Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee approves FY 2015 discretionary budget

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development approved on Wednesday a discretionary budget of $34.2 billion for fiscal year 2015.

The budget is an increase of $148 million over 2014 and approximately $525 more than what President Barack Obama requested.

"The fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water bill focuses on 3 priorities: advancing water resources projects, mitigating the effects of drought and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairman of the committee, said.

The bill includes more than $5 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge waterways for trade and flood prevention, as well as provide recreational opportunities at campgrounds, lakes and marinas. Approximately $1 billion is allotted for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation to improve water management in 17 states and reduce the impact of droughts in Western states.

The budget also recommends more than $28 billion to develop clean energy technologies and modernize and secure the nuclear and radiological materials.

Feinstein also cited the security implications of the budget.

"To keep Americans safe, the bill significantly increases nuclear nonproliferation activities to help secure and permanently eliminate the most dangerous nuclear and radiological materials that could be used by terrorists," Feinstein said.