Thursday, March 9, 2023
Proposed investments will advance commitments to Tribal Nations, climate resilience, clean energy, conservation, environmental justice and American jobs
WASHINGTON — The Biden-Harris administration today released the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2024. The Budget details a blueprint to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, lower costs for families, protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, and reduce the deficit by ensuring the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share—all while ensuring no one making less than $400,000 per year pays more in taxes.
“President Biden’s proposed budget builds on the historic investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to bolster our nation’s economy – generating jobs and supporting local and Tribal communities, building resilience to our changing climate, and managing important natural resources,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “At the Department, we will continue to implement our mission through a process that values close collaboration between federal, state, Tribal and local partners, with an eye toward historically marginalized and underrepresented communities that must never again feel left behind.”
The Department of the Interior’s 2024 budget totals $18.9 billion, an increase of $2 billion, or 12%, over the FY 2023 enacted budget. It makes critical, targeted investments in the American people that will promote greater prosperity and economic growth for decades to come.
At the Department, the budget will:
Address climate challenges and build resilience: The FY 2024 budget recognizes the Department’s important role in the Administration’s all-of-government approach to tackling climate change and building long-term resilience. The proposal continues investments to face the immediate challenges of the climate and biodiversity crises, while laying the foundation to build America’s resilience, promote economic growth, and create good paying jobs. As part of the President’s Justice40 initiative, the budget calls for 40% of the benefits of certain federal investments to be directed to disadvantaged communities.
- Wildland fire management: Climate change is driving the devastating intersection of extreme heat, drought, and wildland fire danger across the United States, creating wildfires that move with a speed and intensity previously unseen. This has created conditions in which wildfires overwhelm response capabilities, resulting in billions of dollars in economic losses, damage to natural resources, devastation to communities, and the tragic loss of human life. The budget requests for $1.7 billion for wildland fire management, including $350 million for additional wildfire suppression resources in the event of an extreme fire season. This is an increase of $243.1 million or 17 percent above the comparable FY 2023 level. The funding proposal includes $72 million to support pay reforms for federal and Tribal wildland firefighters. In addition, the FY 2024 budget provides an increase of $45 million above FY 2023 to increase firefighting capacity.
- Drought and on-going water challenges: As communities across the Colorado River Basin continue to face the impacts the ongoing drought crisis, the Biden-Harris administration is acting to improve and protect the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River System now and into the future. The Department of the Interior is pursuing a collaborative, consensus-based approach to both deploy resources that conserve water and increase the efficiency of water use in the Colorado River Basin. The FY 2024 budget proposal includes $1.4 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation, which supports a suite of water conservation, recycling and planning programs to help communities mitigate drought and climate change impacts. This includes $16.8 million for the Lower Colorado River Operations Program to implement drought contingency plans and response actions to maintain elevations at Lake Mead. The request also includes $62.9 million for programs that work cooperatively with states, Tribes and local communities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supplies.
- Protecting America’s iconic natural areas: Like resource managers across the country, Department staff are seeing significant climate impacts in the lands, waters and resident species they work to manage and protect every day. Among investments to address this reality, the National Park Service budget includes $377.4 million, an increase of $75 million from FY 2023, for natural resource management in national parks. This funding will increase natural resource staffing in parks across the country and support projects to restore areas impacted by fire or help to identify solutions to mitigate the impacts of drought. The National Park Service budget also includes funding for climate vulnerability assessments to better identify, plan for, and mitigate impacts on park resources. At the same time, the budget allocates $900 million in permanent Land and Water Conservation Funds available through the Great American Outdoors Act, to promote the conservation and enjoyment of extraordinary natural areas and cultural resources for years to come.
Create jobs while continuing to move clean energy forward: The time to act on climate is now. Renewable energy — including solar, onshore and offshore wind, geothermal, and wave and tidal energy projects — will lower costs for families, help communities across the country be part of the climate solution, and create good-paying union jobs. The demand for renewable energy has never been greater. The technological advances, increased interest, cost effectiveness, and tremendous economic potential make these projects a promising path for diversifying our national energy portfolio. The FY 2024 budget includes increases in offshore and onshore renewable programs to build upon and continue support for the exponential growth accomplished by these programs in the past year.
- Offshore Wind Energy: The FY 2024 budget request includes $64.5 million for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) renewable energy program, an increase of $21.6 million above FY 2023. This includes a $12 million increase to support permitting associated with the current offshore wind leasing path forward. The budget includes $92.8 million for BOEM’s Environmental Programs, an increase of $10.4 million, which includes funding for environmental review associated with renewable energy projects.
- Onshore Renewable Energy: The FY 2024 budget proposal also includes $72.5 million for the Bureau of Land Management’s renewable energy program, an increase of $31.6 million from FY 2023. This funding builds capacity and provides resources for increased environmental reviews and Endangered Species Act consultation to support appropriate renewable energy deployment scenarios in key ecological regions.
Strengthen Tribal Nations: The FY 2024 budget proposal affirms this Administration’s steadfast commitment to honor our nation’s Tribal trust responsibilities and strengthen government-to-government relationships. In addition to valuable investments in Tribal communities, the budget proposal funds several key initiatives of Secretary Haaland’s, including addressing the legacy of the federal Indian boarding schools, Native language revitalization, and coordinating federal efforts to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples crisis. Additional investments include:
- Education: The 2024 budget request includes $1.6 billion for Indian education programs and school construction, an increase of $209.2 million above FY 2023, to provide a strong educational foundation for Indigenous children to succeed. An additional $27.5 million will expand grant awards for Tribal Native language revitalization programs, which are imperative to restore generational continuity and Tribal culture, and strengthen Tribal sovereignty.
- Public safety and justice: The budget includes $717.1 million for public safety and justice at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, an increase of $85.8 million above FY 2023. This includes $316.3 million for criminal investigations and police services programs, an increase of $42.2 million.
- Land acquisition to protect and conserve natural resource areas: The proposed budget includes $12 million for the creation of a new Tribal Land and Water Conservation Fund land acquisition program, pending government-to-government consultation, to further enhance the ability of Tribes to promote conservation and recreation, support Tribal sovereignty and self-determination, and provide another important tool to increase opportunities for Tribal co-stewardship.
Building on the President’s strong record of fiscal responsibility, the Budget more than fully pays for its investments—reducing deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.
For more information on the President’s FY 2024 Budget, please visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/.
For more information on the FY 2024 budget proposals for the Department, please visit: please visit: www.doi.gov/cj.