Press Releases

Simpson Secures Funding for Nuclear Energy Priorities and Little Wood River Project in FY23 Energy and Water Legislation

Simpson Secures Funding for Nuclear Energy Priorities and Little Wood River Project in FY23 Energy and Water Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today announced that he has secured funding for the Idaho National Laboratory, Office of Nuclear Energy, and nuclear cleanup activities in Idaho as well as $2.6 million in funding for a flood control project in Gooding, Idaho, in the Fiscal Year 2023 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.

“In the FY23 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, I am pleased to see continued support for work on microreactors, including the MARVEL program; work to ensure a supply of high-assay low-enriched uranium, which will be necessary for many of the next generation of reactors; the Advanced Reactors Demonstration Program; and the national laboratory infrastructure necessary to enable these other activities to succeed,” said Simpson.  “The Idaho National Laboratory and its capabilities are key to the future of nuclear energy, and this bill’s investments reflect that.”

The bill provides $315 million for the INL Facilities Operations and Maintenance, $20 million over the FY22 enacted level.  It also provides $442.9 million for cleanup activities associated with the Idaho Cleanup Project and the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project co-located on the Idaho desert with INL.  The funding level will allow the significant cleanup activities currently underway to continue.

Funding for the Little Wood River project in Gooding, Idaho, was included at Congressman Simpson’s request through Community Project Funding.  The project will receive $2.6 million to begin replacement of the walls of the channel that flows through the city of Gooding, Idaho, which was constructed in the 1930s.  Many sections of the wall have failed, leading to an increase in localized flood risk and threat to adjacent public infrastructure and private property.  It is also leading to long-term undermining of the public roads along its corridor from subsurface erosion.  The City of Gooding has been seeking funds for this project for nearly twenty years. 

“The rehabilitation of Gooding’s near century-old river wall is absolutely warranted for the safety and well-being of the community. This project will greatly decrease threats of flooding and damage to public infrastructure as well as private property in Gooding. As ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, I was pleased to secure funding for this important project,” said Congressman Simpson

“The City of Gooding is extremely grateful for Congressman’s Simpson’s strong leadership and commitment in the efforts to replace the failing river wall and bridges within in our community.  The project has been delayed for decades due to escalating costs, and the failing wall is now undermining roadways and poses a greater risk of flooding every year. Thank you, Congressman Simpson, from the citizens of Gooding, Idaho!” - Larry Bybee, Public Works Director

“These individual good items aside, the bill is based on a funding level that passed the House without Republican support,” said Simpson.  “The majority has described their overall discretionary spending level as including ‘significant increases to help fight inflation’. Unfortunately, we can’t spend our way out of the highest inflation levels in 40 years. Even prominent liberal economists have pointed to excessive federal spending as a key cause of inflation, not the solution. We need to be more judicious about how much and where we allocate discretionary spending.”

To ensure transparency and accountability, the House Appropriations Committee established several new rules that every project submitted for funding must follow.  For a new Community Project Funding (CPF) request to be considered, the following criteria must be met:

  • Members must certify that they, their spouse, and their immediate family have no financial interest in the projects they request.
  • Members must post every CPF request online simultaneously with their submission to the Committee on Appropriations.
  • Members must provide evidence of community support that were compelling factors in their decision to select certain projects.
  • Members are allowed a maximum of 15 CPF requests.
  • No CPF grants can be directed towards for-profit grantees.
  • Total CPF spending will be capped at 1 percent of discretionary spending.

Appropriations legislation is expected to be considered on the House floor at the end of July.  For more information on the individual projects or the Community Project Funding (CPF) process, visit Congressman Simpson’s website here.