The Senate Appropriations Cmte. hears from Interior Department officials about FY2013 Budget requests for energy development programs. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) chairs the hearing.
Witnesses included Tommy Beaudreau, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), whose agency is requesting $164.1 million, a $3.3 million increase above the 2012 enacted level. Joining him was James Watson, Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), whose request is $222.2 million, a $24.8 million increase above the 2012 enacted level.
Much of the focus of the hearing was on off-shore drilling issues in the light of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement includes $3.7 million in base funding for the National Offshore Training and Learning Center, where federal inspectors are being trained.
In addition, the hearing looked at the environmental impact of "fraking," or hydraulic fracturing, and other technologies for retreiving gas and oil from underground reserves.
Robert Abbey, Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), also testifies.