggest bang for your 
buck in terms of adding gigawatts to the grid, it still 
continues to be in solar and wind.
    Ms. Kaptur. The gentleman's time has expired. I call on 
Congressman Reschenthaler.
    I just wanted to mention Congresswoman Frankel would be 
next in line, Congresswoman Bustos, Congresswoman Watson 
Coleman, and Congressman Ryan. And thank you, Madam Secretary, 
for your endurance.
    Congressman Reschenthaler.
    Mr. Reschenthaler. Thank you, Madam Chair. I appreciate it, 
and thank you also to the Ranking Member Simpson for holding 
this hearing today and obviously, Madam Secretary, thanks for 
being here as well.
    Madam Secretary, as you might know, I don't know if you do 
know, but NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory) is right 
outside my district, and it has been a long-term global leader 
in carbon capture research and development. And during the last 
administration, NETL and the DOE partnered with industry to 
conduct detailed engineering studies on building commercial 
skill carbon capture projects.
    And so I am really happy to see the DOE's recent FOA 
(Funding Opportunity Announcement) to continue these 
partnerships. So with that, Madam Secretary, can you describe 
how your Department plans to develop a portfolio of carbon 
capture applications from power plants to industrial 
applications to carbon removal as Congress authorizes the 
Energy Act?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. Thank you for asking this 
question. As I was mentioning, we have got the Fossil Energy 
office and you will see there will be an increase coming to you 
for them for this work on carbon capture because they will be 
doing all of this work in carbon management and in partnering 
with NETL.
    And, you know, CCUS is obviously a key part of technologies 
that hold this amazing promise for reducing mitigating carbon 
pollution, both on the industrial side and on the power plant 
side. It is just important for you to know that the head of 
NETL right now is a fellow named Brian Anderson, Dr. Brian 
Anderson. We just appointed him to be head of our 
intergovernmental working group on coal and power plant 
communities to be able to bring these kinds of technologies to 
coal and fossil communities to make sure we can prove them out 
and not only install the technologies, but what we would like 
to see is industrial sectors, industrial ecosystems around 
building those technologies and then being effectively able to 
export them.
    That is true on carbon capture, it is true on blue 
hydrogen, for example, being able to attach steam methane 
reform to natural gas in those communities that are fossil 
communities to clean up and sequester. That means you have to 
build pipelines as well, so that is another job component.
    So the bottom line is, the technologies associated with 
fossil fuels and managing the carbon from those fossil fuels 
are a big priority of the Department of Energy and certainly of 
our fossil energy office and of the administration.
    Mr. Reschenthaler. Thanks, Madam Secretary. With the 2 
minutes I have remaining, I just want to talk about 
alternatives to uses of carbon. Accelerating in the pulling of 
alternate uses of coal--I am sorry. I meant coal not carbon.
    Secretary Granholm. Got it.
    Mr. Reschenthaler. Yeah. Excuse me. When we look at this, 
you can look at NETL and NETL is currently overseeing an early 
stage process to develop material from coal, including coal-
derived carbon foams and coal to plastic composites, but I 
think more investment is needed to turn these materials into 
actual products that are used in the real world for real world 
    So just two-part question: What is the Department doing to 
facilitate and accelerate this R&D and is there interagency 
coordination or opportunities for collaboration?
    With that, I yield back.
    Secretary Granholm. Yes. Yes, there is. And yes, we are 
really interested in both extracting critical minerals from 
coal, using extracting materials that can be reused. So 
recycling essentially. Coal waste is being explored by NETL, 
but there is also a Critical Minerals Institute in Iowa, the 
Ames Laboratory.
    You know, getting critical minerals as well out of recycled 
products like batteries that have been left, you know--that are 
through their life cycle. And I would say, too--I mean, I know 
you didn't specifically--you asked about coal and recycling, 
but I will just say because it feeds into this notion of 
critical minerals and critical materials, we have got to, as a 
Nation, think about what the whole life stream of that is, 
including being able to mine responsibly for critical minerals 
and process them because we do not have any processing of 
critical minerals in terms of like cobalt or lithium, et 
cetera, for batteries in the United States.
    So that whole suite is what we are focused on and we are 
absolutely coordinated inside the Department and with the 
Department of Defense as well who is very interested in us 
being able to take this forward.
    Mr. Reschenthaler. And I would just say, it is actually 
beneficial to us from an environmental standpoint to mine 
cobalt and these minerals here where we have environmental 
standards as opposed to relying on China or nations in Africa 
that don't have the standards we have.
    But, Madam Chair, thank you so much. I will see you on the 
second round.
    With that, I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Congressman Reschenthaler. 
Congresswoman Frankel.
    Ms. Frankel. Thank you, Madam Chair. And Madam Secretary, 
thank you for being with us. Congratulations. What a great 
appointment by the President.
    I am sure you are aware that the pandemic has been 
especially hard on women in terms of jobs. More women have 
dropped out of the job market and there is a lot of reasons for 
that--schools closing, their jobs were just--people were not 
going to their job places.
    I love the President's Family and Job Plan, but I read a 
study that said that traditional infrastructure jobs are mostly 
filled by men.
    So my first question to you is, what are you planning to do 
or what can be done to make sure that women get their fair 
share of these infrastructure jobs?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. It is a really--I mean, again, it 
depends on how you define infrastructure, right, because many 
believe that the care infrastructure is infrastructure as well 
and that is included in the American Jobs Plan, but with 
respect to traditional infrastructure and I would say as well 
at the Department of Energy, we are focused on science, 
technology, engineering, and math, so the STEM fields which 
disproportionately have gone to men.
    And I would say we have a diversity problem with respect to 
people of color in the STEM fields, so women and people of 
    And this is a priority for the Biden administration in 
terms of the pipeline. The data makes it clear that action is 
necessary. We can't compete if we aren't empowering every 
American to bring their best, if we are not--if we are not 
holding up women.
    So the workforce training piece of things on the 
traditional infrastructure is important. Let me just say that 
it is not just lifting and heavy. There is a lot of logistics 
work associated with infrastructure in the traditional bricks 
and mortar sense. And there is a lot of women who are 
interested in moving into that.
    I use every opportunity and I hope you to do, too, to be 
able to uphold some of the trades works that are being done now 
because women are moving in, but it is at a much slower pace. 
But I will say they are great jobs and they provide great 
benefits, and we want to encourage diversifying the skilled 
trades, as well as the logistics and the design and the 
architecture and the science pieces, the soup to nuts bringing 
of women on.
    Let me just say a word about what we are doing at DOE here. 
We are really focused on beefing up that pipeline. We have 
taken all these projects and our national labs have, to the 
universities they often are attached to, to really open up and 
give people--give diverse communities a window into what it is 
like to be able to be a scientist at the labs and solving the 
world's biggest problems.
    I am glad to say that this next generation of interns that 
we are seeing is much more diverse, but we have a lot more work 
to do.
    Ms. Frankel. Well, I am really happy to hear your comments 
and just my comments shouldn't be interpreted to mean that 
women need to be pushed into men's jobs. I believe that women's 
work should be--they should be paid their fair wages.
    And as I know a wonderful advocate, I hope that when you 
get with your cabinet that you really push to make sure 
whatever job plan we push that women are going to be able to 
get back into the job market whether that is in the care 
industry, which is so important, and make sure women are being 
paid properly.
    My second--I am going to say this quick question. The 
President, he has a goal of cutting greenhouse emissions in 
half by the end of decade. Just on a big picture, what is the 
most important thing as a society we have to do? Is it to 
change the way our transportation, the way we build buildings, 
the way we light up buildings? What is the big picture if you 
can wave a magic wand?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. I mean, you started to mention 
it. It is not just one thing. It is a suite of things. We have 
to focus on efficiency, so that means the buildings sector. We 
have to focus on transportation because we haven't done what we 
need to do, so that means batteries, electric vehicles, 
charging stations.
    We certainly have to add new generation to the electric 
grid and we have got to manage the emissions that we are 
already in the midst of spewing, which is what the carbon 
capture, use, and sequestration is all about. We have got so 
many potential job creation opportunities.
    Again, I just focus on the jobs because I am obsessed with 
job creation, but in the whole suite of clean energy gigawatts 
that we have to add to the grid, there are a huge amount of 
jobs and it is in the whole suite of things. So don't ask me to 
pick one. It has got to be all. It is a shotgun, not a silver 
    Ms. Frankel. All right. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
    I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you. I want to thank Congresswoman 
Frankel for her leadership always on inclusion. And I want to 
say to the Secretary, in the past administration and even 
before that, I have tried to get the Secretaries of Energy to 
come up with a creative idea that would engage members of 
Congress in locating individuals who could come to the DOE in 
some capacity.
    For example, I will make you aware that members appoint 
young people. We nominate people to West Point, Annapolis, the 
Air Force Academy, et cetera. And every year we do that. We 
have a congressional arts competition. We pick individuals, and 
they win an award and their artwork is hung in the Capitol of 
the United States. Every member does that.
    And we have no such opportunity from the Department of 
Energy, whether it would be to select someone who could work in 
one of the labs, send names in, send a set of names in.
    The same is true with the--I don't know if the Department 
is going to create a climate corps, but I really would urge you 
to consider in this early part of the administration a way to 
better connect members to their own constituencies and places 
in America that have never touched the Department of Energy 
where there are institutions of higher learning and community 
engagement. And I just put that on the record, and I thank 
Congresswoman Frankel for trying to help America be more 
inclusive at every level.
    Now we will turn to Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois.
    Mrs. Bustos. Thank you, Madam Chair, and also to our 
ranking member.
    Secretary Granholm, very good to see you and appreciate you 
being here for the hearing so we can really talk a little bit 
about taking a closer look at your Department of Energy budget 
and requests for 2022. I don't think this has been approached 
yet, but I am certainly maybe going to be the first person to 
bring this up to you, at least for this subcommittee hearing, 
but renewable fuels like biodiesel and ethanol really, really 
important to rural economies.
    We have got 40 percent of the corn that is produced 
domestically is processed to produce ethanol, and these fuels 
have the potential to reduce our carbon emissions right now. 
And I always want to make sure that I bring that up because I 
come from corn country and soybean country. But wondering, 
Madam Secretary, where do you feel that biofuels will fit into 
the Department of Energy's and the Biden administration's 
blueprint for net-zero future?
    Secretary Granholm. Great. Thank you for asking this. We 
actually have a whole biofuels and bioenergy team that is 
working on this. They do great work, so I am really glad that 
you asked.
    Electric vehicles, obviously, have emerged as this great 
technology, which they are, for light-duty vehicles like cars 
and SUVs, but pick-ups, heavy-duty transportation modes that 
really need more of an energy density of liquid fuels, that is 
where biofuels are going to play a critical role and that is 
especially true in aviation and marine fuels.
    So we think they have a huge role to play especially in, 
you know, long-haul trucking, you know, other areas, too, like 
can we meet critical needs with biofuels relying on sustainable 
production methods and sources and levels.
    So I feel very bullish about this bottom line. We see 
biofuels playing a big role and we think that those refineries 
can be producing and should be producing aviation biofuels 
right now because the aviation industry is really interested as 
a demand to take that off-take.
    This is very exciting and it is not much to retrofit a 
biofuel refinery to be able to produce aviation fuel. So we 
have got our team working on this, and I will keep you posted 
because I think it is really exciting.
    Mrs. Bustos. Very good. Thank you. Thank you, Madam 
Secretary, and looking forward to working with you on that. If 
we can go to nuclear energy for just a second. I know we have 
had some questions about this, but as you look at the last 
several years, Congress has included funds for efforts to 
extend the life of existing commercial nuclear reactor fleets.
    These are funds that have been important for nuclear power 
stations and the jobs--we have been talking a lot about jobs, 
you have been talking a lot about jobs, but the really, really 
good jobs that they support and it is true in and around the 
congressional district that I represent.
    Wondering what you see as the role for the existing nuclear 
fleet in the budget request and what specific R&D activities 
can be pursued to maintain the cost competitiveness and 
vitality of the current fleet of nuclear power plants for their 
life expectancy?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. I mean, the DOE has not 
historically subsidized plants, but I think this is a moment to 
consider and perhaps it is in the American Jobs Plan or 
somewhere to make sure that we keep the current fleet active. 
The U.S. has, what, 93 operating nuclear reactors and that 
accounts for 52 percent of our emissions-free electricity 
    And as you say, they employ thousands of people. I mean, I 
think in Illinois you have got a couple of--maybe even four 
reactors that are scheduled to come offline and, you know, we 
are not going to be able to achieve our climate goals if our 
nuclear power plants shut down.
    We have to find ways to keep them operating. And so one 
way, of course, is--I know the American Jobs Plan establishes 
an energy efficiency and clean energy standard, which includes 
nuclear and that creates demand for nuclear power, right, while 
cutting electricity bills, but this question of some direct 
subsidy or some way to support these plants to stay open that 
is still an open question, but I know that this administration 
will be eager to work with Congress on it.
    Mrs. Bustos. Very good. And we look forward to working with 
you on that. With my remaining 20 some seconds, I will yield 
back the remainder of my time.
    And Madam Secretary, thank you very much for your time.
    Secretary Granholm. Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Congresswoman Bustos. And as always, 
you have your finger on what is important. I wanted to say to 
the Secretary that on the nuclear issue, I am glad to hear that 
the administration is taking a very close look at that.
    I think many members of this committee, maybe all, share 
deep concern about that and I think linking whatever is going 
to be proposed to your place-based strategy for long-term 
development holds great potential for places in the country 
that are still digging out from the 2008 recession. And that is 
a longer conversation.
    Just also to put on the record that the Department of 
Energy has signed an executive agreement with the Department of 
Agriculture, never fully developed, to work in different areas.
    Congresswoman Bustos talked about renewable fuels. Very 
important issue, as well as carbon capture in those fields, but 
the Congresswoman Barbara Lee and I have been working for years 
to no avail with the Department of Energy and the Department of 
Agriculture on creating a climate controlled four season 
greenhouse that would be able to produce food, obviously, and 
have had more trouble with linking the Department of 
Agriculture to the Department of Energy, despite this executive 
agreement. The current greenhouse has leaked CO2 like crazy, 
and there are a lot of other energy efficiencies that can be 
included in materials research and so forth.
    So here you have two Members of Congress--I don't want to 
mix up Congresswoman Susie Lee who is on our subcommittee with 
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, but it is Barbara Lee who also 
serves on Appropriations. We are both really highly frustrated. 
It isn't your fault; you are brand-new, but what I am just 
saying that on this issue of energy and agriculture, there has 
to be some continuing dialogue. It shouldn't be this hard to 
get these two mammoth departments to work together on key 
energy-related technologies. So I just wanted to--we will send 
a follow-up. You don't have to say a word. That is another 
issue that is up before, certainly on your plate.
    Congresswoman Watson Coleman.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, Madam Chairman. You know, 
it is kind of tough being at the end of the question line 
because my colleagues and I share so many of the same 
    So it is good to see you, Secretary, and congratulations on 
your appointment. You certainly have represented yourself here 
as the person that should be in this position at this time, so 
I thank you.
    So I had a lot of questions, most of which have been 
answered, but I want to run through a couple. This whole issue 
of nuclear energy. I am very concerned about what we can do 
with the spent fuel. Other countries recycle it and use it for 
more energy.
    I am wondering, do we have any research projects into 
looking at that issue, in particular?
    Secretary Granholm. Yes, we do. We are looking at it. Of 
course, we are interested in figuring out what to do with the 
existing boat load of waste--spent fuel that we already have 
out there too, but both are happening.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you. I was happy to hear Derek 
Kilmer, my colleague, speak to you about the whole issue of 
coastal resiliency because New Jersey, you know, is a coastal 
State. So I don't have to ask you that because it is already 
been addressed. My sister here, Lois Frankel, has raised a 
diversity issue, and she and I both share this issue.
    I am very concerned about the under representation of 
people of color in the leadership positions in the national 
laboratories. And I want to know what you all are thinking of 
doing to encourage greater recruitment and greater employment 
of those individuals, in particular?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. We have a full on program; in 
fact, we just had--is today the sixth? Yeah. Yesterday--no. 
Yes. May the 4. On May 4, we had a JEDI, as in Star Wars, but 
it meant Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion effort to 
really elevate this and to put specific goals on having both a 
pipeline that is diverse, but also that we are looking at what 
the entire Department looks like.
    I mean, to be honest, the Department of Energy needs to do 
work on this. And we have been very strategic and specifically 
focused on making diversity a top priority, making equity a top 
priority. Shalanda Baker just appointed as our head of our 
Department of our equity efforts across the board, and she also 
serves on our external facing efforts for frontline 
    So, no, we are all in on this. It is critical that we 
develop this pipeline that is diverse because that is also how 
you get the best science done.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, ma'am. I look forward to 
having further information coming forth and having this 
discussion as we move further into the future.
    My last question has to do with FERC (Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission). I introduced the SAFER Pipeline Act, 
which would improve the review process for national gas 
pipeline projects. And I am very concerned about FERC expanding 
its review process to take into consideration things like the 
impact on natural resources, the impact to socioeconomic 
impact, the environmental impact, the impact on communities, as 
well as the concentration of projects already in certain areas 
where they are entertaining a new application.
    It doesn't seem that they take in to consideration what is 
already there and is this particular project needed or can this 
project connect to another project. And, therefore, not cause 
any more disruptions.
    But even in that vein with regard to just sort of other 
energy projects coming forth, how will we ensure that there is 
this examination in the area that the projects are being 
proposed that takes into consideration what exists, its 
socioeconomic and environmental impact on what already exists?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. This is a great question. And 
with respect to FERC, I have a biweekly meeting with the new 
chairman, Chairman Glick and I know they are looking at this. 
And if you would like, I can follow up with him and make sure 
that we brief you, in particular, on what their process is.
    I can't have conversation with him about specific cases 
that they may be looking at, but in terms of general policy I 
know he is very sensitive to this context sensitive argument 
and I would be happy to arrange a follow up with you on it so 
that you know exactly what they are looking at.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you. I am very interested in 
having that conversation because in the last administration, I 
wasn't so confident that we were looking at the far-range 
implication of placement of new projects where there were 
already existing projects. Thank you very much.
    With that, I yield, Madam Chair.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Watson 
Coleman. And you stayed within the time limit. Hard to do 
    Congressman Ryan.
    Mr. Ryan. Thank you, Madam Chair. Welcome, Madam Secretary. 
Great to see you. I hope that--I love watching you and our 
Chairwoman interact. I think of Michigan and Toledo and Ohio, 
and who says Ohio and Michigan can't get along and get 
something good done together?
    We are excited to have you. I have got a couple of very 
parochial Ohio centric questions that I just want to run by 
    On the 20 of this January, the Department of Energy 
announced that it was partnering with Youngstown State 
University and DOE's Oak Ridge National Lab, which you heard a 
lot about from the gentleman from Tennessee, to develop 
advanced workforce development for the battery manufacturing 
industry and there is $1 million involved to assist in the 
development of an Energy Storage Workforce Innovation Center, 
which will serve as a training center based in the Midwest. And 
the training center would support the battery and EV 
manufacturing industry in northeast Ohio, which is now become 
known as the Voltage Valley due to the number of investments 
made by the electric vehicle industry, and helping supply a 
capable workforce.
    So the development of the National Energy Storage Workforce 
Training and Innovation Center will be key to building a 
sustainable workforce for all sectors within the energy storage 
industry and this center concept is already in development 
through a partnership with General Motors and Ultium cells in 
partnership with Youngstown State.
    I know this investment is going to be put to good use, but 
I am hopeful that it is not just a one-time investment because 
we have a lot of work to do here to bring not only the Energy 
Department's resources, but also its expertise to these areas 
as we are talking about developing these other pockets.
    And so many times as our Chairwoman advocates for some of 
these regions get overlooked both by D.C. and venture 
capitalists that drive the kind of innovation that we need. So 
what plans does the Department have to assist places like 
northeast Ohio that are outside the typical high tech, high 
venture capital regions?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. Congressman, I know you and I 
have spoken about this and we share this deep love for the 
industrial Midwest and congratulations, you guys got that 
battery plant, which is fantastic. And as we often say with 
respect to workforce development, you can't develop a workforce 
when the jobs aren't there, but when the job is there, then you 
can really tailor training around those job creation 
    So if we are going to create an industrial cluster that is 
called ``Voltage Valley,'' that means that workforce has to be 
a key component of it and it has to be ongoing. So this is a 
conversation I know that I have had not specifically with 
respect to Ohio, but in general with respect to creating 
industrial clusters with Secretary Walsh at the Department of 
    This has to be a commitment on the part of industry and 
government to have an ongoing support and, obviously, as you 
know, often it is in partnership with a local provider like a 
community college as well that gets inculcated into a 
curriculum, a curriculum that is nimble because the technology 
is changing all the time as well.
    So we are fully supportive of this wraparound strategy of 
creating place-based industrial clusters. You have got the 
start of that with this--you have got more than a start, but at 
least with this job creation, job provider announcement, and 
now working with GM, working with the cell manufacturer having 
a strategy that trains people specifically how they would like 
to be trained on site is key.
    And I will just quickly say because I don't want to absorb 
too much of your time, but the apprenticeship model that has 
been identified in the American Jobs Plan, for example, would 
be a perfect fit for this because having apprenticeships, 
obviously, that hands-on experience is really critical to 
getting a good job down the pike.
    Mr. Ryan. Great. We will follow up with that.
    Another area that I represent is the Appalachian region, 
which is part of my district that has produced a good deal of 
energy over the years, made steel, grown the food, has done, 
you know, a lot of things right over the years.
    And with the modern global economy, many of these 
communities have been left behind as we have talked about. So I 
know you are committed to this, but I want to address a quick 
issue in Ohio and the community in Ohio that I have been 
working on for over a decade now in Pike County and it is a 
small, rural Appalachian community in southern Ohio and it was 
selected by the U.S. Government to construct a gaseous 
diffusion plant in the 1950s. It was producing enriched uranium 
for our nuclear arsenal, and for decades people worked there, 
Cold War, and then it was used for commercial reactors.
    The operation ceased in 2001, and I just want to get this 
on your radar screen, Madam Chair, if I can get an additional 
few seconds here. The operations stopped in 2001 and since then 
previous administrations decided to construct a landfill on the 
current site and bury much of the contaminated waste in this 
community's backyard.
    It was about a thousand feet from the nearest resident and, 
obviously, the local community protested this and they wanted 
the waste to be removed and disposed of in a separate location.
    So in recent years following the record of decision where 
determination was made to dispose most of the waste on site, 
the community discovered the presence of radioactive isotopes 
outside the plant's footprint.
    The local middle school was quarantined 2 years ago when a 
DOE monitor across the street registered positive hits for 
Neptunium. So I have been told by the community members that 
subsequent testing revealed the presence of enriched uranium 
inside the school.
    And in a tragic turn of events, several children that 
attended the middle school have been diagnosed with and 
succumbed to cancer, and Pike County now has the highest rate 
of cancer incidents in the entire State of Ohio, which is 
saying something.
    So bottom line is, the DOE has funded radiological testing 
throughout the community so that you could ascertain the extent 
of the off-site contamination and those results are expected 
later this year. Despite these concerns, The Wall Street 
Journal said that the last week that the open air demolition of 
this enormous structure plan is imminent within the week and 
the community as you can imagine is up in arms about the whole 
    So I just want to see if you would commit to a meeting with 
those people at the local level so we can get some idea at the 
top levels of the Department of Energy about the challenges and 
potential for this site, 3,700 acres and it has enormous 
potential, but we want to make sure that the people around 
there are safe.
    So I would love to get you on a call with those folks.
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. Okay. I know you are over time, 
but I just want to say, I know Ike White who is head of our 
Environmental Management Department has met with local 
community. I am happy to follow up with you. Obviously, safety 
is the highest priority. So thank you for raising it and we can 
follow up.
    Mr. Ryan. Great. I appreciate it, Madam Secretary. Madam 
Chairman, I will submit another question for the record as 
    Ms. Kaptur. All right. Thank you, Congressman Ryan. I gave 
you the extra time for the children.
    Mr. Ryan. Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. And Speaker Pelosi always says, we are here for 
the children. So thank you and thank you, Madam Secretary. We 
are now going to move into a second round.
    I will ask a question or two, then we will move to Ranking 
Member Simpson, then Congresswoman Frankel, Congressman 
Fleischmann, Newhouse, and Reschenthaler.
    So Madam Secretary, I hope somebody is giving you a glass 
of water there. You have really been stalwart. All right. My 
question relates to weatherization, the built in environment 
and place-based strategies. We know that the weatherization 
program is one of the Department's most meaningful meet-the-
street efforts through retrofitting existing structures.
    President Biden, through the American Jobs Plan, called to 
build, preserve, and retrofit more than 2 million homes and 
commercial buildings. We know that is not enough, but the 
weatherization program does deliver energy efficiency and 
climate savings to low-income Americans across our Nation and 
it is a lifeline for millions recovering from economic turmoil.
    To make the program work better, I have been fighting for a 
long time to bring the weatherization-related Federal agencies 
to the same table. On the ground, weatherization participants 
do not see the difference between LIHEAD, the Department of 
Energy, or HUD funding, and I am excited to work with you and 
welcome your leadership to develop better coordination among 
the agencies on these programs.
    I have two questions: One, how do we effectively ratchet up 
the weatherization program from the local level up to make sure 
these programs are ready and capable to meet our climate goals? 
And number two, how can the weatherization program link to the 
newly authorized Department of weatherization program that is 
called ``innovation'' in that sector?
    The community scale weatherization pilot and pilot efforts 
at HUD focused on better coordination in this sector of housing 
retrofit to deliver a more equitable, just, and resilient, and 
timely reality for Americans and communities struggling to 
heat, cool, and retrofit their homes. There is a disjuncture 
between, again, these departments HHS, HUD, and DOE.
    Could you address that in some way and, if not fully, 
answer for the record?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. Thank you so much, Madam Chair. I 
so appreciate your instinct and desire to have a Federal 
Government that actually works in tandem, where all of the 
pieces know what their role is, what their lane is, and that 
there is no crossover, but there is efficiency.
    So in the summary that we sent of the budget, I described 
the Building Clean Energy Projects Initiative, which is an 
effort that coordinates across several programs that you are 
discussing, including the Weatherization Assistance Program, 
which we are proposing to increase. And you will get that 
budget when you have the detail. And you can see--you will be 
able to see that it will be a major component of building a 
clean energy economy in which buildings and weatherization are 
a key part of that.
    Let me just give you an example. The Build Back Better 
Challenge Grant Program, that is intended to incentivize cities 
and States and Tribes to do, for example, upgrade their 
building codes, to be able to make sure that we are Building 
Back Better, but also to work with HUD and to work with our 
counterparts to make sure that the right and the left hand 
knows what they are doing.
    So, you know, I fully intend to work with my counterparts 
across the agencies to make sure we are coordinated and 
collaborating really on these programs for all Americans. And I 
will just say that DOE's program teams have a well-established 
history and practice of working with other agencies.
    But your point about the community agencies not knowing the 
difference, or people in the community not knowing the 
difference between LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance 
Program) and Weatherization Assistance, et cetera, is a really 
good one. We have got to double down on this collaboration to 
make it seamless and clear for people who are working out 
    But know that we are--the good news is that we are hoping 
to get support for a budget that increases the funding to make 
this happen so that more people can have their homes 
weatherized and particularly vulnerable folks who really need 
to spend their money on either rent or food and not on leaky 
    Ms. Kaptur. Yes, ma'am. Secretary, thank you. I really do 
think this sector needs your leadership, because as we move 
forward in Ohio--I can't speak for every State, but when the 
Department disburses its money, it comes to the State capital, 
and then they send it out to the counties. Well, if you are a 
rural county, sometimes it is a little bit easier than if you 
are one of the big metropolitan counties.
    And I won't go into all the details, but the issue of 
workforce development--I think Department of Labor should be 
involved in this as well--and recruitment so that we can 
connect individuals to developing a skill. That is not done.
    I was with a man who had worked in a weatherization program 
for 25 years on furnaces. I said, where did you get your 
apprenticeship, where did you get it? He goes, what are you 
talking about? And I told him about apprenticeship journeyman. 
He goes, I could have done that?
    So believe me, even after all these years, there is a huge 
disconnect out there at the grassroots level, so we are not 
being as successful. And then what good does it do to fix a 
furnace when the roof leaks? But DOE is not in charge of roofs. 
So who is in charge of roofs? HUD?
    You know, this is a crazy program in some ways, and I 
support it, I have increased it, but I see the management 
dysfunction, despite wonderful people trying all over. This 
could be really be an important legacy program. And I have 
asked HUD recently to please provide to the record how many 
senior citizens across this country need roofs. They are 
looking into that.
    If we think about Build Back Better and homes in the 
existing inventory, we have to have people at the top who are 
well enough informed about the housing stock to know where we 
need to focus, and people at Labor experienced enough to know 
how to help move people into whole-house retrofit.
    So enough said. You will get some additional questions on 
that, but I just wanted to bring this issue to your attention.
    And critical minerals. The modern global economy has 
increasingly come to depend on access to a number of critical 
materials, which you have addressed, and I was very pleased 
that President Biden, in his executive order in February, aimed 
to create more resilient and secure supply chains for critical 
and essential goods.
    Two clarifications. What steps has the Department of Energy 
taken in response to the executive order? And secondly, how 
does the Department of Energy plan to strengthen and build upon 
those efforts to reduce foreign dependence on critical minerals 
and to build more resilient supply chains.
    If Congressman Ruiz, the chair of the Hispanic Caucus were 
on the line, he would say, invite the Secretary out to the 
Salton Sea, because let's talk about growing up lithium, how do 
we do that better, how do we do it faster. So in any case, can 
you enlighten us a bit on how you are moving forward on that 
executive order?
    Secretary Granholm. Yes. Congressman Ruiz and I had, and 
our teams, had a phone call about this very thing yesterday. So 
you should know that DOE is working with the other agencies, 
including DOD, to produce an initial report from the executive 
order that assesses the supply chain risk and recommends 
strategies to secure the critical material supply chains while 
we support our domestic economic opportunity, right?
    So at the same time, the Department is initiating work, 
using current authorities, what we can do right now, and 
resources, and also proposing new efforts on critical minerals 
and other areas of the domestic supply chain starting now.
    So just last week, we put out a funding opportunity for 
research and development to extract critical minerals from coal 
waste, which we were describing earlier. We need to be doing so 
much more of this.
    With respect to how we plan to strengthen and build on 
those efforts to reduce foreign dependence, underpinning this 
critical minerals effort, we need for electric vehicles and 
storage and for motors and wind turbines and batteries. It is 
not just for electric vehicles. We have to do a ton here, 
especially increasing domestic supply, and it means looking for 
every source of minerals. And we are looking at innovative ways 
to get critical minerals out of this coal waste and recycled 
    And we need to have the processing, but we also need to do 
a geothermal--not a geothermal--a mineral map. We know where 
many of these places are. We just announced an award in the 
Salton Sea to be able to do a demonstration project to extract 
critical minerals. In fact, this case, of course, lithium, from 
the brine. But we need to--this is beyond demonstration. We now 
need to take it really to scale, and that is true across the 
    So our Advanced Manufacturing Office has the Critical 
Minerals Institute, which it supports at Ames National Lab. 
They are leveraging decades of the DOE investments on this, but 
the time is really now to invest in the actual partnering on 
responsibly mining and then processing as well, because the 
processing is going to provide jobs.
    And we simply can't mine and then send it off to our 
economic competitors. We should be doing the whole supply 
chain, soup to nuts, in the United States. The American Jobs 
Act is an initial signal of support and financial support at 
that for that.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Madam Secretary, very much. I 
represent one of the--the only beryllium processing facility in 
the country. And the mining occurs out west, but obviously, we 
also here in our region do aluminum, titanium. We--magnesium. I 
mean, every u-m, but it is not--it is disaggregated. And so 
this is an area where many parts of America need to put their 
shoulder to the wheel.
    I will now go to Ranking Member Simpson.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
    First, a couple of statements that I have to make before I 
ask this question. But, you know, I am not one who likes to 
kick a dead horse very much, but since my good friend, 
Congresswoman Lee, brought it up, I feel like I have to kick 
this dead horse. And believe me, I do know it is a dead horse, 
and this doesn't require a response.
    She said that Yucca Mountain had been both a political and 
a scientific failure. She is half right. It was a political 
failure. It certainly was not a scientific failure.
    Congresswoman Kaptur wanted to know what we could do with 
this $14 billion hole in the ground. I have suggested that what 
we do is maintain it as a place to put the volumes of 
scientific studies that have been done on this land as a place 
to store them, because they are numerous. I think there have 
been 53 Academy of Study Sciences, and we are going to need a 
place to store all that paperwork and all those computers and 
all that kind of stuff.
    So I would just say that. And I await with bated breath the 
interim storage proposal, something that I support. Going to 
have to have interim storage no matter what, but I look to see 
what community is going to take interim storage when the 
Federal Government is not working on permanent repository, and 
they are likely to become the permanent repository. And how 
many billions of dollars it is going to cost us to, for lack of 
a better term, bribe those communities to take this interim 
storage on, what, a hundred-year basis? That is going to be a 
challenge for us as we move into the future.
    But I do want to raise some questions that I hope to be 
able to get together with you and talk about in person, what is 
the plan for getting the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit in 
Idaho up and running, what is the Department's policy on 
calculating payments in lieu of taxes. This is something I have 
been interested for a number of years, because they are all 
different across the whole complex, and they should be the same 
across the complex.
    I want to know the Department's plan for continued 
implementation of the GeoVision study which identified great 
potential for geothermal energy and utilization of the storage 
    The other thing I would say is, I am excited by this 
conversation of critical minerals and rare earth elements and 
our dependence on foreign sources for those minerals. And if we 
are going to talk about battery, solar, wind, whatever you want 
to talk about, national security, these are vitally important. 
But I would encourage you to go to the maps that have been made 
by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) of those minerals 
and their availability, and a lot of them are on public lands.
    So I would like to be able to get together with you at some 
point, talk with the Secretary of Energy, the USGS, and 
ourselves about how we can have access to this. Because it is 
not just getting it out of other materials, but it is also 
being able to mine those materials and the process of being 
able to get permitted to do that. We need to streamline this 
process if we are not going to rely on foreign materials.
    Having said that, let me just ask you this one last 
question. Under the Plutonium Management and Disposition 
Agreement, the United States and Russia each agreed to convert 
34 metric tons of surplus weapons-grade plutonium to a form 
that could not be returned to nuclear weapons.
    The original plan was for the U.S. to build and operate the 
MOX (mixed-oxide) plant in South Carolina, which would have 
turned the plutonium into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors. 
After several years of debate, the Department decided to switch 
instead to a dilute-and-dispose approach. One of my concerns 
with this approach has been that ensuring the DOE's attention 
to the challenges of the dispose part of this plan.
    The intent is to dispose of the diluted materials at the 
Waste Isolation Pilot Project, or WIPP, in New Mexico. There 
are statutory and operational limits on how much and how 
quickly waste can be disposed of at WIPP. There have also been 
lawsuits over volume calculations and delays to the project to 
improve operations and what impact that is going to have on 
other sites that are waiting to ship true waste to WIPP.
    Can you please provide an update on the status of WIPP and 
the lawsuits? Have they been resolved or are they still 
pending? And what is the Department doing to get the projects 
to improve the operations back on track?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah, yeah. Obviously, WIPP is really 
important to DOE's legacy cleanup mission, and the big issue 
has been this utility shaft, which is a key infrastructure 
project at WIPP. And that, just to give a detail for 1 second, 
is to provide this new air intake, ventilation intake.
    So they are continuing to work with--there was some delay 
in that because of COVID, and they are continuing--WIPP is 
continuing to work with the State of New Mexico to address the 
exten---there was a temporary authorization that allowed for 
this to happen, and now they are getting an extension on it to 
enable the continued construction activities due to the delay.
    But there--to date, just so that you know, there has been 
no impact on our ability to place waste at WIPP, and a public 
hearing actually on this permit request has been scheduled for, 
I think, May 17.
    Mr. Simpson. Okay. Thank you.
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you for being here today.
    Secretary Granholm. Thank you.
    Mr. Simpson. Look forward to working with you. You bet.
    Secretary Granholm. Same here, same here.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Ranking Member Simpson. You are such 
a valuable Member of Congress.
    Congresswoman Frankel.
    Ms. Frankel. Hello. Okay. Thanks again. So I ask very 
simpleton questions.
    Secretary Granholm. No.
    Ms. Frankel. I am not a technical person, but I will say 
practical things. So, you know, it seems to me, I think most of 
us, some of us know that to really get to our goals of reducing 
the carbon, there is going to have to be, you know, millions of 
electrical vehicles, and we have got millions of solar panels 
and so forth. One person isn't going to do it, so--but how 
best, for just an individual constituent, what do we tell them 
as--what is their best way to be part of the solution to 
reducing our carbon footprint?
    Secretary Granholm. You know, this is a great question. 
Obviously, individually, you know, one person is not going to 
get us to our big goals, but collectively, you better believe 
we are. And what I would say to people is, you know, start 
looking at electric vehicles. I mean, I drive an electric 
vehicle. I plug it in in my garage. I never have to go to the 
gas station.
    Once you start telling people that, if we are able to get 
incentives to bring down the initial point of sale cost of 
electric vehicles so that they are on par with internal 
combustion engines, at least in this year, the technology is 
moving so fast with respect to batteries, which is the biggest 
part of the cost, that it is--the Bloomberg New Energy Finance 
or those who are doing the analysis of these say that the 
internal combustion engine and the new car sales, that those 
electric vehicles will surpass the internal combustion engine 
by 2030, because people save $600 a year just in not having to 
gas up. And the maintenance is so much easier.
    I have solar panels that I lease on my garage, and so I 
really just live on sunshine. You are in the Sunshine State. It 
would be a great--you could be a great spokesperson for this. 
So I think it is really important for people to know that they 
have their own role, but ultimately, that shouldn't negate the 
role of policy, because that is really the big driver of 
reducing our CO2 emissions.
    Ms. Frankel. Right. And in the President's plan to Build 
Back Better, I know--look, I do live in Florida. I happen to 
live in a condominium where, obviously, I can't do anything 
about the roof, but the garage, there is no place, there is no 
electric sockets. And I am sure that there is a similar issue 
all over the country.
    Is there anything that is going to help us, you know, get 
where we can use the electric cars?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. I know that the Department of 
Transportation is really looking at this because it is a big 
barrier, this question about multi-unit dwellings, and making 
sure we get the ability for people to just plug in where they 
live. That is what the goal of getting these 500,000 charging 
stations is all about, many of them for areas that a lot of 
these private sector charging entities are not able to get into 
or have found maybe aren't even lucrative enough because it is 
just for one person.
    So I know that this is a great--not to punt it over to 
Secretary Buttigieg, but I know that they are working on a plan 
for that, and it is a big piece of the component of those 
500,000 charging stations.
    Ms. Frankel. That is good. And what do you say to folks who 
say, hey, look, you know, regardless of what we do here in the 
United States, you know, look what is happening in China, other 
places in the world, what difference is it going to make?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. Listen, it is going to make a 
huge difference. First of all, there is a lot of pressure, 
publicly, on China for their build-out of coal in their Belt 
and Road Initiatives, for example. The rest of the world and 
China had signed on to the Paris Agreement, so they have made 
public commitments to reduce their carbon footprint. It 
absolutely makes a difference.
    But I will say this too, that since the rest of the world 
is moving in this direction, it is a huge market opportunity 
for the countries that actually build the products that reduce 
CO2 emissions and build them in a way that those other 
countries can trust, whether it is trust from a cyber 
perspective or just trust because, you know, the mining of 
materials is done in a socially responsible way. So the U.S. 
can really jump in both on the economy and on reducing our own 
CO2 emissions and continue the drumbeat to, essentially, shame 
those who are not fully on board, at least are on board with 
words but not with actions.
    Ms. Frankel. Thank you very much.
    I yield back, Madam Chair. Thank you for the time.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Frankel.
    And if you are not speaking, please turn your mikes off, 
folks. There was a little feedback there. So thank you very 
    Congressman Fleischmann.
    Mr. Fleischmann. Thank you, Madam Chair and Ranking Member 
    Madam Secretary, I have been taking some very meticulous 
notes, and I think this has been a very successful and furtive 
conversation. I thank you for that as well.
    A couple of things stand out to me, Madam Secretary. This 
subcommittee works very well together. As you have been able to 
engage in the discourse, you are hearing from Republicans and 
Democrats from all over, not only the political spectrum, but 
from all over the country.
    And we are a subcommittee--and, again, I thank Chairwoman 
Kaptur and Ranking Member Simpson for creating an environment 
where we can work together. So we have seen that today.
    A couple of things that are standing out. Of course, in Oak 
Ridge, we do quite a bit of work on fusion. Our commitment to 
ITER is strong, and I think you can see that there. But as we 
work, there are other folks in Congress called authorizers. 
Okay? We are the appropriators. We are working with them. They 
are good people too. And I am talking with them about fusion. 
There seems to be a lot of interest there, and we are going to 
work there with you.
    I did want to let you know that, I am so thankful that Mrs. 
Lee from Nevada is going to be working with me on the Nuclear 
Cleanup Caucus. I have chaired that in the past, and 
Congressman Lujan, before he became Senator Lujan, actually let 
me continue to chair that as we worked in the last 
    So we will be well versed. We are going to look at the 
science, we are going to work together, but there are so many 
different resources out there. Not every issue, Madam 
Secretary, is political. Mr. Simpson is right, Yucca got bogged 
down in politics and it is gone now. And once it is gone, we 
have got to look for other solutions. So perhaps that will free 
up a space and we can work towards that.
    I did want to put a couple things on your radar before I 
ask another question. I have created the Nuclear Renaissance 
Caucus. But for the fact that I am musically illiterate, I 
would be a renaissance man, so I will find my scope there.
    We are involving people on the new generation of reactors 
and technology. And I would say this: The last administration, 
to its credit, created programs like the Atomic Wings program, 
where the Secretary had Members of the House come there with 
other experts. So there can be a congruence of efforts with the 
administration and congressional caucuses which tend to work 
together. So having said that, I look forward to working with 
    I have got one last question, very important, for those on 
the subcommittee. We no longer have a domestic source to 
enriched uranium in this country, and I think that is a shame. 
I appreciate the administration's support of nuclear energy and 
the specialty nuclear fuel needed to power the next generation 
of reactors.
    I am proud that in Oak Ridge we have the sole American 
facility that manufactures uranium enrichment centrifuges, 
which are currently being deployed for the Department's High-
Assay Low-Enriched Uranium, HALEU, Demonstration Program. Do 
you support expanding America's HALEU production capacity in 
fiscal 2022 and beyond? And I will just await your response.
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. I mean, clearly, we need HALEU, 
we need enrichment capacity for both our national security 
programs and for the next generation of nuclear reactors. And I 
think at various times, both the NNSA and the Office of Nuclear 
Energy have funded enrichment R&D. And I have asked both of 
those programs to take a look to see if there is any 
efficiencies to be gained from working in tandem to develop 
that next generation of uranium enrichment.
    I do believe that a domestic source of uranium enrichment 
is important for the country, but I would like to work with our 
team further, and I would love to introduce you, because you 
are in such an important district for this, to Jill Hruby, who 
the President has nominated to be the NNSA Administrator, and 
to be able to talk with you about working on this further.
    I really appreciate your embrace of nonpartisanship and of 
the importance of this issue for the Nation and not just for a 
political party. I really look forward to working with you. 
People have told me how great you have been in--and I don't 
mean to say this just because we are in a hearing, et cetera, 
but because you have been apparently just enormously helpful in 
ensuring that the funding exists to be able to do the work that 
is necessary at Oak Ridge. So thank you for that.
    Mr. Fleischmann. My pleasure, Madam Secretary.
    Madam Chair, I yield back. Thank you so much.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congressman Fleischmann, 
for your very vigilant participation.
    Congressman Ryan.
    Mr. Ryan. Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I just want to thank the gentleman from Tennessee, because 
he teed up my question with regard to the HALEU issue, and we 
know that we are reliant on Russia primarily for the, you know, 
commercial uranium and all of that.
    And the town that I mentioned in the last question with all 
the kids, they have an opportunity here to develop, I think, an 
opportunity to develop a lot of jobs down in Piketon, Ohio--so 
it is called Centrus. The work down there is being done right 
now by Centrus at the Piketon facility--an opportunity to 
create a lot of jobs.
    And so I would just want to ask you to kind of look at what 
is going on down there. I mean, everything that you have said, 
and I have listened to almost the entire hearing, and extremely 
impressive, your range, after just a few months, of 
understanding all of these issues.
    But we know that 9 out of the 10 companies that were 
awarded funds under the DOE's Advanced Reactor Demonstration 
Program require HALEU. And so we want to say, hey, look, here 
in southern Ohio, at Centrus in Piketon, where we are having 
all of these other issues, I think, is a great opportunity.
    So I wanted to get that on your radar, to just say, hey, 
look, the Department of Energy can have a pretty nice project 
here where it strikes all the balances of getting into these 
pockets that have been left behind, next generation, serving a 
bigger national purpose, supporting in some ways our defense 
industrial base.
    So I am glad the gentleman from Tennessee teed up an issue 
in Ohio. And that doesn't happen much, but we are working with 
Oak Ridge, as I mentioned in the last round of questioning, up 
in the Voltage Valley, and maybe there is a partnership, again, 
with Oak Ridge in southern Ohio where we can work together on 
something like this.
    Secretary Granholm. Great, great. Well, I know that you 
will see progress on this HALEU issue in the budget. And I 
really appreciate you putting that on my radar with Centrus, 
and I look forward to diving in a little bit more and working 
with you on it. I love the notion of a job opportunity and 
creating, particularly, material that we may get from 
Kazakhstan or elsewhere that is not as friendly. So let's 
continue to work together on it.
    Mr. Ryan. Yep, that is great. And I know you mentioned--I 
think earlier you mentioned the blue hydrogen, which we know 
can happen and works if it is using renewable energy. And so we 
have a Reimagine, the Appalachian Region Project going on here 
in Ohio, to build these big solar farms across the board and 
then, you know, tap into the blue hydrogen opportunities there.
    So I am just excited to work with you because, you know, 
you are saying everything right, and you have got a history of 
doing it in Michigan, and we have an opportunity now with you 
there, and Ms. Kaptur who has been advocating for this for a 
long, long time before it was cool, I will say, Marcy, which is 
why First Solar is in Toledo and doing so well.
    So we look forward to working with you. Thank you, and we 
can do this in a bipartisan way as well. Appreciate your help.
    Secretary Granholm. Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congressman Ryan.
    Congressman Reschenthaler.
    Mr. Reschenthaler. Thanks, Chairwoman, I appreciate it.
    And, Madam Secretary, I just wanted to take off, if you 
don't mind, where we left off regarding critical minerals. And 
I know the chair touched upon this, but could you elaborate on 
how the Department of Energy will work to support the refining 
and processing of rare earth elements and improve smelting 
    Secretary Granholm. This is the issue, right, is that we 
don't really have much in the way of processing in the United 
States. And so what we want to do, I mean, what I would love to 
see is a group of us working on a strategy that will build up 
the processing capacity in addition to the mining capacity for 
the country, because there are obviously major jobs in both 
places. And you can do this in both things.
    I mean, both of these--both mining and processing have been 
seen as environmentally harmful in the past, but we have the 
ability to do both in a responsible way and to be able to 
secure these supply chains. So I think this is a question for 
further, both appropriation but also exploration in terms of 
    Part of this I think you will see in the response to the 
Department of Defense's critical minerals supply chain report 
that they have to do in response to the President's executive 
order. So let's stay in touch and follow up on this, because I 
do think we have got to move on it quickly. It is not something 
that can happen overnight and it takes a while, so we have got 
to get going.
    Mr. Reschenthaler. I totally agree.
    And just to shift gears, I know that we were talking about 
the importance of rare earth elements to national security, but 
I think that exporting liquefied natural gas is also important, 
because I think that when we export LNGs, we are helping--well, 
first off, we are making sure other nations aren't dependent on 
China and Russia for it. We are also reducing global poverty, 
and I think we are actually improving the environment, because 
natural gas burns a lot cleaner than other fuel sources.
    So what is the administration's position with respect to 
exporting LNG?
    Secretary Granholm. Yeah. I mean, clearly, the Natural Gas 
Act has direction for the Department of Energy on that, and I 
think the--you know, the thing with LNG that is perhaps 
something we should be looking at more is the removal of 
methane from the process, both at the point of extraction and 
in the pipeline and at the point of combustion as well, because 
methane obviously is so much more powerful than carbon dioxide 
as a greenhouse gas.
    So I think we are interested in focusing at DOE, we are 
looking at a methane initiative to remove methane emissions 
from natural gas to begin with. I understand the importance of 
reducing CO2, particularly in countries where we may have an 
agreement to do that, but I also want to just put on your radar 
that other countries have really expressed a great interest in 
hydrogen as well. And this is another area that we can help to 
export technology in with global partners who are very hungry 
to get dispatchable, reliable, baseload power, which, of 
course, is what they want when they obtain liquefied natural 
    So both things have to happen. We have to work on the 
methane emissions but also work on technologies like hydrogen 
that produce no CO2.
    Mr. Reschenthaler. Right. Madam Secretary, I sincerely and 
genuinely mean this, that I look forward to working with you--
    Secretary Granholm. Great.
    Mr. Reschenthaler [continuing].--And wish you the best in 
the new position.
    And with that, I would yield back the reminder of my time. 
Thank you, Chairwoman. I appreciate it.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congressman Reschenthaler. 
I wish we could figure out a way to send some of that LNG 
through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway to Ukraine, but I 
can't convince the military leaders that that is a good idea, 
so I am with you on that.
    So I want to--oops. What happened there? I don't know if 
the Secretary can hear me now. Can you hear me.
    Secretary Granholm. I can hear you. I can hear you.
    Ms. Kaptur. Okay. Great. Great. I wanted to just touch on 
the NNSA Weapons Activities. And we know that the nuclear 
weapons complex is at capacity from both a workforce and a 
manufacturing perspective. And we have heard this from past NSA 
Administrators, and even heard from the current head of 
STRATCOM (Strategic Command), that NNSA can only absorb so much 
work at one time.
    So my question really is, while we don't yet know what is 
included in the fiscal year 2022 budget request for NNSA, we do 
know that current workload and pace of NNSA is unsustainable. I 
want to work with you to rebalance this risky and unrealistic 
situation while meeting defense needs. Madam Secretary, will 
you commit to working with me on these efforts?
    Secretary Granholm. Yes, absolutely. You are totally right 
that this work is critical. We have got to get it right. I 
stand ready to work with you. I just want to say, I can assure 
you that the Department of Defense and the Department of 
Energy, through the Nuclear Weapons Council, we are constantly 
evaluating requirements and workload and risks, and the 
President's 2022 budget will support the current defense 
requirements while this administration conducts a review.
    Ms. Kaptur. All right. Thank you very much.
    I want to move quickly to the issue of workforce 
development, and, of course, we are living through an era of 
disruptive technologies. This has happened before, but we know 
that in the area of energy, as you reference, the median hourly 
wage for energy workers in our country is approximately $25.60 
an hour, a third higher than the national median hourly wage of 
$19.14. So that is good news for the energy sector.
    What role do you believe the Department of Energy should 
have in helping train the next generation of skilled workers to 
take advantage of these tremendous opportunities? And how can 
the Department build from its existing workforce programs to 
better coordinate efforts throughout the Department and with 
other Federal agencies? Is there a plan in place to do that?
    Secretary Granholm. Back to your question about 
coordination and working with, for example, the Department of 
Labor. As you are aware, in the American Jobs Plan that the 
President put forth, there is $100 million for training and 
workforce development, including a big support for 
apprenticeships, which are very important.
    You know, the jobs that are coming out of the American Jobs 
Plan, the vast majority of them don't require anything beyond a 
high school degree. And so that means they are accessible, and 
the question is, can you provide the hands-on, place-based 
training that is necessary.
    You know, the workforce pipeline is also critical. You know 
this from your long-standing leadership in this workforce 
development area. And so, you know, we want to make solar jobs 
more accessible to diverse communities. We want to make 
geothermal jobs accessible to, like, oil and gas workers. We 
need a pipeline of diverse workers in STEM fields. We need to 
make sure that we train them all.
    So I think you are going to see, because this President is 
really focused on execution and execution well, which we have 
seen in the distribution of the vaccine, this issue of the 
American Jobs Plan and making sure that it is executed 
correctly, that the departments are speaking to one another, 
that there is effectiveness and measurable accountability on 
each, I think, will be a very important part of--assuming that 
we get it across the finish line.
    Ms. Kaptur. I wanted to just give an insight. I was 
speaking with the Secretary of Education about a week ago 
because I represent--my hometown actually has no community 
college. I won't go into all the reasons, but it has been 
terrible for minorities, for people who are financially 
oppressed, to get an education, because they can't afford to 
drive to the nearest community college, and I was looking for 
solutions. And he actually told me that his first degree was in 
auto mechanics at the high school level, and that--he went on, 
he says, because people didn't think that I could succeed, so I 
was, you know, asked to go into this field. He said he 
excelled. And I said, what solutions do you have for me? He 
said, well, I will tell you what, he said, I think you should 
work more closely with your high schools in the late sophomore, 
beginning of the junior year, and do your education through the 
internet and get college credit for it.
    And with the new administration's focus on community 
colleges, I would urge you to think about the internet and ways 
in which DOE's genius could help to identify some of these 
fields where we are short on people, and work with the 
Secretary of Education, because I found him very practical, and 
having lived the experience, he understands it.
    And for the trade schools that exist across our region, so 
often they are suburbanized, and I don't know if that is true 
in Michigan and in Idaho and other places, but they are 
inaccessible to the majority of our minority communities, and 
we simply have to educate in these fields. We have to find a 
way to use technology to reach forgotten places.
    And so I just mention that to you because I have a major 
task to help the DOE build forward from its existing workforce 
programs to better coordinate, not just with your own 
Department, but with others. So I wanted to point that out.
    I know my time is up for this round, and I will go to 
Congressman Simpson.
    Mr. Simpson. I don't have any questions for a third round, 
Madam Secretary.
    I just wanted to thank the Secretary for being here today. 
And you have been at this for about 3 hours now. I suspect you 
are ready for lunch or something, but I appreciate you taking 
the time to spend with us. And, you know, one of our jobs is to 
make sure that you are successful in your job. So I look 
forward to doing whatever we can to make that happen. Thank 
    Secretary Granholm. That was so nice. Thank you so much. 
And one of my jobs is to make sure you are successful too, so 
let's do that together.
    Mr. Simpson. Okay. Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. Well, Madam Secretary, I think that I would 
echo Congressman Simpson's remarks, you have just been a superb 
witness. We are so proud of you and so proud of what you are 
    My own view of the Department of Energy is it is one of the 
most brilliant but humble places that exist in the world. And 
if there is any way you can draw forward from the bowels of 
that enterprise a way of speaking to the American people about 
the future, you are the person that can do it.
    And we look at the retirements that are likely to occur in 
the near future and the shortage of top-level scientists. There 
is simply--I tried to get the past secretaries to create--I am 
old enough, I don't know if you are--there used to be a Mr. 
Wizard on TV.
    Secretary Granholm. Of course.
    Ms. Kaptur. Students would use him and it was exciting. 
Nobody at the Department volunteered. I said, find me the 
person that I can show, you know, put on our social media, put 
on the media of our science and engineering museums around the 
country, find--well, they never could do it.
    And, you know, so you have got these brilliant people that 
can't meet the street, and yet they are begging us for 
individuals to apply. So there is something really missing. I 
think, when you have a very, very fine, fine right brain, you 
can't meet the left brain. There is something that doesn't 
happen. And I think Members of Congress tend to have half and 
half. They can do both. As a former governor, you have probably 
got a double set up there.
    But I just say that, this is really needed in our country, 
and we are not linking well to encourage people to move into 
these fields. So whoever the public relations staff is over 
there, please--maybe the Department, with the amount of money 
that is going to be spent, can find a way to create the 
artwork. You did it today in your presentation. There was some 
effort by the Department put forward to visualize what you are 
doing. That is so needed. If we are going to meet the test, the 
Department must learn to communicate, and it is a big need.
    So I will just end with that and thank you. And as our fine 
Ranking Member did, you are always welcome before this 
subcommittee. We look forward to working with you to helping 
our country move forward faster. Thank you so very much.
    Secretary Granholm. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. I 
look forward to working with you too. All right.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you.
    And thank you to all who made this particular hearing 
possible, to Jaime Shimek, Matt Kaplan, Scott, the entire 
staff, Will Ostertag, who has been handling the communications, 
Sue Rowe of my own staff. Thank you all very, very much.
    [Answers to submitted questions follows:]

                                              Monday, May 24, 2021.

                       AND BUREAU OF RECLAMATION


    Ms. Kaptur. The hearing will come to order.
    As this hearing is fully virtual, we must address a few 
housekeeping matters.
    For today's meeting, the chair or staff designated by the 
chair may mute participants' microphones when they are not 
under recognition, for the purposes of eliminating inadvertent 
background noise.
    Members are responsible for muting and unmuting themselves, 
and if I notice you have not unmuted yourself, I will ask you 
if you would like the staff to unmute you. If you indicate 
approval by nodding, staff will unmute your microphone.
    I remind all members and witnesses that the 5-minute clock 
still applies. If there is a technology issue, we will move to 
the next member until the issue is resolved, and you will 
retain the balance of your time.
    You will notice a clock on your screen that will show how 
much time is remaining. At 1 minute remaining, the clock will 
turn to yellow. At 30 seconds remaining, I will gently tap the 
gavel to remind members that their time has almost expired. And 
when your time has expired, the clock will turn red and I will 
begin to recognize the next member.
    In terms of the speaking order, we will begin with the 
chair and ranking member. Then members present at the time the 
hearing is called to order will be recognized in order of 
seniority, and, finally, members not present at the time the 
hearing is called to order.
    Finally, House rules require me to remind you that we have 
set up an email address to which members can send anything they 
wish to submit in writing at any of our hearings or markups. 
That email address has been provided in advance to your staff.
    I now recognize myself for 5 minutes for my opening 
    The subcommittee will come to order.
    We are here today to discuss the fiscal year 2022 budget 
request for the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of 
    Your agencies steward the lifeblood of our society and 
economy and serve the critical function of protecting the life, 
safety, and sustainability of our Nation's water resources. 
Thank you to our witnesses for joining us today. We are so glad 
you are here, and we look forward to being able to introduce 
each of you shortly.
    Our Nation continues to experience devastating and 
repetitive floods across our country over and over. Last year 
at this hearing, we discussed the 2019 flooding on the 
Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and, 10 years ago, we had the 
Great Flood of 2011, which impacted many of the same areas, 
demonstrating the recurring flooding challenges many regions 
    Last year during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, we had 
the highest number of named storms ever recorded, 30 in total. 
We are about to start another season.
    In the Great Lakes, water levels are finally decreasing 
after 2 years of record-high water, although some lakes remain 
above average. Much work remains to prevent future flooding and 
the onslaught of algal blooms impacting our communities, 
especially as we confront our planet's changing climate. Next 
week starts an unpredictable 2021 hurricane and tornado season.
    Flooding isn't our only concern. Major parts of our country 
are dealing with too little water. Over 92 million Americans 
are currently living in areas experiencing drought. Eight 
States have areas that are experiencing exceptional drought, 
the highest intensity level on the drought scale.
    Last year, we had a record-breaking wildfire season across 
the West brought on by this continuing drought. California and 
Colorado experienced their largest wildfires to date, with 4 
million acres burning in California alone. Climate change is 
accelerating and exacerbating these extremes, and communities 
are caught in the cross-hairs.
    Though the water resource needs of our country vary from 
region to region, there is a constant and essential need to 
invest in our infrastructure to adapt to a changing 
environment. Without these investments, the dichotomy of water 
surpluses in the Heartland and water shortages in the West 
threatens our way of life. For example, the Colorado River is 
in crisis. Diversion from it supports over 40 million Americans 
across seven western States and 29 Tribal nations.
    Meanwhile, in the Great Lakes region, the largest body of 
fresh water on Earth, we continue to deal with the economic and 
environmental threats that algal blooms and invasive species, 
like the invasive Asian carp, pose to the Great Lakes and its 
$7 billion freshwater fishery. Together, our committee and the 
Corps are making great progress on the Brandon Road project, 
the new Soo Lock, and addressing harmful algal blooms in the 
Great Lakes.
    As we begin our discussion on fiscal year 2022, I must 
first note that we look forward to receiving the full budget 
request later this week so that we can move forward 
expeditiously to craft our bill.
    I am encouraged by the President's budget and his request 
for the Army Corps of Engineers but have reservations. We are 
making progress in these requests, but it is still $1 billion 
of decrease from last year's enacted level. I look forward to 
working with the Biden administration to ensure the Corps and 
the Bureau of Reclamation receive the necessary support to keep 
our communities safe and prosperous.
    President Biden is addressing the climate crisis head-on, 
and I know that your agencies have a critical role to play in 
this fight. We look forward to hearing how your agencies are 
incorporating climate change impacts and mitigation efforts, as 
well as making our communities more resilient.
    There is bipartisan support in Congress for the work that 
your agencies undertake on behalf of the American people. Thank 
you for being here, and we look forward to hearing from you.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Kaptur follows:]
    Ms. Kaptur. I will now turn to our very able ranking 
member, Mr. Simpson, for his opening remarks.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Chairwoman Kaptur. I would like to 
join you in welcoming our witnesses. We appreciate everyone 
being here today to discuss the fiscal year 2022 budget 
requests for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of 
    Unfortunately, as of today, we know very little about these 
budget requests other than the overall funding level request 
for the Army Corps of Engineers. This delay in getting details 
is not unusual in the first year of a new administration, but 
it makes this committee's job more challenging nonetheless.
    The budget request for the Army Corps of Engineers is $6.8 
billion, a reduction of $1 billion from the fiscal year 2021 
enacted level. This request does not include the FUSRAP 
program, so when comparing like programs, it is a decrease of 
$750 million or 10 percent.
    We don't yet know the overall funding level request for the 
Bureau of Reclamation, but if history is any guide, it will 
represent a significant cut from the enacted level as well.
    Reduced budget requests, even substantially reduced budget 
requests, are no surprise. It happens almost every year 
regardless of who is in the White House or who is in charge of 
    The infrastructure investments carried out by the Corps of 
Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation are critical to 
improving our Nation's economy, public health and safety, and 
the environment. I am confident that once again this committee 
will work together to provide strong support for these 
    Without specific funding proposals to discuss, I will focus 
most of my questions on how the agencies will approach 
execution of the programs provided in a final appropriation 
bill. Unfortunately, I continue to have concerns about certain 
management issues, including adherence to congressional 
direction which is incorporated into law, as well as the focus 
of so-called innovative financing efforts.
    My concern about these budget request proposals and work 
plan process decisions now span about three different 
administrations, which only strengthens my belief that these 
problems stem from someplace other than the offices of the 
witnesses before us today.
    Thank you, Chairwoman Kaptur, for calling this hearing. I 
look forward to the discussion with our witnesses, and I yield 
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you so very much, Ranking Member Simpson.
    And let me express the subcommittee's gratitude to our 
witnesses for joining us here today. We welcome your 
observations of how the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of 
Reclamation can strengthen our Nation's water infrastructure 
while creating more and better jobs as our Nation confronts new 
environmental challenges like the climate crisis.
    First, we will have Mr. Jaime Pinkham, the Acting Assistant 
Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. In his role, Mr. Pinkham 
establishes policy direction and supervises the Department of 
the Army functions relating to the Army Corps of Engineers 
Civil Works Program.
    Prior to his appointment, Mr. Pinkham served as the 
executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish 
Commission. Before that position, he was the vice president of 
the Bush Foundation, a private foundation in Saint Paul, 
Minnesota, where he led the foundation's Native Nations 
    He has significant experience advocating for Tribal 
sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights. Mr. Pinkham 
is a citizen of the Nez Perce Tribe.
    Mr. Pinkham, thank you for recently visiting Ohio and our 
district, where you were able to see the importance of dredging 
in the Great Lakes and how crucial it is to maintain our 
harbors to provide safe and efficient navigation throughout the 
region. In addition, thank you for visiting projects across our 
district to see how we can continue to improve upon our 
policies for using dredged material in a way that supports our 
communities and ecosystems alike.
    Next, we will have Lieutenant General Spellmon. Lieutenant 
General Spellmon assumed duties as the 55th Chief of Engineers 
and Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of 
Engineers on September 10, 2020, after most recently serving as 
the Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency 
    He previously served as the Commanding General of the 
Northwestern Division of the Corps, where he oversaw an annual 
program of more than $3 billion in civil works, environmental 
restoration, and military construction in 14 States primarily 
within the Columbia and Missouri River basins.
    His military awards and decorations are impressive and 
include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, 
two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, and the Combat Action 
    I often say, especially on this Memorial Day week, where do 
we get these fine Americans?
    And, finally, we will have Mr. David Palumbo. Mr. Palumbo 
is the Bureau of Reclamation's Deputy Commissioner of 
Operations. He oversees operations in Reclamation's five 
regions, the Native American and International Affairs Office, 
and Technical Resources.
    He has vast experience overseeing complex water and power 
projects and has worked extensively with Tribal nations, 
including negotiating and implementing Indian water rights 
settlements. Mr. Palumbo was awarded the Superior Service Award 
in 2011 and Meritorious Service Award in 2014, two of the 
Department's highest honors for career employees.
    Thank you for taking the time to be with us today.
    Without objection, your written statements will be entered 
into the record. Please feel free to summarize your remarks in 
about 5 minutes each, starting with Mr. Pinkham.
    Mr. Pinkham. Chairwoman Kaptur, Ranking Member Simpson, and 
members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to be 
here today to discuss the President's budget request for the 
Civil Works Program of the Army Corps of Engineers.
    As you know, the President's discretionary funding request 
for fiscal year 2022 was submitted to Congress last month. That 
request laid out the President's priorities for discretionary 
funding, with recommendations across a wide range of Federal 
programs and policy areas, and outlined a strategy for 
reinvesting in the foundation of our country's resilience and 
    The President's top-line discretionary funding request for 
fiscal year 2022 includes $6.8 billion for the Army Civil Works 
Program, and that will be used to develop, manage, restore, and 
protect water resources primarily through the construction, 
operation and maintenance, and study of water-related 
infrastructure projects, as well as to regulate development in 
waters of the United States and to work with other Federal 
agencies to help communities respond to and recover from floods 
and other natural disasters.
    This funding request is the highest annual budget ever 
requested for the Civil Works Program. It supports significant 
investments to improve the condition of existing water 
infrastructure, including U.S. coastal ports, while 
incorporating climate resilience efforts into the commercial, 
navigation, flood, and storm damage reduction and aquatic 
ecosystem restoration work of the Corps of Engineers.
    It will focus on investments that yield economic and 
environmental returns, increasing resiliency to climate change; 
facilitating safe, reliable, and sustainable commercial 
navigation; and accelerating and improving the delivery of 
water resource projects.
    The Army will use these funds to invest in the construction 
of projects that will facilitate commercial navigation, reduce 
the risk of damages from floods and storms, and restore the 
Nation's aquatic ecosystems. We will invest in programs to help 
communities identify and address risk associated with climate 
change and improve the resilience of Corps' infrastructure to 
climate change.
    The Army will also use these funds for significant 
investments to facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally 
sustainable commercial navigation at the Nation's ports.
    The details of the President's budget, which will present a 
unified comprehensive plan for America to address the 
overlapping challenges we face in a fiscally and economically 
responsible way, will be released this coming Thursday, and I 
look forward to discussing the details of the fiscal year 2022 
budget funding request for the Civil Works Program soon 
    I am honored to have been selected for this position to 
help implement the President's priorities for the Army Civil 
Works Program. And I have been on board for just over a month, 
and I have had the opportunity to make two trips--one to Tacoma 
Harbor in Washington State and another to multiple sites 
throughout West Virginia and northern Ohio, including Cleveland 
and Toledo, and I have been impressed with the professionalism 
and dedication of the Corps of Engineers' employees, who build 
and maintain water resource facilities for our primary Civil 
Works mission. They live and work in the communities they 
serve. And there is much to be done, and I am excited to be a 
part of this team.
    And while the 2022 budget has not yet been released, 
leaving me unable to respond to specific, detailed questions, I 
look forward to working with you in the days ahead and 
responding to the best of my ability to the questions that you 
may have.
    And thank you again for the invitation to join you today.
    [The information follows:]
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Mr. Pinkham. We wish you 
well in your great responsibilities.
    Lieutenant General Spellmon, please begin.
    General Spellmon. Well, good afternoon, Chairwoman Kaptur, 
Ranking Member Simpson, and distinguished members of the 
subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I 
am privileged to be appearing with the Honorable Jaime Pinkham 
as we work together to address our Nation's water resource 
    I have been in command of the Corps now for a little bit 
over 8 months, and we have had several leadership changes since 
the last opportunity that we have had to testify before the 
subcommittee. We farewelled General Semonite on the 10th of 
September of last year. We changed all three of our deputy 
commanding generals. We swapped out 7 of our 9 regional 
commanders and 16 of our 44 district commanders. So, in short, 
we have been through a lot of leader transitions over the past 
few months.
    I would like to provide just a few brief highlights of the 
great work our new team is accomplishing, as we are already 
making progress on three of my initial focus areas, and those 
are: transforming our organization, expanding research and 
development, and strengthening our already talented civilian 
    And these are just a few of the key initiatives that we 
will use to optimally leverage annual appropriations, meet the 
priorities of both Congress and the administration, and 
ultimately deliver on our vision, which is to engineer 
solutions for our Nation's toughest challenges.
    Over the past several years, the Corps has successfully 
delivered an annual Civil Works Program in the range of $7 
billion to $8 billion. I want to expand this competency into 
one that can deliver double that benefit by stretching our 
dollars further through better partnering practices, 
revolutionizing our processes, and seeking efficiencies with 
functional pilot programs.
    Our Nation is again seeking to renew its infrastructure, 
and the Corps is poised to support this pivotal modernization. 
Some examples of our initiatives include the Corps' continued 
efforts to build upon public-private partnerships and other 
innovative financing solutions such as WIFIA, which was 
generously enabled by this committee's appropriations this 
fiscal year.
    We are also working to streamline our regulatory program by 
providing straightforward, commonsense rules, but we continue 
to face challenges with a static funding stream during an ever-
increasing demand on these resources. We will continue to seek 
efficiencies in project delivery by reducing cost, optimizing 
schedules, and eliminating unnecessary redundancies.
    We have successfully validated a number of these concepts 
through implementation of the Regional Dredge Demonstration 
Program on the Gulf Coast as well as furthering potential 
efficiencies in our Navigation Program by advancing the 
beneficial uses of dredge material.
    In order to achieve our vision, we also need to elevate 
research and development. We are working to expand our R&D 
initiatives and strengthen our partnerships with academic 
institutions to leverage the enormous capacity of our Nation's 
scientists so we can meet the challenges of the 21st century 
today. Investment in research and development will help us find 
solution for today's challenges like those posed by harmful 
algal blooms, reservoir sedimentation, engineering [inaudible] 
With nature, and integration of big data into our disaster 
response programs.
    And then, finally, successful investment in our future 
cannot be accomplished without the talented and passionate 
professionals of our workforce. People remain our greatest 
resource. Investing in our people, our leaders, and diversity, 
in all its forms, as well as maintaining a commitment to 
safety, are keys to developing our future team.
    For over 245 years, the Corps has served as the Nation's 
engineers. We have risen to meet the challenges of the day, and 
today is no exception. We will engineer the future, but we 
don't do it alone. We need the help of our partners, project 
stakeholders, and Congress to enable us to succeed.
    I look forward to continuing our great collaboration with 
the committee as we strive to finish quality projects on time, 
within budget, and doing it safely.
    Thank you, Madam Chairwoman and members of the 
subcommittee. I look forward to answering any questions that 
you may have. Thank you.
    [The information follows:]
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you. Thank you, General Spellmon.
    And I just want to point out to all of our witnesses and 
those who are listening, we have an outstanding turnout of our 
committee membership on both sides of the aisle. This is just a 
great subcommittee, and I thank all the members for 
    Mr. Palumbo, please begin.
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you, Chairwoman Kaptur, Ranking Member 
Simpson, and members of the subcommittee, for the opportunity 
to discuss the President's budget for the Bureau of 
Reclamation. I am David Palumbo, Deputy Commissioner for 
    The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest supplier and 
manager of water in the Nation and the second largest producer 
of hydropower. Reclamation manages water for agricultural, 
municipal, and industrial uses; the environment; and provides 
flood control and recreation.
    Reclamation enjoys a close, bipartisan working relationship 
with the subcommittee. This relationship has helped us address 
both longstanding and emerging challenges in the West.
    Many of these challenges will continue to require close 
cooperation and innovative solutions. Addressing drought, 
climate change, and issues of equitability and sustainability 
are essential, as are the continuing needs of securing, 
maintaining, and modernizing our Nation's water infrastructure.
    To start, I would like to acknowledge what is probably at 
the forefront of many members' minds: the significant, 
expansive, and persistent drought. It has been an 
extraordinarily dry year for much of the West. As you can see 
from the current U.S. Drought Monitor map, every State west of 
the 100th meridian is experiencing some level of drought, with 
many of the 17 western States experiencing extreme or 
exceptional drought. These dire hydrologic conditions have 
resulted in the need to make difficult decisions. Many farmers, 
tribes, stakeholders, and related communities have had to make 
significant sacrifices.
    This situation further highlights the need for extensive 
planning and work to make our infrastructure more resilient to 
withstand future water resource scarcity and variability, as 
well as to maintain healthy ecosystems.
    Reclamation's priorities reflect this vital need through a 
commitment to drought planning and response activities, such as 
the seven basin States' drought contingency plans and system 
conservation agreements.
    This budget request also acknowledges the need to continue 
to develop and deploy science-based drought and climate change 
adaptation strategies. Reclamation's WaterSMART and Science and 
Technology programs directly contribute to these administration 
    Reclamation also continues to emphasize its important role 
in renewable energy. The 40 million megawatt hours of clean 
energy we generate each year displaces over 18 million tons of 
carbon dioxide emissions and supports grid stability and other 
renewables like wind and solar.
    Reclamation must also plan for the future of its 
infrastructure. Reclamation's dams and reservoirs, water 
conveyance systems, and power generating facilities serve as 
the water and power infrastructure backbone of the American 
West. However, much of this infrastructure is aging and in need 
of critical maintenance. B.F. Sisk Dam in California, for 
example, which provides 2 million acre feet of water storage 
south of the Delta is one of the most significant funding needs 
under Reclamation's Dam Safety Program.
    However, it is not sufficient to address infrastructure 
needs without considering economic inequities and the needs of 
underserved communities. As illustrated by the President's 
executive orders and the recently proposed American Jobs Plan, 
this administration is committed to generating broader economic 
opportunities and fostering greater social inclusion.
    Reclamation is establishing and rebuilding water 
infrastructure for underserved populations by ensuring that 
clean drinking water is reliably provided to all communities. 
Our budget includes funding for Reclamation's Native American 
Affairs Program to enhance our technical assistance to tribes 
and includes funding for Reclamation's Rural Water Program.
    The Bureau of Reclamation remains committed to working with 
Congress and our operating partners and stakeholders in 
carrying out our mission and responsibly planning for the 
future and playing a meaningful role in modernization of the 
water and energy sectors of our Nation. The challenges of 
drought and climate change demand such action, as the need for 
broader economic development and more equitable outcomes do as 
    I again thank the subcommittee, and I am happy to answer 
any questions.
    [The information follows:]
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Mr. Palumbo, for your 
    And I remind all members and witnesses that the 5-minute 
clock still applies. If there is a technology issue, we will 
move to the next member until the issue is resolved, and you 
will retain the balance of your time.
    You will notice a clock on your screen that will show how 
much time is remaining. At 1 minute remaining, the clock will 
turn to yellow. At 30 seconds remaining, I will gently tap the 
gavel to remind members that their time has almost expired. And 
when your time has expired, the clock will turn red and I will 
begin to recognize the next member.
    In terms of the speaking order, we will generally follow 
the order as we did in our first hearings, beginning with the 
chair and ranking member. I will note that one of our dear 
colleagues, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is 
chairing a hearing at her Military Construction Subcommittee 
occurring just now. And she will join us for a round of 
questions, and we will work her in when she arrives so she can 
return to chairing her hearing.
    I will recognize members present at the time the hearing is 
called to order, recognized in order of seniority, and, 
finally, members arriving after gavel, by order of arrival. 
Additional rounds of questions may occur after all members have 
had an opportunity to go through our first round.
    We will now begin questioning under our normal rules.
    I wanted to first ask General Spellmon, if I might--and, 
really, all of our witnesses can comment. What are each of you 
doing to raise the profile and capability of your agency within 
the administration around climate change?
    And how are you focusing the Corps and Reclamation 
infrastructure missions on this emerging area, especially when 
you employ so few environmental engineers in your operations?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, this is General Spellmon. I will 
    I will say that we incorporate observed and reasonably 
foreseeable climate change data when we formulate and evaluate 
projects in our decision-making process.
    And we certainly appreciate the support from Congress and, 
for example, the $5 million that we received in fiscal year 
2021. What that enables us to do is actually apply and 
translate climate science directly into actionable information 
to our projects out in the field.
    And it is work that we are prepared to continue and build 
upon to support readiness of our own infrastructure, 
particularly in the areas that you mentioned in your opening 
statement, areas that are impacted by drought, by flooding, by 
sea-level rise, and certainly by water supply constraints. We 
look forward to continuing this effort.
    Ms. Kaptur. General, do you have enough staff to do it?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, you mentioned environmental 
engineers. So, today, I employ about 4,000 environmental 
professionals in the Army Corps of Engineers. That is about 11 
percent of our total workforce of 37,000.
    So, as you know, ma'am, we are project-funded. So we hire 
the engineers that we need for the work at hand. So it is 
likely, you are correct, I have more civil, more mechanical, 
more electrical, more structural engineers on hand. But, then 
again, that is because of our--our ecosystem restoration work 
is about 8 percent of our total project load at the moment.
    I will never turn down any additional resourcing. I believe 
you can never have enough environmental professionals on your 
staff. But we are working very, very closely--in Lake Erie, for 
example, on harmful algal blooms, we are bringing in national 
scientists from Bowling Green University, Ohio State 
University, among others, to help us in these very important 
    Ms. Kaptur. Well, thank you very much for those comments.
    Do any of our other witnesses wish to comment on that 
    Mr. Pinkham. Madam Chair, if I could.
    You know, from my short term here, I see the profile of the 
Army Corps of Engineers in this area rising, and part of it is 
how communities are looking to partner with them. We see it in 
the partnership agreements that they are doing on the ground. 
Also, how other Federal agencies are calling upon them to 
assist. And I think of the work that I saw outside of Toledo, 
where EPA and the State is calling upon the Army Corps of 
Engineers to assist at Otter Creek in some environmental 
    And in each one of my conversations with General Spellmon 
and his staff, you know, the ideas and the concepts of adapting 
to the climate change and how we do decision-making around 
climate change is always present in our conversations.
    So I feel that it is on the rise, and I just hope that we 
can keep up with the demand that is coming ahead.
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you, Chairwoman Kaptur. This is David 
Palumbo with the Bureau of Reclamation again.
    I would say that the Bureau of Reclamation is very well-
poised, with our engineers and scientists focusing on 
hydrology, focusing on climate science, and focusing on 
environmental engineering.
    That being said, we are looking at ways in which to recruit 
and retain a diverse workforce through our STEM program to 
ensure we are bringing the best and the brightest on board, 
partnering with universities, high schools, and trade 
institutions to make sure that folks are interested, aware, and 
attracted to the Bureau of Reclamation.
    It is key for us--it is fundamental to have the right 
people to focus on these very important initiatives for the 
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very, very much, Mr. [inaudible] In 
order of appearance.
    The invasive carp issue is extremely important to the Great 
Lakes region. It is actually a frightening issue. And, as you 
know, the Great Lakes is home to a multimillion-dollar fishing 
industry--actually, multibillion-dollar, $7 billion--which will 
be destroyed if the carp reaches the lakes.
    I am pleased that the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project is 
moving forward to address this and garnering support from both 
Illinois and Michigan now. Along with my Great Lakes 
colleagues, I want to thank the Corps for including funding in 
the fiscal year 2021 work plan.
    General Spellmon, can you please provide us with an update 
on the status of this project? And when can we expect the pre-
engineering and design to begin on this project of critical 
regional and national importance?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, we want to thank you for your 
leadership and Congress's authorization of this project 
    We received $3.8 million in the fiscal year 2021 work plan, 
and we are using that to initiate preliminary engineer and 
design on the project. That work is already underway. As you 
know, this is a complex project. We are employing a lot of new 
technologies to deter this invasive species.
    Ma'am, I believe you are already aware that Illinois and 
Michigan, we are blessed that they have reached a cost-sharing 
arrangement with us. They will fund the non-Federal portion of 
this design, which is $10 million.
    That accelerated fund package is with OMB for review. And 
then you have my commitment that this advancing preliminary 
engineering design will receive my strongest technical 
recommendation in our budget submission.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, General, very much. I can't thank 
you enough, both for the Brandon Road project and the Soo Lock. 
For the Great Lakes, these are critical. Underline 
``critical.'' Thank you so very, very much.
    Now I would like to turn to our very able ranking member, 
Mr. Simpson.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Chairwoman Kaptur.
    As a unit of the U.S. Army, the Corps of Engineers has both 
a military and civilian leadership. Traditionally, the 
political leader, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil 
Works, has been responsible for setting the overarching policy 
directions and overall budgetary priorities for the agency. The 
military leader, the Chief of Engineers, has been responsible 
for actual execution of the program, including using technical 
expertise to manage execution of individual projects.
    Unfortunately, over the past several years, we have seen 
increasing involvement in, and even micromanagement of, the 
Chief's role in program execution. For example, the 
subcommittee has heard concerns about project delays due to the 
Corps needing to get approval for specific work packages before 
    Mr. Pinkham and General Spellmon, please describe your 
views of your own role and responsibilities with respect to the 
Civil Works Program, as well as where you believe the dividing 
line is between your role and your colleague's role.
    Mr. Pinkham. Congressman Simpson, while both the Assistant 
Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and the Chief of 
Engineers do have the separate roles and responsibilities, it 
is incumbent on us to work as a team and concentrate our 
efforts as seamlessly as possible.
    And so, as Assistant Secretary, as you have described, we 
provide strategic direction and we have primary responsibility 
of the oversight of the Army Corps' Civil Works Program, and 
the Chief of Engineers leads the implementation of the program 
work on the ground.
    And I have been on board just for a few weeks, and I have 
had the chance to work closely with General Spellmon and his 
deputy commanding general as well as the headquarters staff, 
and we communicate weekly. He has included me on site visits, 
introductions, and briefings from headquarters people to the 
    And I am pleased with the relationship that we are 
building, and I intend to continue to build on a strong 
partnership so that those kind of challenges that you have 
experienced in the past don't occur into the future, that our 
roles are clearly defined and we have a good, strong, 
collaborative relationship going forward.
    General Spellmon. And, Ranking Member Simpson, sir, I will 
just add that your overview of my responsibilities is exactly 
right. I am responsible for leading a team of technical experts 
and world-class engineers in addressing our Nation's water 
infrastructure needs through execution of the Corps Civil Works 
    As Mr. Pinkham said, we consult and coordinate regularly 
with his office so that the program is executed in accordance 
with the law, in accordance with policy, and, of course, in 
concert with the Secretary's guidance.
    And we want to make this process as efficient as possible 
so that we have a stronger product without slowing things down. 
And I certainly look forward to working with Mr. Pinkham.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you.
    As I mentioned in my opening statement, I have been 
concerned to see the previous two administrations, one 
Democratic and one Republican administration, make decisions 
not in keeping with the law for the Corps Civil Works Program. 
Most of these issues have arisen during work-plan processes and 
seem to be the result of directives from a separate executive 
agency. I hope we won't see these problems continue into the 
    Mr. Pinkham and General Spellmon, will you commit to 
ensuring that all directions and actions you take with respect 
to the Civil Works Program are in accordance with the law?
    Mr. Pinkham. Ranking Member Simpson, when I took this 
office just a few weeks ago, I took an oath of office to 
support and defend the Constitution and faithfully discharge my 
duties. So, sir, you do have my commitment to follow the law.
    General Spellmon. And, Ranking Member Simpson, you also 
have my commitment that any technical decisions or 
recommendations in my role as the Chief of Engineers will be 
developed in accordance with the law.
    Mr. Simpson. I appreciate that. As you know, we have had 
some challenges in the past when directions came from 
agencies--not either of yours--that interfered with that, 
    One last question before we go on to a second round.
    Mr. Palumbo, the Bureau of Reclamation has been working 
with water users in my district to expand water supplies 
through the Anderson Ranch Dam rise project. Can you please 
provide us an update on the status of this project and what the 
next steps are for Reclamation's efforts to complete it?
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you very much, Congressman Simpson.
    We are working very closely with local stakeholders. The 
Anderson Ranch project is a success story. We recently 
determined it fully feasible, and we are working with operating 
partners to develop an agreement to move forward with funding 
for the execution of the project and construction on the ground 
in the next couple of years.
    A very successful partnership with the local community. We 
have funding behind it, we have people behind it, and we have 
found it feasible.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you.
    I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. All right. The gentleman yields back.
    Thank you so much, Mr. Simpson.
    I understand that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz 
has joined us, and I will ask her now to ask her questions, 
    You are recognized.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Thank you so much, Madam Chair. And 
thank you very much for the opportunity to talk with the Army 
Corps of Engineers.
    And thank you all for your service.
    General Spellmon and Mr. Pinkham, I fully support the Biden 
administration's whole-of-government effort to stop climate 
change. And part of that agenda includes protecting public 
lands, as you know. And I also fully support the Biden 
administration's efforts to restore American jobs and get this 
Nation out of the recent economic crisis we have endured.
    Investing in the restoration of the Florida Everglades 
checks all of those boxes. It is a perfect example, as you 
know, of a project that fights climate change, restores public 
land, and generates jobs.
    General Spellmon, the 2020 Integrated Delivery Schedule 
laid out significant funding needs to get Everglades 
restoration back on track. And, consequently, the entire 
bipartisan Florida delegation in the U.S. House, as well as 
Senator Rubio, came together to support the inclusion of $725 
million in President Biden's budget request.
    Is the Corps committed to following the IDS for Everglades 
restoration? And can we expect to see a budget request in line 
with the IDS or a request of at least $725 million?
    General Spellmon. So, ma'am, we certainly appreciate 
Congress and the administration's generous support of this very 
important program, as you mentioned. Currently, today, south 
Florida ecosystem restoration receives about 62 percent of our 
total ecosystem restoration budget. Last year, it was funded in 
the amount of $250 million.
    And, as you know, that is going to allow us to complete the 
Kissimmee River restoration this year. We will initiate the 
construction of the inflow and outflow canals for the EAA 
Reservoir. We will continue construction and oversight of the 
C-43 Reservoir. And, finally, we will continue construction, 
oversight, and design for the Indian River Lagoon South 
program, which will be complete early next year.
    Ma'am, you will have my strongest recommendation that we 
continue to fund this program to its full capability.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Right. That is a deft way of not 
answering my question. Can we expect to see a budget request in 
line with the IDS or a request of at least $725 million?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, we are going to fund Jacksonville 
District to its full capability.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Okay. And does that include a 
request of at least $725 million?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, it does not.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Okay. So that is disappointing.
    What is the Corps able to handle? And around what can we 
expect with this funding? Because, as I have said in these 
hearings before, the longer that we drag out the Everglades 
restoration, the longer it takes for the projects that are 
behind us to receive funding. So what is the expectation for 
what [inaudible]?
    General Spellmon. So, ma'am, I would just say, we have been 
on a very good trajectory with this program in fiscal year 2020 
in the amount of $220 million; last year, as I mentioned, in 
the amount of $250 million. Again, that funds the Jacksonville 
District to its capability. And I would foresee in our budget 
recommendation continuing along those lines of that trajectory.
    Of course, if there are opportunities to expand, we will 
certainly make our strongest technical recommendation to the 
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Will the Corps be requesting all of 
the funding that you could spend in fiscal year 2022 for the 
Everglades restoration project?
    General Spellmon. Yes, ma'am.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Okay.
    I want to just touch base on the EAA Reservoir that you 
just mentioned, because it is vital to reducing harmful 
discharges that have long plagued St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee 
River estuaries.
    Does the Corps intend to proceed with speed and urgency to 
build that project? And what more does the Corps need to 
proceed with it?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, I would like to have a continuing 
contract authority--and that is one of the discussions we are 
having with the administration--for some of the larger efforts, 
of course the reservoir build itself, beginning in fiscal years 
2023 and 2024.
    What that allows us to do is build this reservoir largely 
using the same contractor without obligating the administration 
to further outlay. So it reduces risks in the amount of 
contingency that contractors will place on that project, and it 
also allows us to accelerate schedule by 2 to 3 years in its 
    So that is one of the things that we will be working on 
with the administration, to have that contract authority.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Okay. Well, if you need assistance, 
obviously, I would love to be kept apprised. I know 
Congresswoman Frankel would as well, who is also on the 
Appropriations Committee.
    And, Madam Chair, we look forward to working with you. You 
have been a really stalwart champion of the Florida Everglades, 
and look forward to hosting you when we can finally take that 
trip that we have been talking about down to see the beauty of 
Florida's River of Grass.
    Thank you. I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Madam Chair. And we appreciate your 
hospitality. We want to take it up as soon as possible, believe 
    And thank you for leaving your own meeting to join us 
today. We appreciate it very much. We know you are championing 
the Everglades. We know the needs of Florida. Now we just have 
to get the administration's budget to be sufficient to meet a 
lot of needs across the country.
    Ms. Wasserman Schultz. Exactly. Exactly.
    Thank you so much, everybody.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much.
    Now, chair of our Defense--ranking member of our Defense 
Subcommittee, Mr. Calvert.
    Mr. Calvert. Thank you, Madam Chair. Good afternoon. And 
thank you to our witnesses for joining us today.
    As you all know, the West is facing a historic drought, and 
California is looking at our third-driest year in history, at 
least on record.
    While we can't make it rain, I am sure glad to see that the 
Biden administration is taking the drought seriously. And I am 
cautiously optimistic that the Drought Interagency Working 
Group will take a serious look at water storage and the 
infrastructure investments that California needs to rise above 
the drought cycle.
    There is plenty of low-hanging fruit here, like raising 
Shasta Dam by a mere 18.5 feet to store an additional 634,000 
acre-feet of water that benefits both fish and people. I hope 
the task force will give special attention to this kind of 
shovel-ready infrastructure. All the permits are done; it is 
ready to go. All we need is the cash infusion to get this 
project going.
    This is for Commissioner Palumbo.
    As you know from extensive experience in California, 
snowpack serves as the State's largest reservoir. But we have 
seen more rain and less snow in recent years, increasing the 
need for manmade storage to capture that runoff. How does water 
storage fit into the administration and task force's climate 
and drought resilience goals?
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you very much, Congressman.
    You are absolutely right; water storage is vital. With that 
loss of snowpack that is the reservoir, we need water storage 
wherever we can get it, looking at existing reservoirs, looking 
at new off stream reservoirs, looking at better forecasts, 
looking at new water supplies.
    The administration is committed to looking at all of those 
opportunities to ensure that we replace the lost storage from 
snowpack that is really a result of a climate change multiplier 
that is increasing risks.
    So you have the commitment of the Bureau of Reclamation to 
focus on new opportunities to bridge that lost snowpack and the 
negative effects of drought, exacerbated by climate change.
    Mr. Calvert. Well, this may be both for the Corps and for 
you, but what about Shasta?
    Mr. Palumbo. We will work with Congress as directed. 
Currently, we are looking at a variety of water storage 
projects north and south of the Delta in California, as well as 
across the West. So, we stand ready to work with Congress as 
directed on any and all of those storage projects.
    Mr. Calvert. Now, as you know, we always have regulatory 
issues, barriers to storing and conveying water throughout 
California. Are you going to work with us to try to eliminate 
or limit some of these? We are in an emergency.
    Mr. Palumbo. We will work together. We see the regulatory 
requirements or infrastructure needs as really complementary in 
most cases. It is really a function of drought and climate 
change. We will work together to ensure that things go smoothly 
and that we can get through impediments to success on the 
    Mr. Calvert. Well, I hope that the task force, working with 
water users who know these systems best, will develop those 
drought solutions.
    Before I yield back, Madam Chair, I want to acknowledge 
that I will be submitting some questions for the record for the 
    Mr. Calvert. I continue closely watching the progress of 
the Murrieta Creek Flood Control Project. I am expecting some 
realistic costs and a full range of benefits for this project 
to be counted in the benefit-to-cost ratio so we can move 
forward with an expedited general reevaluation report and 
finally finish construction.
    With that, Madam Chair, I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Mr. Calvert.
    And we will now move to Congresswoman Lee, chair of the 
Foreign Operations Subcommittee.
    Mrs. Lee. Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank----
    Ms. Kaptur. Oh, wait. Sorry. I do this all the time.
    Mrs. Lee. You did it again. It is okay.
    Ms. Kaptur. I am sorry. I am sorry. From Nevada, 
Congresswoman Susie Lee.
    Mrs. Lee. It is okay.
    Ms. Kaptur. It is just habit.
    Mrs. Lee. No worries whatsoever.
    Can you hear me? Yeah.
    Well, I want to follow up--first, I want to thank all the 
witnesses today, Mr. Pinkham and Lieutenant General Spellmon 
and Mr. Palumbo, for your participation.
    You know, the Bureau of Reclamation plays a critical role 
in the management of water and resilience to climate change and 
drought across the West, as my colleague, Representative 
Calvert, was just speaking about. In my district in Nevada, 
reclamation projects like the Las Vegas Wash are crucial to 
managing runoff and maintaining water quality throughout the 
Las Vegas Valley, in addition to creating wetland habitat and 
recreational areas.
    And WaterSMART grants are such an important program for 
Nevada and western States to achieve water conservation and 
drought resiliency.
    So, Mr. Palumbo, in your testimony, you mentioned that 
WaterSMART directly contributes to the administration's 
priorities for conservation, climate science, adaptation, 
resiliency, and serves as the primary contributor to the water 
conservation priority goal. Can you elaborate more on how the 
administration plans to use and support WaterSMART going 
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you very much, Congresswoman. It is 
wonderful to be speaking with you. I am originally from Nevada. 
Prior to coming to Washington, DC, in 2015, I was stationed in 
our Boulder City, Nevada, office. So I am very familiar with 
the Las Vegas Wash, very familiar with your district.
    I will say, the WaterSMART program is an umbrella program 
that has a variety of programs underneath it. Our Basin 
Studies, for example, focus on water supply and demands, 
looking at those imbalances and looking at options and 
strategies to bridge those differences. We have an applied 
science program, which is focusing on forecasting and data 
needs. We have conservation programs under WaterSMART that are 
critical for areas such as the Las Vegas Wash; a variety of 
drought-related programs, not only to plan for droughts but to 
respond to droughts.
    So WaterSMART continues to be a cornerstone of 
Reclamation's budget, continues to be a focus for our 
employees, working with our stakeholders. So, I trust that you 
will find the budget for WaterSMART to be commensurate with the 
importance that we are giving it.
    Mrs. Lee. Well, thank you. And you would be a constituent 
of mine if you were still in Boulder City.
    So this, obviously, given the record drought that we have 
had in the Southwest, is so incredibly important for the Las 
Vegas Valley moving forward. So I will hopefully be looking for 
Nevada being the recipient of some of those grant funds.
    I would now like to shift gears to the Army Corps of 
Engineers and the 595 program on the Water Resources 
Development Act. The 595 program has provided design and 
construction assistance for many of our communities across 
rural Nevada in helping us address issues with our water 
supply, our wastewater treatment, environmental restoration, 
and surface water protection.
    Lieutenant General Spellmon, can you elaborate on how the 
595 program fits into the administration's plans and what you 
see as the future of this program, particularly in the State of 
Nevada and also around the country?
    General Spellmon. Yes, ma'am. Thank you for that question.
    Section 595 from WRDA '99 is an incredibly important 
capability for the Corps. It authorizes rural water development 
across seven western States, including Nevada. Since the 
inception of this program to today, the State of Nevada has 
seen $132 million worth of investments, and let me just 
highlight the next two that we are working on.
    We are about to sign a project partnership agreement with 
the Las Vegas Valley Water District. This is for the Blue 
Diamond water supply pipeline. We are going to rehabilitate an 
existing water supply system for about $1 million.
    Then we are going to sign two agreements with Incline 
Village. This is an $8 million project where we are going to go 
in and fix a sewer effluent storage pond and pipeline projects.
    And while these are not very large, as you know, ma'am, 
these are incredibly important projects for the communities 
that they serve. And we look forward to applying this more in 
Nevada and other western States in the future.
    Mrs. Lee. Great. Thank you.
    And, with that, I yield.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Congresswoman Lee, so very much.
    And I just have to ask one more question on the subject of 
Nevada. General, I don't know if you have any comments about 
Lake Mead or if any of your colleagues wish to say anything 
about that. What can you report to the American people about 
the condition of Lake Mead, as we move forward with this 
    General Spellmon. Ms. Kaptur, this is General Spellmon. If 
the question was directed to me, I will do some followup work 
and come back to you with a more complete response. Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, General.
    Ms. Kaptur. We will now move to Mr. Fleischmann.
    Mr. Fleischmann. Thank you, Madam Chair. And thank you for 
this hearing.
    To all the witnesses, thank you so much.
    Specifically to General Spellmon, thank you, sir, for 
visiting Chattanooga earlier this year and touring the 
Chickamauga Lock project with me. I am grateful for the Army 
Corps' diligent work on this project and for the support of 
this subcommittee in funding this vitally important 
infrastructure project.
    In fiscal 2021, we were able to provide record funding for 
the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project, and I understand that 
with this money the Corps will be able to complete the majority 
of the remaining work to be done.
    Could you please provide me a brief update about this 
project, sir? Because I have one followup question after this.
    General Spellmon. Yes, sir. Absolutely. And, first, I will 
say, it was great to visit with you out at the Chickamauga Lock 
in February earlier this year.
    Sir, I will start out by saying we appreciate Congress's 
strong support for this project and the work plan.
    For the members that don't know, this increases the passage 
capability of this system from one barge at a time to nine 
barges at a time. Incredibly important for our navigators out 
there on the Tennessee River.
    Sir, we are 43-percent complete with the overall project. 
And as we briefed you out there at the site, we are looking for 
ways to increase concrete placement. So, sir, we walked you 
through where we had some challenges early on in bringing on 
labor, particularly carpenters, and that was for form work. And 
then, sir, you also saw the technology and conveyor-belt system 
that we are using to get additional concrete on that site 
faster. We continue to work through that.
    Sir, with this year's work plan funding--it was generous, 
$191 million--we have awarded the contract to construct the new 
approach walls and bring the new lock on line. And then, next 
year, we will award a contract to decommission the old lock.
    And as we shared with you out there, sir, with remaining 
funding and good weather, the early completion date for this 
project remains in November of 2025.
    Mr. Fleischmann. Thank you, sir. Very important.
    My second question is, as you are aware, sir, the city of 
Chattanooga, which I represent, has submitted an application 
for a project under the Section 14 Emergency Streambank 
Stabilization Program under the Continuing Authorities Program.
    The Riverton Streambank Stabilization project, as it is 
known, is critical to the health, safety, and economic 
interests of my district, as the area of the Tennessee River 
bank that is impacted includes a city-owned sewer line which, 
if compromised, could allow sewage to flow into the Tennessee 
    Any insight or status updates you could provide on this 
critically important request would be greatly appreciated, sir.
    General Spellmon. Yes, sir. So CAP 14 is an incredibly 
important capability for us, as you mentioned, the streambank 
and shoreline erosion program.
    Sir, we have the letter of intent from the non-Federal 
sponsor. And my team of engineers, they are going through all 
of these letters that we have throughout the country, as we 
rack and stack these very important projects.
    Sir, while I don't have a decision for you today, we will 
keep the lines of communication wide-open with you and your 
staff as we progress in these evaluations.
    Mr. Fleischmann. And, General, I thank you again. You and 
your staff have been most attentive to this request, and if I 
can personally once again stress my interest in keeping abreast 
of this project. It is critically important to our community in 
so many different ways. And I thank you for your service with 
the Corps and to our country.
    And, with that, Madam Chair, I respectfully yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Mr. Fleischmann, very much.
    We will call on Mr. Kilmer next. But for the information of 
the other members, following Congressman Kilmer, we will have 
Mr. Newhouse and Ms. Frankel next.
    Congressman Kilmer.
    Mr. Kilmer. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Mr. Pinkham, welcome, and congratulations on your 
appointment. I am looking forward to working with you in this 
new role.
    And welcome, Lieutenant General Spellmon. I have valued 
your partnership on the myriad of Corps regulatory issues we 
have worked on in the past. I am grateful that your agency 
hasn't taken out a restraining order against me or my team 
quite yet.
    But, listen, unfortunately, despite that partnership, I 
believe you are both aware of two fairly significant regulatory 
challenges facing the region I represent. And I am hoping to 
get to both of them.
    First, as you are aware, in-water construction permits have 
been stuck in limbo in our region for more than 2 years while 
the Corps and the National Marine Fisheries Service try to 
reach agreement on how to define the environmental baseline for 
existing structures.
    I understand the significant challenge your two agencies 
face in terms of protecting and restoring near-shore habitat 
while also developing a permitting system that allows for 
dependable project timelines to accomplish critical upgrades to 
essential infrastructure.
    But the fact that the two agencies have been stuck in limbo 
for over 2 years is simply unacceptable. And I understand that, 
as the newly appointed leadership at the Corps, this is a 
problem that you have inherited, but I am counting on you to 
step up and solve this. Because applicants simply cannot wait 
another season to make these repairs, many of which are 
necessary to address imminent safety hazards and environmental 
    So here is my first question. What is the strategy to 
engage leadership at NOAA NMFS to reach a resolution here, and 
what is the timeline?
    Mr. Pinkham. Thank you, Congressman Kilmer.
    This concern was raised when I was at the Port of Tacoma my 
second week on the job, and I asked my staff for briefing 
materials, which I recently received with my other onboarding 
materials. And I will work with the staff and my counterparts 
over at the Commerce Department on the West Coast guidance to 
get some clarity on it. So I can pledge that to you, that this 
will be one of my priorities.
    So I think, in addition to the timing delays, but really 
what are the mitigation responsibilities that go along with it?
    So I promise that I will be working with the Commerce 
Department to get some clarity around this, to make sure that 
our authorities are aligned with what is required under the 
Endangered Species Act and a better understanding of what that 
West Coast guidance really means.
    Mr. Kilmer. Understanding that you are still getting up to 
speed on it, can I just ask you to follow up with me and with 
my team on what the resolution here is, and what the strategy 
is, and how much longer it is going to take?
    Mr. Pinkham. I would be happy to do that.
    Mr. Kilmer. Thank you.
    Let me shift gears. I would like to touch on another 
significant regulatory challenge folks in my neck of the woods 
are facing, the significant backlog of shellfish aquaculture 
permits that the Seattle District is working to reverify after 
the 2017 Nationwide Permit 48 was overturned in district court 
last year.
    I am grateful that the Northwestern Division and 
headquarters have directed additional staffing resources to the 
Seattle District thanks to an increase in funding and explicit 
direction from this committee to begin working through this 
    And I understand the significant work that has gone into 
developing several templates for different growing areas that 
can help hopefully expedite approval of the standard individual 
    But despite months of work and additional staff, those 
efforts have not yet produced a meaningful increase in permit 
approvals. In fact, as of a week ago, fewer than 60 permits 
have been issued. And even with the added capacity, they are 
still only able to process about 10 per week.
    Even with the Seattle District's efforts to scale up at 
that pace, with hundreds of applications in the queue, it will 
take 17 to 20 months to get through this remaining backlog.
    And I am pretty concerned that despite the increased 
funding, and the direction from Congress, the spring shellfish 
season has already come and gone and only a tenth of these 
permits have been reissued and that the region is still 
struggling to scale up in a meaningful way.
    This lag is putting many small family businesses in danger 
of not securing permits for planting during this critical 
    So here are my questions.
    What can you tell us today about the current and forecasted 
pace of processing permits for shellfish operations?
    Will the Corps successfully complete the 130 permits that 
have been identified by growers as essential to being able to 
plant during the current season, which ends in mid to late 
    And will you commit to providing the Seattle District the 
resources they need to complete these priority permits before 
the planting window closes so that this critical deadline is 
not missed and we don't lose a whole bunch of jobs?
    General Spellmon. Congressman, this is General Spellmon.
    You are correct. The Corps vacated Nationwide Permit Number 
48, which was incredibly challenging for us. I would just add 
to that the revised 401 clean water rule that was published by 
EPA has given us some additional challenges in our ability to 
process these permits in a timely manner.
    So we are dealing with some very complex legal issues, and 
certainly every permit we issue, we want it to stand up to 
legal scrutiny.
    Sir, the numbers I have as of this morning, we have 
completed 90 permits. We have 100 permits that we have 
prioritized. That is for growers that have to get seed in the 
ground over the next few weeks. And we are working our way 
through that next 100.
    We have added 16 additional staff to the Seattle District. 
And, sir, you know we had to train them, we had to certify 
them, and get them out there.
    You are correct, we are issuing about 10 permits a week, 
and we want to increase that productivity in the days ahead so 
we can meet this next 100.
    Sir, I understand we are updating your staff weekly. We are 
happy to do that more frequently. And you have our commitment 
to get after this challenge.
    I am very familiar. I walk these fields with the growers. I 
understand the challenge. And we are committed to making this 
    Mr. Kilmer. Thank you, Madam Chair. I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much.
    Congressman Newhouse.
    Mr. Newhouse. [inaudible] In this subcommittee, water is 
truly foundational to our rural way of life in the West. This 
year is no different. As you mentioned, Madam Chair, in your 
opening, we have severe water challenges, particularly in the 
western United States.
    As you know, I represent a very rural and also very 
agriculturally rich district in central Washington State. Many 
of my constituents are farmers and ranchers, and they depend on 
a stable water infrastructure for their livelihoods.
    My first question is for Commissioner Palumbo and it 
relates very closely to what Mr. Kilmer brought up, but I 
wanted to underscore because it is so important. Excuse me, 
that is another question I will get to.
    But as it relates to Mr. Kilmer's issue, entities in my 
district, such as ports and cities, counties and businesses,--I 
am getting messed up in my question. It is for Mr. Pinkham. I 
am sorry, Madam Chair. Mr. Pinkham.
    But these entities are required to seek permits, as Mr. 
Kilmer intimated, for maintenance and for new projects. And 
they depend on getting that job done as quickly as possible.
    As I understand it, they are currently facing great 
uncertainty in the permitting process as a result of a 
difference between of opinion between the U.S. Army Corps and 
NOAA over interpretation and implementation of the ESA.
    So just to reiterate that question, what is the Corps doing 
to address this impasse? And how will this interpretation issue 
affect operation and maintenance in Civil Works Programs moving 
    Mr. Pinkham, could you address that quickly again as you 
did to Mr. Kilmer?
    Mr. Pinkham. Thank you, Congressman Newhouse.
    As I shared with Congressman Kilmer, I will work with my 
counterparts at Department of Commerce to find a quick way to 
get this resolved so that we can remove those levels of 
    I am not sure of the direct impacts that your constituents 
are experiencing because of this Northwest rule, but I would be 
happy to work with you to better understand the specific 
implications your constituents are facing.
    Mr. Newhouse. I appreciate that, since you do seem familiar 
with the Northwest. I look forward to working with you on that.
    Mr. Palumbo, I appreciate you being here with us today.
    Over the last 2 years I worked very closely with 
Reclamation on two important projects in my district and their 
administrative title transfers for the Greater Wenatchee 
Irrigation District as well as for the Kennewick Irrigation 
    Reclamation continues to hold biweekly conference calls 
with the district managers. And I am certainly appreciative of 
this work. It sounds like we are close to completing these two 
transfers, hopefully in the next month.
    Mr. Palumbo, can you provide an update from Reclamation on 
the progress of these two title transfers? And if I could, I 
would love to get a commitment from you today that we can close 
out these agreements in the coming months.
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you very much, Congressman. I can give 
you an update on both of those.
    First, the Greater Wenatchee, the three units in the 
Greater Wenatchee. We have presented agreements with respect to 
title transfer agreements, quit claim deeds, project power use 
agreements. All of those have been accepted by Greater 
Wenatchee, and approved.
    We are working on getting that documentation in front of 
Congress for the report and wait period this summer. So in the 
next couple of months, you will be seeing that completed title 
transfer package for that 90-day wait period.
    With respect to Kennewick Irrigation District, it is also 
on track, making a lot of very good progress. We also 
anticipate that this summer Congress will see that completed 
package for the 90-day report and wait period before final 
    So both of those are on track and you will see those in the 
coming months.
    Mr. Newhouse. Very good. I appreciate that update. And 
certainly look forward to getting those finished. A lot of 
people have been working a very long time on that. But thank 
you very much for your update.
    With that, Madam Chair, I will yield back the balance of my 
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Mr. Newhouse.
    We are going to now go to Congresswoman Frankel, and after 
her, Congresswoman Herrera Beutler, Congresswoman Bustos, 
Congresswoman Watson Coleman, and finally Congressman Ryan.
    Congresswoman Frankel.
    Ms. Frankel. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    And thank you to the Army Corps for the work that you do. 
We know you do a lot of work and are usually underresourced. 
But we do appreciate your efforts.
    A couple of things I just wanted to mention that are very 
important here in south Florida. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did 
talk about Everglades funding. And to let you know, that is a 
bipartisan issue for all of us here in Florida, not just south 
Florida. And of course, the intercostal waterways, harbor 
maintenance very important for our economy, as is shore 
    And next I want to jump to a subject that has been a little 
bit of a sore point here, especially here in the Palm Beach 
County area, and that is try to get--see that this Herbert 
Hoover Dike is completed and that this issue with the algae, 
and folks in Martin County, and the LOSOM determination. We are 
told that there have been five alternatives for how the Army 
Corps is going to regulate the water level of Lake Okeechobee.
    I want to stress that it is very important that this not 
become political. One of our--without getting into name 
calling--one of the local Congress persons has made this a 
political fight in order to--and I am sympathetic with those in 
parts of south Florida that are having algae outbreaks, but I 
can tell you that the city of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach 
County, Palm Beach, that rely on water levels of Lake 
Okeechobee, that they are somewhat in a panic that they are not 
going to be able to meet water needs if there is a drought.
    And I will tell you that when I was mayor of the city of 
West Palm Beach in 2011, we had a drought, the water levels 
were low, and we came days, literally days from not having any 
water. And what that would have done to our economy, to our 
ability to fight fires, I don't--it was unbelievable, really 
the fear that we had. Luckily it rained. That is all I can say, 
it rained.
    One of the questions I had from some of the stakeholders is 
whether or not--they are asking for a delay in the LOSOM 
decision, which I think is scheduled for some time in July, 
because they are in the process of an economic study that they 
want to share because they do believe that that might influence 
the Army Corps in terms of which alternative to go.
    Because, again, if the water level in the lakes go too low, 
it could have a dramatic impact on our economy. Not only the 
water supply, but hospitality community, restaurants, 
agriculture. There are a lot of players that would be affected, 
not just the folks that are suffering from the algae outbreak.
    So a couple of questions here.
    One is they want to know whether you would consider a delay 
of the LOSOM decision so that you could get more input from our 
communities here?
    Number two, is there a way to solve, are you looking at 
ways to solve the algae issue without threatening the water 
supply for the water users?
    Who wants to answer that question?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, this is General Spellmon. I will 
    I will just start by saying you always get our best 
technical recommendation from the Corps in the development of 
the LOSOM manual. I mean, Congress, rightfully so, does not 
give us any relief on the project purposes for which that 
project was authorized and it was designed and the way it is 
operated. We have to meet all of our water supply deliveries. 
We have to meet our flood control responsibilities, our 
navigation responsibilities on Lake Okeechobee. And of course 
we have to meet the groundwater salinity targets as well.
    What would help them, what else can be done with harmful 
algal blooms? As I shared with the Governor and every 
congressional Member that will talk to us on this issue is 
water management is going to get us only so far in getting 
after this significant water quality problem.
    We have had a very successful initial research and 
development program in intercepting and treating harmful algal 
blooms. Last year we pulled in about 900,000 gallons of water 
and took out of the lake about 4,000 gallons of biomass.
    With a slight investment in R&D we think we can increase 
that tenfold. And of course then we would like to get after 
some industrial size solutions as well.
    We have another R&D program going on up at Lake Erie that 
may also have some efficacy for us at Lake Okeechobee.
    But I think, ma'am, to answer your question, what else can 
the Corps do, it would lie in research and development.
    Ms. Frankel. All right.
    Well, Madam Chair, if we could get that information from 
the Army Corps, that would be much more satisfactory to get you 
money for that than to threaten our water supply. And I would 
be hopeful that you could get us that information.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Ms. Kaptur. Sorry there, Congresswoman Frankel. I lost the 
mute/unmute button.
    We will do what we can to work with the Corps to get you 
the information you need for sure. And I know the Corps would 
want to do that.
    So thank you so much, Congresswoman Frankel.
    We will now move to Congresswoman Herrera Beutler, and then 
after her Congresswomen Bustos, Watson Coleman, and Congressman 
    Ms. Herrera Beutler. All right. Can you hear me? I can't 
see myself anymore because I had to pick up my phone to figure 
out how to unmute, so I am on my phone. My iPad died.
    All that said, it is a pleasure to have you all here. My 
first question, I am going to skip over it and do that second, 
because I wanted to underscore what Congressman Kilmer said.
    I got off this subcommittee 4 years ago, got back on now, 
and this issue of getting the shellfish industry the proper--
helping them secure the proper permits for planting, growing, 
and harvesting is still a massive issue for us. And I worked 
with Mr. Kilmer on this with the whole committee and we secured 
additional funding for the current fiscal year for the express 
purpose of funding the additional work needed for the Corps to 
process permits for this season.
    And I have been in pretty good communication with our new 
colonel in Seattle. I am very impressed with the work he is 
doing. He has actually moved this ball further than any of the 
previous colonels in his position, which is great.
    But I emphasize that our intent was to meet the needs of 
growers for this season, which is now fully upon us. The Corps 
has both the jurisdiction and the responsibility to process 
these permits.
    So I wanted to ask, to be specific, if a grower has 
identified a set of applications where planting needs to occur 
this month or next, will the Corps be able to process his or 
her permits this month and next in time to save the season?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, so we have all of those permits 
that need to go into the ground this month and next at the 
front of the line. And those are at the top of the list that 
Colonel Bullock is working his way down right now.
    Ms. Herrera Beutler. I wanted to ask that you consider how 
we change this and you let us know what we need to do to help 
so that we are not in this position again. I know that if we 
process--I think there is 800-plus permits still to do, which 
you said is about 2 years of permitting at the current rate of 
10 permits per week. That is just not good enough. We have to 
get a way out of this. And I am happy to do whatever I can do 
to give you, whether it is to help us fight for resources, to 
get additional staff, whatever it is. We have to change this.
    Let me move on to my next question. I just really wanted to 
underscore that as Mr. Kilmer and I split the Washington coast.
    You know where my district is and Derek's. I border the 
Columbia-Snake River System in the south that connects the 
Pacific Ocean in the West. And entities in my district rely on 
the Corps maintenance and operations of these waterway projects 
to continue moving.
    The Portland District of the Army Corps--so I get to work 
with both the Seattle Corps and the Portland Corps--presented 
their results of their latest sediment monitoring survey from 
late last year.
    And it showed that the sediment buildup that they were most 
worried about in Lexington had improved, which the Corps 
presented as good news, but I wanted to argue that this 
actually speaks to the volatility of the river and illustrates 
why the Federal Government needs to uphold its responsibility 
of monitoring every year because the opposite could easily 
happen where you have a huge buildup of sediment over a 
relatively short amount of time.
    In one of my counties, Cowlitz County, which is just down 
river of Mount Saint Helens, so Cowlitz needs to know if the 
Corps is going to provide funding this year to complete the 
monitoring work?
    Now, my understanding is that the Corps states that they 
want to do this work every June. But at the same time, both the 
locals and myself are not getting a clear answer if you 
actually have to move things around and find the resources to 
actually do it this June, whether it is going to happen at the 
Portland District.
    And I will say that I find it frustrating to hear that you 
all wanted the monitoring to happen in June, but are unable to 
provide me with a clear answer as to whether or not it is going 
to happen.
    So I guess the question just is, is funding going to be put 
in place to allow the sediment monitoring that the Corps wants 
to do? And if not, why?
    General Spellmon. So, ma'am, we appreciate your support on 
this very important program. My understanding is we had the 
money last year, in fiscal year 2020, and all the money we need 
this year to do sediment monitoring because, as you said, it 
informs the flood control and flood protection measures that we 
take down on the lower basin.
    You have my commitment that I will continue to make my 
strongest technical recommendation [inaudible] Administration 
that we fund this program going forward each year.
    Ms. Herrera Beutler. Thank you, sir. I appreciate your time 
and your service. Thank you.
    I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Congresswoman Herrera Beutler.
    Congresswoman Bustos.
    Mrs. Bustos. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    This question is for Mr. Pinkham and General Spellmon, both 
of you. One is spell out a little bit about the congressional 
district I serve, just for starters. I represent the 
northwestern corner of the State of Illinois, also going all 
the way to into central Illinois.
    So right out my window right here is the Mississippi River. 
I am sitting here in Moline, Illinois, just up from the Rock 
Island Arsenal. And then we have got the Illinois River that 
runs through the southern part of my district.
    All together we have eight locks and dams in this 
congressional district. So, obviously, inland waterways are 
very, very important to the congressional district that I serve 
and also to the Nation.
    So the Upper Mississippi River System is the only river 
system that Congress has designated as a nationally significant 
transportation corridor and nationally significant ecosystem. 
Sixty percent of our Nation's grain exports travel along the 
Upper Mississippi River, including many of the crops that are 
grown in this congressional district that I serve. We are one 
of the biggest producers of corn and soybeans in the entire 
    So the Navigable Ecosystem Sustainability Program--you know 
it as NESP--it was authorized to modernize seven locks along 
the Upper [inaudible] While also providing important ecosystem 
    So I want to first of all say that I appreciate the Corps' 
inclusion of pre-construction engineering and design funding 
for NESP through working plans. However, we desperately need 
construction to start to get moving on these projects. An 
unplanned closure of Lock 25 alone would result in about $1.5 
billion lost to our economy.
    So let me start with this question again to both of you, 
whoever would like to go first. How does the Corps actually 
determine which projects are next in line?
    General, you can start [inaudible].
    General Spellmon. So, ma'am, I will go ahead and start.
    So, as you know, we work with industry and the Inland 
Waterway User Board to prioritize the next set of projects.
    I will tell you that the Capital Investment Strategy that 
was forwarded to Congress in January has NESP very high. It is 
in the upper tier. So we recognize the importance of 
modernizing this infrastructure.
    We have to get these projects ready for construction so we 
can make the argument for the new start authority. So with the 
$5 million that we received in the 2021 work plan, as you said, 
that is going to advance the design on Lock and Dam No. 25, the 
mooring cell at Lock 14, and one environmental project in 
Illinois, the Twin Island shoreline protection program.
    So that is the work we have in front of us now, is to get 
these projects ready for construction so we can make the 
argument for the new start authority.
    Mrs. Bustos. Thank you.
    Mr. Pinkham, anything to add to that?
    Mr. Pinkham. Being relatively new, I am still learning the 
budgeting and decisionmaking process of the Corps. I will do my 
best to be brought up to speed so I can have an answer for you 
in the days ahead.
    Mrs. Bustos. Thank you, Mr. Pinkham.
    The second part of that question, General, I will address 
this to you, is consideration given to the fact that these are 
single lock chambers, meaning if there is an unplanned closure 
that happens on a single lock, that movement along the river is 
completely halted at that point. To the point I made earlier, 
there is severe economic impact when it is like this. Is that 
figured into the equation?
    General Spellmon. Yes, ma'am. It absolutely goes into our 
calculus because of the lack of redundancy in that part of the 
system. We had a similar challenge when I was in the Northwest 
on the Columbia and Snake River System.
    So in short, yes, ma'am, it goes into our math.
    Mrs. Bustos. Okay.
    Let's turn quickly to flood response. Again, as you can 
imagine, when the Mississippi River is right outside that 
window right there, we look very closely at flooding and flood 
    A couple years ago now the Midwest faced really this 
catastrophic flooding, as you know. So for months locks along 
the Upper Mississippi were closed. So again we had to halt the 
movement of goods because of that flooding, not to mention the 
property damage and the impact to the growing season.
    So while Congress passed hundreds of millions of dollars 
for this emergency response, such as dredging that we had early 
in June of 2019, [inaudible] Of funds took months.
    And so while relying on emergency funding is never the 
ideal scenario to begin with, is there a better way to 
streamline the process so we can get our communities relief 
faster when it comes to emergency scenarios?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, I agree. I don't think we can get 
this money in the ground fast enough.
    I am very familiar with what occurred on the Upper 
Mississippi and in the Lower Missouri in 2019. There were needs 
everywhere. But we agreed, we were going to work hard to 
expedite the construction of these very important projects on 
the concerns of public safety.
    Mrs. Bustos. Okay. Maybe we can drill down a little bit 
deeper when there is more than the 5 minutes that we have 
during this.
    With that, Madam Chair, I yield back.
    And General, thank you very much.
    And, Mr. Pinkham, thank you as well.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Congresswoman Bustos, very much.
    And we will go to Congresswoman Watson Coleman, then 
Congressman Ryan.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you, Chairwoman.
    And thanks to our witnesses today. It has been very 
interesting for me.
    First of all, I want to say address this to the Army Corps 
of Engineers. The Green Brook SubBasin project is in my 
district and I am pleased with the progress that this project 
has made. And I just want to thank you all. And I appreciate 
the fact that we stay in touch and that everyone is working 
diligently to implement this critical flood risk management 
program. So cheers to you and thank you very much.
    I am also pleased to hear from the testimony that the Army 
Corps of Engineers is prioritizing climate resiliency. It is 
very important to us as it relates to the changing climate and 
the varying weather patterns because we are a coastal State and 
there is a lot of flooding both when there are big storms that 
approach, as well as even internal where there are small rivers 
and creeks and things of that nature.
    What I would like to know, when you are developing and 
designing these projects, how do you incorporate the changing 
climate and varying weather patterns, particularly in regards 
to those projects relating to flood and storm damage reduction?
    And moreover, I would like to know how you intend to 
maintain, or retrofit, or renovate past projects to ensure that 
they can withstand these climate shocks.
    General Spellmon. So, ma'am, this is General Spellmon. I 
will give you a brief answer. A very complicated question but 
an excellent one.
    I will tell you that we have been using, as one example, 
you are a coastal State, we have been using sea level rise 
calculators on our coastal projects for the past 12 years. And 
I think we have been in a leader in DOD and even for the 
Federal Government. So we have got different scenarios that we 
design these projects against to prevent the most likely 
scenarios in the outyears ahead.
    We are also working on a reservoir sedimentation model. We 
have a number of reservoirs, to include those in New Jersey, 
that are filling faster with sediment than we had planned. Much 
of that is just due to the fact that we have more rain events 
and the volume of water that is falling in those rain events in 
the Northeast, in the Northwest, is greater that what we had 
predicted. Of course we are also out west dealing with the 
increased sedimentation from wildfires.
    Ma'am, the last thing I will leave with you is we are 
working harder to better understand some recent events. We had 
the bomb cyclone that was mentioned earlier on the Lower 
Missouri in 2019. We had the derecho come through the State of 
Ohio last year.
    We are getting more and more evidence that these events are 
not new. They may be new to us, but they have happened before. 
We just didn't have the technology to capture them at the time.
    So that is another area that we are delving into in our 
research and development programs so we better understand them 
moving forward.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you.
    New Jersey is a State of 537 municipalities, some of which 
are very, very small. I know firsthand from even family that 
there are creeks on their properties that overflow because of 
the sedimentation that has increased over the years and the 
municipalities just aren't keeping up with dredging it and 
doing whatever they have to do to ensure that the adjacent 
properties are protected.
    You all do work with municipalities. Do you depend upon 
them to reach out to you to tell you what they need, what kind 
of funding they need, or what resource they need?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, there are a number of different 
tools that we can use to help [inaudible] Municipalities 
[inaudible]. The Continuing Authorities Program is an excellent 
set of tools to get [inaudible].
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. You keep going out.
    Madam Chairman, he keeps going out. I really couldn't hear 
his response.
    Ms. Kaptur. I think the technical people are trying to fix 
it, Congresswoman Watson Coleman. And if every member could 
turn off or mute their audio, that might help.
    General Spellmon. This is General Spellmon one last time.
    Ma'am, what I would finally recommend is that the 
municipality contact the local district, in this case it is the 
New York District, and they can guide that group to the most 
effective tool for their needs.
    Mrs. Watson Coleman. Thank you very much.
    I yield back. Thank you.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Congresswoman Watson Coleman. We had 
a little trouble with the audio there. And if there is any 
follow up we can help you with, please let me know.
    Finally, Congressman Ryan.
    Mr. Ryan. Thank you, Madam Chair. I appreciate this.
    General Spellmon, always good to see you.
    I have got an issue here I want to raise. In your testimony 
you said that with the requested funds the Corps will emphasize 
investments in high return projects and that the Corps focuses 
on high performing projects and programs within its three main 
water resources missions, one of which is aquatic ecosystem 
    And I really appreciate hearing that, because I happen to 
have a high return aquatic ecosystem restoration project in my 
congressional district. It is the Mahoning River. It runs right 
through 13 communities and cities until it reaches the Ohio-
Pennsylvania line. So important is this river to northeast Ohio 
that the Mahoning Valley Region is named after it.
    So while I am happy to hear your priorities align with 
those of my constituents, I can't help but feel very 
frustrated, to be honest, with both the Army Corps of Engineers 
and the EPA, which isn't here to defend itself.
    The Mahoning River contains eight mostly obsolete low head 
dams and contaminated sediment from a century and half of 
steelmaking along the river, the same steelmaking that helped 
our Nation win World War II.
    In 1977, the EPA reported that the average net discharge 
from the nine major Mahoning River steel plants exceeded 
400,000 pounds per day of suspended solids, 70,000 pounds per 
day of oil and grease, 9,000 pounds per day of ammonium 
nitrogen, 500 pounds per day of cyanide, et cetera. The oil 
discharge alone was equivalent to over 200 barrels of oil per 
    To put those numbers in perspective, the 1988 million 
gallon Ashland oil spill on the Monongahela River was 
characterized as one of the most severe inland oil spills in 
the Nation's history. And by comparison, the much smaller 
Mahoning River chronically received the equivalent of more than 
four Ashland oil spills every year for decades.
    General Spellmon, I think you understand why I have been 
trying for over 18 years, since the day I arrived in Congress, 
to get this river cleaned up. And one would think that the EPA 
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the two entities tasked 
with making sure our rivers are clean, safe, and economically 
productive, would be eager partners in helping these low-income 
Rust Belt communities clean up the river. And, unfortunately 
and inexplicably, I have repeatedly been told that there is no 
Federal help available.
    Why? It is not because the Federal Government doesn't have 
the authority to do it. The authority for the Corps to dredge 
the Mahoning River exists in section 312(b). And as you said in 
your statement, aquatic ecosystem restoration is one of the 
very pillars of the Army Corps' mission.
    And as I think you are aware, the reason that the Federal 
Government has given for washing its hands of this high 
priority project is that the Army Corps claims that if it 
utilizes section 312(b) to dredge the river then it might get 
sued by someone under CERCLA. And I just think this is 
bureaucratic nonsense.
    There is no reason that if the Army Corps and the EPA were 
truly worried about liability they couldn't work with the State 
of Ohio and other stakeholders to sign a hold harmless 
agreement that would protect Federal entities from lawsuits. 
This happens all the time. It should have happened 18 years 
ago. And, indeed, I worked with Chairwoman Kaptur to pass 
report language specifically urging the Corps to do exactly 
that and still nothing was done.
    So I hope you understand my frustration, General. And I 
want nothing more than for you and your excellent Pittsburgh 
District Commander, Colonel Short, who has been absolutely 
phenomenal to work with during the years, to finally be the 
people to fix this logjam and clean up the Mahoning River for 
my constituents. And can you please tell me what you are going 
to do to help?
    I can't hear, Chairwoman.
    Ms. Kaptur. General Spellmon, I am not sure your audio is 
    General Spellmon. Is that any better?
    Ms. Kaptur. That is better. That is better.
    General Spellmon. Okay.
    Sir, you have a willing partner in the Corps. I have 
learned of these projects. I have reached out to Administrator 
Regan at the EPA. It makes little sense to have a national 
capability like the Corps that is very good at cleaning up 
these type sites. I have over 400 projects today in our FUDS 
and FUSRAP program and I am carrying about $18 billion of 
liability against those 400 projects. That is so we can take 
care of a community or individual if something goes wrong.
    I don't have that liability protection anywhere in my Civil 
Works Program. So I have asked the Administrator to work with 
us and give us a hold harmless agreement so we can help out the 
Mahoning River and Bubbly Creek of Chicago.
    So, sir, we are starting those conversations now with EPA, 
and we look forward to moving forward on your project and one 
in Chicago.
    Mr. Ryan. General, I can't thank you enough for that 
[inaudible] And I know the chairwoman is deeply committed to 
this as well.
    So my time is up, but I thank you and will continue to be 
in contact.
    Thank you, Chairwoman.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congressman Ryan.
    Ah, progress. It took us about 18 years to build the World 
War II Memorial. So it seems like things when you deal in 
Washington take 18 years, nearly two decades.
    Now I would like to move to a second round of questioning. 
I want to thank our witnesses for their endurance and the 
wonderful participation of our members.
    I might note that regionally this subcommittee is so 
representative. We have had members from the Northeast, 
Southeast, the Heartland, Southwest, the Northwest. This is 
quite a subcommittee to serve on. So I just want to thank all 
the members for joining us and for their endurance today and 
for our guests and their endurance.
    I wanted to move to a question of General Spellmon that you 
weren't warned about, but it is not a real hard question. You 
might take it for the record.
    I represent the largest watershed in the Great Lakes. It is 
called the Western Basin of Lake Erie. It covers parts of three 
States and the western part of Ontario Province in Canada.
    Lake Erie is a troubled lake. I would like to know if 
anywhere in the Corps there is an example of where you have 
done spatial planning for a very large landscape that drains an 
agricultural basin that is full of soybeans and corn and over 
20 million animals, that then the water works its way down 
after a rainfall to the mouth of what is called the Maumee 
River into Lake Erie, and with changing temperatures and no ice 
cover we are getting massive algal blooms.
    Now, we have worked for over 20 years with the agricultural 
community, with every agency you can imagine, and we solved 
about 12 percent of the problem.
    We can't wait another 20 years. What I need is a better 
plan. I don't know whether we are supposed to reengineer the 
ditches, whether we are supposed to capture field runoff, if we 
are supposed to process manure. I mean, I could give you a long 
    But I am interested in the capabilities you have to deal 
with watersheds that impair fresh waters. We are going to need 
fresh water. And I hear the problems of algal blooms down in 
Lake Okeechobee. But we have our problems, big ones, in Lake 
Erie and Lake Ontario.
    So my question is, do you have that land planning, land 
water planning capability to take the data we have and to give 
us clues on what we might do next to be more successful in the 
shorter term?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, we do. I will just caveat my 
response that I am giving you is the Corps has very little 
authority on water quality. I mean, Congress is very clear on 
who owns water quality. It is a State responsibility under the 
Clean Water Act.
    Having said that, I would like to employ more of my 
research and development capabilities. And I have mentioned to 
you the work we have ongoing today with the University of 
Toledo, with Bowling Green, and Ohio State University.
    We are taking this next 3 years, we are going to take an 
inoculation approach on Lake Erie. And what I mean by that is 
we are going to look at can we use existing bacteria in the 
lake, augment it safely and chemically to break down the 
microcystin and the toxins that are in that algae that are 
harmful for human health.
    That is what the Corps can offer. And in places like Lake 
Okeechobee on top of that we can add in water management 
options that also help to help to break up these blooms.
    But that would be my humble recommendation, as well to 
continue on our research and development efforts to inform more 
long-term solutions on these very large freshwater systems.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, General, very much. It is really--it 
is a huge worry. And I thank you. Any intelligence you have, 
any ideas, we will put a little consortium of the best minds 
together and figure out what is next, because I am just getting 
so many more complaints.
    My other question again relates to the Great Lakes. I have 
to be her spokesperson here today.
    The Great Lakes is also a navigation system, and ships 
transfer goods from port to port and rely on safe and well-
managed conditions at both ends of their journey as it wends 
its way towards its portal to the Atlantic Ocean. It really is 
the heartland's corridor. And, thankfully, the Great Lakes 
Navigation System has received more than 10 percent of the 
entire Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund expenditures for operation 
and maintenance each year since 2015.
    Can you as a military man describe for us the importance of 
the Great Lakes Navigation System and the steps that this 
administration will take to ensure we maintain this system in 
the manner that it deserves as America's fourth seacoast?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, it is a great question and thank 
you for that.
    And as you know, the Great Lakes Navigation System, it is 
critical for trade, not only for the region but for our Nation.
    It is extensive, over 2,400 miles. It includes 140 harbors, 
two operational locks, and then 104 miles of breakwaters and 
jetties and over 600 miles of navigation channel that we 
    And I would just share with you my commitment to ensure 
that these harbors and the associated infrastructure will 
continue to receive robust funding and we will continue to make 
our strongest technical recommendation that we keep this system 
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, General. I think in the coming years 
it is going to be more important to the Nation. We do have the 
longest seacoast if you unwind it.
    And so in view of the time, I would like to move to our 
ranking member, Mr. Simpson.
    Mr. Simpson. Thank you, Chairwoman Kaptur.
    I have got question that I would like to ask. But before 
that, I want to kind of comment on something and get your 
    Last year we funded the Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Project 
with $192.5 million, which was the total cost of the project or 
estimated cost of the project, even though the Army Corps told 
us that they could probably only spend, if my memory is 
correct, about $68 million was the maximum they could spend.
    Yet, the California delegation, some in the California 
delegation, wanted the entire funding, even though they 
couldn't spend it all, which meant there is over $100 million 
sitting in an account that you can't spend. That means it is 
not being spent on other projects and needful projects with the 
backlog that you all have.
    I said at the time, if we do this, if we head down this 
road, what is to prevent, say--and I said at the time--the 
Florida delegation for asking for full funding for the 
restoration of the Everglades project even though the Army 
Corps can't spend all of that in a year.
    As I understood your answer to Representative Wasserman 
Schultz's question, you are going to ask for full funding for 
the Jacksonville Division of what you can spend on the 
Everglades project. And believe me, I am a strong supporter of 
restoring the Everglades. But is that what you are saying?
    General Spellmon. Yes, sir. That is exactly what I am 
saying. I want to fund this district to capability, projects 
that they can put in the ground that year without any overhead, 
because the need is greater than the resources that we have. So 
there are plenty of needs across the Nation where the 
additional money doesn't need to sit in that account that you 
described, it can go to work in other places.
    Mr. Simpson. Well, I appreciate that. That was kind of my 
argument last year. And I hate to see us heading down this road 
where we are funding projects and letting money sit in an 
account so the politicians can say, we have got all this 
funding, even though we can't spend it. Because as you know, 
there is a backlog out there that needs to be addressed.
    But this is my question that I would ask all three of you. 
I have said many times over the years that I support a variety 
of innovative financing and alternative delivery tools for both 
the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. 
These tools can include public-private partnerships, or P3s, 
and mechanisms to allow non-Federal sponsors a greater role in 
executing projects.
    When used correctly and in the appropriate situation, these 
tools can deliver projects faster and at lower cost to both the 
Federal Government and the non-Federal sponsors.
    However, I remain concerned that the executive branch is 
choosing instead to use these tools simply to pressure non-
Federal sponsors into paying more than their statutorily 
required cost shares in order to jump to the front of the line 
of Federal funding.
    This approach raises serious equity questions, particularly 
for small, rural, or disadvantaged communities.
    Mr. Palumbo, your written testimony states, ``We will 
continue to seek to optimize non-Federal contributions to 
accomplish more with our Federal dollars.'' On its face, this 
statement seems to be my exact concern.
    Can you please explain more fully what you mean by your 
testimony and how Reclamation works to avoid equity concerns 
when utilizing innovative financing tools?
    And, Mr. Pinkham and General Spellmon, how do you believe 
these tools are for the Civil Works Programs? And do you agree 
that they must be implemented in a way that does not allow 
certain communities to jump to the front of line? And if so, 
how can the Corps adjust its use of these tools to ensure we 
avoid that concern?
    Long question.
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you, Congressman Simpson. I appreciate 
that question, and it is a critical one.
    We look at opportunities for P3, public-private 
partnerships, P4, public public-private partnerships, but we do 
that in concert and in collaboration with our non-Federal 
partners. And we only look at it when it makes economic sense 
and it makes fiscal sense. And if the benefits don't outweigh 
the costs, it is something that we are not going to pursue.
    It is on the forefront of our mind that we only pursue 
these type of innovative financing systems when it makes sense 
for all parties. We don't want an inequity issue to arise. We 
want to make sure we can execute the projects in a timely 
manner but do so fairly for all of our constituents.
    So I recognize your concern. It is something that we think 
about when we look at these type of opportunities.
    General Spellmon. Sir, this is General Spellmon. I will 
just add to that.
    We absolutely appreciate the concerns that you put before 
us with non-Federal implementation. As Mr. Palumbo said, we 
want to promote both efficiency and equity. And the way we are 
going to go about this, specifically with 1043.
    So you know we have two 1043 pilot projects ongoing right 
now, one in Illinois and one down in Texas. We have learned a 
lot as we have gone through that.
    Moving forward, before we get into a next round of 
projects, we are in the process now of updating our 
implementation guidance to the field.
    We are going to take that out and get public comment on it. 
And then, sir, we want to put that before you as well to make 
sure that we are addressing all of your concerns before we 
discuss authorizing any future projects along those lines.
    And, sir, as I said in my opening statement, we absolutely 
want to get after these tools that Congress has given us, but 
we have got to do it efficiently and we have got to do it with 
    Mr. Simpson. Well, I appreciate that.
    Ms. Kaptur. The gentleman's time has expired.
    Oh, go ahead.
    Mr. Simpson. I think P3s are very important. I just don't 
want communities that are more rural and not as rich to be 
jumped over the top of. And I know you understand that concern.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you, Mr. Simpson.
    Congresswoman Frankel.
    Ms. Frankel. Thank you. Madam Chair, is the sound okay, 
because I got a word from your committee that there was a weird 
noise. Is it okay now?
    Ms. Kaptur. It sounds much better. Thank you.
    Ms. Frankel. Okay. I don't know what that was. But, anyway, 
thank you, Madam Chair.
    Again, I want to get back to this issue of the lake level, 
Lake Okeechobee. And I want to restate that my stakeholders 
here believe that Alternative BB is the only plan that actually 
improves the water supply to a pre-LORS 2008 level of service. 
They believe that the Army Corps made a commitment to them that 
that would be where they would be going and that is the most 
balanced alternative.
    They tell me that in discussions with the Army Corps they 
were told, number one, that--and you can tell me whether this 
is true--they were told first of all that the purpose of 
repairing the dike was not to hold more water, but to just 
guard against floods.
    And number two, when they explained that there would be 
serious economic repercussions for especially the people who 
lived around the lake and the agriculture community, and that 
President Biden had an executive order on environmental 
justice, that they were told that that order came after the 
LOSOM study so that wouldn't be considered. That doesn't sound 
right at all.
    So that is two questions.
    Third is, and we never got to this, is it possible for you 
to give these stakeholders more time to present their economic 
study before your July deadline?
    And then you also mentioned that if you could get more 
resources for your study, your environmental study, that you 
may be able to solve the algae problem.
    So could you elucidate on that? You have the four questions 
or do I need to repeat them again?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, I will take my best swing. I think 
I have got them all.
    I will start at the back end. The R&D program is called 
HABITATS, and I am sorry for the acronym. It is the Harmful 
Algal Bloom Interception and Treatment System. We will report a 
capability moving forward for an additional 2.5 million. What 
that will allow us to do is increase tenfold the amount of 
water and algae that we have taken from the lake. And we want 
that information to inform a more industrial-scale operation. 
That was your first----
    Ms. Frankel. Would that influence the LOSOM decision?
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, I don't believe it will influence 
the LOSOM decision. Let me go back. You asked can we delay the 
    So Congress has put in law that we will release LOSOM in 
concert with the Herbert Hoover Dike completion, which is 
scheduled for October of next year.
    So no decisions have been made. And I understand we are 
getting a lot of meaningful public comment and we certainly 
want that to continue.
    We did put five alternatives out for consideration. The 
next step in this process, we will continue with the community 
engagement, but we will put out a draft LOSOM manual in January 
of this year. And that goes out for public comment. And then we 
have got to adjudicate all of those comments.
    And that would be the appropriate time, if the district 
felt it needed more time to complete the final, we would come 
back to Congress and ask for that additional time. But that 
would be following the public comment period from the draft 
LOSOM manual coming in January.
    Ms. Frankel. So if you understand the--I hear an echo.
    Madam Chair, are you getting an echo from me? Okay.
    Ms. Kaptur. I just ask everyone to turn off their 
microphone if they are not speaking, please.
    Proceed, Congresswoman.
    Ms. Frankel. Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Yes. So do the stakeholders still have some time to submit 
their economic [inaudible].
    General Spellmon. Yes, ma'am. We do not intend to go final 
with a record of decision for LOSOM until October of 2022, and 
that is in concert with completing the dike rehabilitation.
    Ms. Frankel. That sounds good. And you are going to--I am 
assuming you are going to consider President Biden's executive 
order on the environmental justice.
    General Spellmon. Ma'am, we incorporate environmental 
justice into all of our projects and our operations and have 
since it was first issued by President Clinton.
    Ms. Frankel. Okay. Thank you very much.
    Madam Chair, thank you so much. I yield back.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Frankel. You 
are a faithful attendee.
    Congressman Newhouse.
    Mr. Newhouse. Mr. Pinkham, I know you are new to your role, 
but I also know that you are very familiar with the Columbia 
River Treaty, as are you, General Spellmon.
    With the impending deadline for changes for flood risk 
management after 2024, we need to be planning now to ensure 
that plans are in effect by the time they are needed, either 
under the current or under a revised treaty.
    Each of you on the panel deals with these issues, so I 
would encourage you all to provide an update to the committee 
on the status of flood risk management planning for funding 
purposes as soon as possible.
    But in addition to a formal response following this 
hearing, what are you able to share about the status of flood 
risk management planning with or without modifications to the 
    Is the Corps completing planning for funding for flood risk 
management in 2024 and beyond?
    And is it correct that the Corps needs no further authority 
to make payments to Canada for flood risk management?
    General Spellmon. Sir, this is General Spellmon. So I will 
    As you know, our interest in the Columbia River Treaty from 
the beginning was maintaining similar levels of flood 
protection for the people in the region.
    Sir, you know we are military so we are always planning for 
contingencies on which direction the negotiations may go. And, 
sir, I would welcome the opportunity to come behind closed 
doors, give you an update on more specifics of the 
    Mr. Newhouse. Okay. I look forward to that. Let's make that 
    Mr. Pinkham, any comment?
    Mr. Pinkham. Congressman Newhouse, I share General 
Spellmon's commitment to meet with you one on one to help give 
you an update on the treaty process.
    Mr. Newhouse. Okay. Good. Thank you both, gentlemen.
    Turning gears just a little bit, Mr. Palumbo, the Yakima 
Basin Integrated Water Management Plan, which I believe you are 
aware of, is something that I am very proud of and continue to 
champion. But it calls for upstream salmon passage at the Cle 
Elum Dam.
    There were tests conducted to improve passage using new 
fish technologies in the summer of 2017. According to the 
researchers who conducted the tests, the installed systems 
really performed quite well.
    Is there any effort to have new fish passage systems 
permanently deployed at reclamation dams for upstream passage? 
And how can we--if I might, Madam Chair--how can we as a 
subcommittee support those efforts?
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you very much, Congressman, for, number 
one, your support of the Yakima Integrated Plan. I understand 
all of your support over the years, it has been very helpful 
for us, with the Yakima Nation, with the local irrigation 
districts, with the State of Washington, and of course with the 
Bureau of Reclamation. We appreciate that.
    We are very proud of fish passage in general, and very 
proud of the project at the Cle Elum fish passage project in 
particular, relative to your question.
    The Bureau of Reclamation piloted that research to explore 
an opportunity in our labs in Denver, and we deployed that to 
the field.
    So that is currently under construction at the Cle Elum 
fish passage. We are making very good progress. We have several 
contracts underway currently. We expect to complete that 
project in the next couple of years to allow that juvenile fish 
passage. And very, very excited about seeing that deployed on 
the ground. And we are committed to other areas to deploy fish 
passage as well.
    Mr. Newhouse. Well, we stand ready to assist you in that 
and look forward to continuing working with you on improving 
fish passage at reclamation dams. So thank you very much for 
that response.
    Mr. Palumbo. Thank you.
    Mr. Newhouse. Madam Chair, I will yield back the balance of 
my time.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Congressman Newhouse. You, 
as well, are a very faithful attendee.
    I just think we have the greatest committee, on both sides 
of the aisle. We don't get a lot of publicity. We are 
conducting America's business, and so are you. And it is what 
the Congress is meant to do from its very founding.
    And this particular subcommittee is so regionally 
representative. I am just so proud of everyone that serves on 
it and the type of work that we do for the country.
    I am going to go through a very brief third round, won't 
take long, I am sure. But I wanted to ask Mr. Palumbo if you 
could find me somewhere at the Bureau of Reclamation a 5-minute 
summary of some of the current challenges facing our country--
for example, the recent challenges to the Colorado River--in 
ways that the American people could understand.
    We will put it on our websites. We will try to educate the 
public. I think The New Republic had a really great article, if 
I am thinking the correct magazine, about the Colorado River. 
To put into perspective, a broader perspective, what America is 
facing in different regions of this very great Nation. I don't 
know if you have that or not.
    I was going to ask General Spellmon for the same 
information for the Army Corps and to take what you have and 
extract from it information for the American people about the 
importance of certain waterways, some of the current challenges 
we face.
    And don't speak in engineer's language, speak in Earth 
science language, so that the public can understand. Really 
many schools don't teach geography anymore. People don't even 
know the way rivers flow, the directions that they flow.
    So I think it is important for our website and for us as a 
subcommittee to help educate the country, to help educate the 
press, to help educate teachers about some of these changing 
conditions of our country for the sake of the future.
    So if you two could just think about that, I would be very 
    Also, I wanted to ask Mr. Pinkham in these closing moments, 
the President's budget request overview for the Corps of 
Engineers provided Congress with some insight into this 
administration's priorities and noted it would invest in what 
they called high return projects.
    For instance, some may consider certain commercial 
navigation projects as high return projects, whereas others may 
value other ecosystem restoration projects as having an equal 
or higher return of a different nature.
    How do you see this administration weighing the various 
types of projects that the Corps oversees, and where do you see 
this administration placing its highest priorities? Broadly 
speaking, what are the themes or goals of the administration's 
priorities that will guide your budget requests that we will be 
receiving later in the week?
    Mr. Pinkham. Thank you, Chair Kaptur, for the question.
    What really enticed me to accept this position with this 
administration were its priorities and the priorities around 
climate change, social and environmental justice, and because 
of my background strengthening the relationships with Tribes.
    So I look at those through that lens of the priorities that 
I really want to work with this administration on in 
fulfilling, getting the station prepared and adequately teed up 
to respond to the climate change challenges that we are facing, 
as well as the social and environmental justice.
    And I realize that is not answering your question 
specifically about how you balance the competing kind of 
challenges and values and needs that are out there in the 
community, and that is one of the things I need to work with 
you on, is better understanding. What are those challenges on 
the ground that the communities are struggling with? And how 
can I work with the communities and this committee in 
addressing the setting of those priorities?
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you very much, Mr. Pinkham. We look 
forward to working with you.
    I understand that my dear colleague, Mr. Simpson, has no 
further questions. If that is correct, I would like to ask any 
other member who is currently still seated if they have any 
questions at this time.
    Mr. Simpson. Chairwoman Kaptur, this is Simpson.
    Ms. Kaptur. Thank you. Yes, Congressman Simpson.
    Mr. Simpson. I don't have any further questions, but I did 
want to say, if you want to read history of the Colorado River 
and the basin and the challenges it faces, there is a book out 
called ``Science Be Damned.'' Very interesting book that I 
would encourage anybody to read. And I am sure there are other 
perspectives also.
    But I just wanted to say, I would be remiss if I didn't 
welcome Jaime to his new position.
    It is good to see you again, and I look forward to working 
with you in this.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Pinkham. Thank you, Congressman Simpson. I look forward 
to the partnership as well.
    Mr. Simpson. You bet.
    Ms. Kaptur. I want to thank Ranking Member Simpson. He is a 
very studious member, a man who should serve this country. Just 
before I left Washington, he tracked me down and gave me a book 
to read about some of America's most important minerals and 
critical elements that we should pay attention to.
    And it is interesting to me some of what the press focuses 
on. This is really serious business and we have a serious 
committee. And it is just great to know these Members of 
Congress. It gives you hope for the future.
    So thank you, Congressman Simpson.
    And I will ask any other member who is currently seated, if 
you have an additional question, now is the time.
    Congresswoman Frankel.
    All right. Very good.
    In closing today, I just want to thank many of our staff 
who have made today's excellent hearing possible. On our side 
of the aisle, Jamie Shimek, Mike Brain, Lauren Leuck, Matt 
Kaplan, and Will Ostertag. And finally, on the minority side, 
Angie Giancarlo.
    I will say that we are now concluding this afternoon's 
hearing. I would like to thank our witnesses for joining us 
today and ask our witnesses to please ensure for the hearing 
record that questions for the record and any supporting 
information requested by the subcommittee are delivered in 
final form to us no later than 3 weeks from the time you 
receive them.
    Members who have additional questions for the record will 
have until the close of business on Wednesday to provide them 
to the subcommittee office.
    Again, thank you to everyone.
    Thank you, Ranking Member Simpson.
    This hearing is adjourned.
    [Answers to submitted questions follow:]