Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Estimates for the Department of the Interior
STATEMENT OF DEB HAALAND
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON
INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT AND RELATED AGENCIES
COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
JUNE 16, 2021
Chairman Merkley, Ranking Member Murkowski and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of the Interior Department’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Proposal.
It is an honor and privilege for me to be here with you today to represent the Department and our tens of thousands of dedicated professionals. It is also deeply meaningful for me, as the first Native American Cabinet Secretary, to speak to you from the ancestral homelands of the Anacostan and Piscataway people.
I honor Interior’s long tradition of working closely and collaboratively with this Subcommittee and I respect the important role you play in the success of the Department and our programs. Working together, we can accomplish great things on behalf the American people.
Interior’s 2022 budget request totals $17.6 billion, of which $16.0 billion is within the jurisdiction of this Subcommittee. Our 2022 budget request is a $2.5 billion or a 17 percent increase from the 2021 enacted appropriation. This budget will help implement the President’s ambitious vision to lift up the Nation in this unprecedented time by addressing the climate crisis, providing much-needed resources to Tribal nations, restoring balance on public lands and waters, advancing environmental justice, and investing in a clean energy future.
Interior’s wide-ranging programs create economic opportunities and jobs for the American people. As reflected in the Department’s Economic Contributions Report for Fiscal Year 2019, Interior’s mission activities supported an estimated 1.9 million jobs and $336 billion in economic output. Interior has an important and unique mission to uphold and honor the Nation’s trust responsibilities and commitments to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities to help them prosper.
The 2022 budget lays out the important role Interior will play to accomplish the Administration’s goals to move our country forward. This request includes the President’s American Jobs Plan, which provides a longer-term strategy to create millions of good-paying union jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position America to out-compete others on the global stage.
Interior plays an important role in the President’s plan to reinvest in the foundations of the Nation’s strength. The 2022 budget addresses the need to invest in America at this critical time, when the Nation faces challenges from a pandemic, an economic downturn, climate change, and a reckoning with racial injustice. As such, Interior’s 2022 budget invests in America’s future. Programs focus on adaptive management and increasing resilience to the changing climate; creating jobs and economic development; using science to inform; strengthening Tribal nations’ selfdetermination; expanding inclusion of historically underrepresented communities; promoting environmental justice; delivering Interior’s core services; and providing effective stewardship of America’s national treasures.
A key component of the Administration’s investment strategy to address climate impacts on the ground through land stewardship and conservation is leveraging the power of Americans across the country. The Administration recently released a preliminary report to the National Climate Task Force—Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful—recommending a 10-year, locally led campaign to conserve and restore America’s lands and waters. The report provides an overarching framework to implement the President’s goal to conserve 30 percent of U.S. land and waters by 2030, which will help address the climate crisis and its impacts on nature, improve equitable access to the outdoors, and strengthen the economy. The report recognizes and celebrates the voluntary conservation efforts of farmers, ranchers, and forest owners; the leadership of sovereign Tribal nations in caring for lands, waters, and wildlife; the contributions and stewardship traditions of America’s hunters, anglers, and fishing communities; and the vital importance of investing in playgrounds, trails, and open space in park-deprived communities.
The America the Beautiful initiative is intended to serve as a call to action to support locally led conservation and restoration efforts across public, private, State, and Tribal lands and waters. The initiative welcomes all communities wishing to steward their lands and waters, boost the economy, and support jobs. Supporting these principles, the 2022 budget includes increases across Interior to support local partnership programs.
Consistent with Congressional direction, the 2022 President’s budget allocates mandatory funding available through the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). That funding includes up to $1.6 billion for deferred maintenance projects in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), National Park Service (NPS), and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE).
Thanks to broad bipartisan support of GAOA in 2020, $900.0 million in mandatory LWCF resources is made available annually for conservation and recreation activities managed by Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. In 2021, Interior is providing $420.8 million, which includes $19.0 million from discretionary funds, to States and other partners for local conservation and recreation programs through non-Federal grants and $280.7 million for Federal programs, including voluntary land acquisition and easement programs in the BLM, FWS, and NPS. In May 2021, Interior awarded $150.0 million to local communities through the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership grant program. Funded through the LWCF, this competitive program enables urban communities to create and reinvigorate outdoor recreation spaces and connect people and the outdoors in economically underserved communities. The LWCF programs directly support land and resource conservation and increase access to outdoor recreation across America.
In the 2022 budget, Interior proposes to allocate $700.9 million for LWCF programs, which includes $19.0 million from discretionary funds. The 2022 budget estimates an additional $128.3 million will be available for State LWCF grants as a result of revenue derived from certain offshore oil and gas sales in the Gulf of Mexico.
The 2022 budget proposal includes new investments for climate-related investments to conserve and adaptively manage natural resources, increase understanding of how natural resources are changing and what that means, build resilience to protect communities and lands from significant impacts, and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. The budget proposal also contains funding for wildland fire management, drought mitigation, and science-based investments that will help the Department and communities prepare for and address the aftermath of natural hazard events. These efforts will be supported by investments for science-driven conservation to align management of the Nation’s natural resources with America’s climate, biodiversity, and clean energy needs.
To address the growing threat of wildfire to public health and community safety, the FY 2022 request includes a robust increase of $117.8 million in Interior’s wildland fire programs. This features an increase of $107.4 million for hazardous fuels and burned area rehabilitation programs. This funding will support efforts to manage vegetation and reduce the intensity, severity, and negative effects of wildfire, in line with the Administration’s science-based approach to risk management and complementing our other efforts to improve land health and resilience to climate change and reduce carbon emissions. As we head into what is already a challenging wildland fire season due to historic levels of drought in the West, these important investments in risk reduction continue to be top of mind.
The 2022 budget proposes to rebuild core functions and capacities within Interior that have been diminished in recent years with investments in USGS science and staffing, and the core operations of parks, wildlife refuges and public lands. The investments in Interior’s budget request also provide a key opportunity for the Administration and Congress to work together to restore levels of investment in programs at the Department and across government, and to lay a foundation for core programs that improve the life of everyday Americans.
To implement the American Jobs Plan, the 2022 budget includes new investments to create good-paying jobs with a free and fair chance to join a union, rebuild the country’s infrastructure, address the climate crisis, and position the United States to out-compete other countries. The proposal includes an increase of $300.0 million to support efforts to plug orphan oil and gas wells, clean up abandoned mines, and decommission offshore oil and gas infrastructure, which will help create jobs and improve the environmental quality of energy communities by addressing serious safety hazards and risks from associated air, water, or other environmental damage. As part of this proposal, the budget includes $169.2 million for a new Energy Community Revitalization Program (ERCP), which will help accelerate this remediation and reclamation work on Interior-managed lands and support work on non-Federal lands through grants to States and Tribes. The new ECRP will include $75.0 million to address reclamation and restoration within Interior and also provide $70.0 million for assistance and support to States and $20.0 million for reclamation on Tribal lands. The program will provide technical assistance and funding to inventory abandoned mines and oil and gas wells and to support reclamation projects.
As part of a White House forum with Federal agencies, States, industry, and labor in March 2021, the Administration announced a commitment by the Departments of the Interior, Energy, and Commerce to increase renewable energy development on Federal waters and set a target to deploy 30 gigawatts (30,000 megawatts) of offshore wind by 2030, creating nearly 80,000 jobs. Work is already underway to meet this ambitious goal. In the first months of the Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved the first major offshore wind project in U.S. waters, the 800 MW Vineyard Wind project, which will create 3,600 jobs and generate enough power for 400,000 homes and businesses. BOEM also issued a lease for the first wave energy research project in Federal waters off the U.S. West coast, identified a new Wind Energy Area in the New York Bight, and announced intent for environmental reviews for projects offshore New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. The budget includes $249.1 million in funding to increase renewable energy production on public lands and in offshore waters, which will create jobs and help transition the county to a clean energy future. The funding primarily supports infrastructure permitting for onshore and offshore renewable energy projects such as solar, wind, wave and geothermal.
In anticipation of large-scale development of offshore wind energy on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is preparing to take on new responsibilities with respect to renewable energy workplace and process safety management, environmental protection, and decommissioning and site restoration. BSEE is also assuming safety and environmental enforcement operational functions for Federal OCS offshore renewable energy development. In 2022, the BSEE budget includes $9.8 million, an increase of $9.0 million, to establish a core foundational program to support the development of a safe, robust, and environmentally responsible offshore wind industry in the United States. The funding will enable timely and rigorous industry plan reviews, initiate a robust compliance assurance program, promote science-based renewable energy research, and demonstrate BSEE’s commitment and leadership in driving safety performance in the offshore wind industry.
In May 2021, BLM announced final approval of the Crimson Solar Project on BLM lands in Riverside County, CA. The project has the potential to deliver enough energy to power roughly 87,500 homes. The project is located within one of the areas designated for development in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, identified through a process of extensive review and coordination. The budget includes $55.6 million, an increase of $25.0 million, for onshore clean energy programs managed by BLM. This amount includes $44.6 million in the Renewable Energy program, an increase of $14.0 million from the 2021 enacted level, and a program increase of $11.0 million in the Resource Management Planning program to support renewable energy project siting. This funding will support the permitting and rights-of-way work associated with siting new projects and transmission lines. To ramp up to meet the Administration’s renewable energy goals, BLM is reviewing policies and resources, working with other agencies to improve coordination, and reviewing current applications that could be expedited.
The 2022 budget includes an additional $13.0 million in FWS to accommodate increased permitting reviews associated with clean energy. The 2022 budget also includes an increase of $7.0 million to support clean energy programs and grid infrastructure in the Insular Areas. In the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), program funding for clean energy deployment programs in Indian Country totals $66.0 million, an increase of $50.0 million from the 2021 enacted level.
President Biden has challenged Federal agencies to leverage the purchasing power of Federal procurements to spur the deployment of clean energy technologies and supporting infrastructure and the jobs they create. Interior’s fleet includes approximately 30,800 vehicles. The 2022 budget includes $73.0 million to start transitioning Interior’s fleet to zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) as part of a governmentwide initiative. Funding will support either acquiring ZEVs within the owned fleet or transitioning to the General Services Administration’s leased fleet, investment in the related charging infrastructure, and planning and integration to effectively support the initiative.
To address abandoned coal mine cleanup, the 2022 budget includes $165.0 million, an increase of $50.0 million, for the Abandoned Mine Land and Economic Revitalization (AMLER) program in the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The program provides grants to the six Appalachian States with the highest amount of unfunded Priority 1 and Priority 2 Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) sites and the three Tribes with AML programs. Grants are awarded for projects that accelerate the remediation of AML sites and encourage economic and community development.
Science is valued at Interior, and it guides management decisions. Science is a cornerstone of the 2022 budget, with strong investments in science across the Department to better support bureau missions, address climate change on the ground, and invest in tools to monitor, measure, and model solutions to important resource challenges. The 2022 budget includes $1.3 billion for research and development programs, and these investments in mission-specific science provide a new approach to developing and delivering actionable products and reducing barriers between science production and user application.
USGS is Interior’s primary science organization, with a broad portfolio related to the earth and biological sciences. The 2022 budget includes $1.6 billion for USGS, an increase of $326.9 million from the 2021 enacted level. The budget for USGS includes an increase of $205.0 million, to make science the centerpiece of the Biden Administration’s commitment to tackling the climate change crisis, and another $83.0 million increase in other research and development, including support for conservation programs, such as the America the Beautiful initiative. The 2022 investments in USGS science span the range of climate adaptation and land change science, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas monitoring, critical minerals, mine waste reclamation and reuse, hazards monitoring, and water prediction.
The 2022 USGS budget accelerates the development of tools supporting planning, monitoring, and projection, including the Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) and the Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) initiative. These two tools provide solutions to the growing need for conservation planning and information about the fundamental drivers of land change and the consequences of human-caused and natural changes. Collectively, these investments will accelerate discoveries with the potential to transform America’s understanding of the natural world, launch the next generation of Landsat to study and improve life on Earth, and enable U.S. independence from adversarial nations for industrial materials needed for current technologies.
The 2022 budget includes $60.0 million in USGS collaborative research with the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Climate (ARPA-C) within the Department of Energy. This high-risk, accelerated research can achieve transformational advancement in climate adaptation and resilience in areas in which industry by itself is not likely to invest due to technical and financial uncertainty. The investment will focus on work in five areas critically important to Interior’s mission and to tackling the climate crisis: planning tools to support habitat health and biodiversity, models for drought prediction, predictive tools for wildfire and post-wildfire risk management, coastal change and vulnerability forecasts for planning and disaster response and recovery, and models to assess the potential and risks for geologic storage of hydrogen created using renewable energy.
The Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) is an important jobs initiative that draws on America’s strength to work together and build back better to revitalize public lands, infrastructure, and communities—and, in doing so, create jobs. The idea builds from the Civilian Conservation Corps, which put hundreds of thousands of young people to work on public and private lands, providing them with jobs and training to tackle the crises of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The President calls for a broad CCC initiative in the American Jobs Plan, which stretches across Federal agencies and non-Federal partners throughout the country. Complementing this broader effort, Interior’s discretionary 2022 budget includes $85.5 million for CCC work on Interior’s lands. In 2022, the CCC program will build upon existing programs and partnerships that share the same objectives—to tackle climate change on the ground, provide a living wage, provide skills and a pathway to employment, and reflect the diversity of America.
The Biden-Harris Administration made its commitment to Tribal nations clear from the start, emphasizing the need to strengthen and respect the government-togovernment relationship with Tribes. Underscoring that focus on Indian Country, the 2022 budget proposal includes $4.2 billion, an increase of $727.8 million from the 2021 enacted level, across all Indian Affairs programs. The budget invests in core Indian Affairs programs and addresses outstanding gaps in areas such as environmental quality and ensuring Tribal communities are part of the national priorities to address climate change and move toward clean energy.
The 2022 budget includes $2.7 billion for BIA programs, an increase of $614.9 million from the 2021 enacted level. The budget includes $346.5 million to fully fund estimated Contract Support Costs, an increase of $61.0 million from the 2021 enacted level, and $36.6 million for Payments for Tribal Leases, $15.0 million above the 2021 enacted level. The budget proposes to reclassify discretionary funding for Contract Support Costs and Payments for Tribal Leases to mandatory funding starting in 2023. Doing so will provide Tribal nations with certainty that these commitments will be met with a dedicated, predictable funding source.
The BIA request also includes $150.0 million for a new Indian Land Consolidation Program (ILCP) to enhance the ability of Tribal governments to plan for and adapt to climate change and to build stronger Tribal communities. Reducing land fractionation and achieving Tribal majority ownership in lands enables Tribes to make decisions about land management, use, and protection that facilitate climate resilience. The new program reflects the ongoing need to continue to address fractionation on Indian lands as the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (LBBP), established as part of the Cobell Settlement, ends in November 2022. The program estimates that by the time the LBBP program concludes, 60 percent of the unique locations within fractionated land will not have been visited by the program. Without further efforts, the program expects the number of fractional interests will likely return to pre-program levels within approximately 20 years.
The 2022 budget includes $395.8 million for BIA Trust Natural Resources Management programs, an increase of $136.9 million from the 2021 enacted level. The budget increases funding across the full spectrum of Tribal natural resource programs, recognizing their economic importance as well as their contributions to environmental quality and conservation. Within Trust Natural Resources, the budget includes $61.0 million for the Tribal Climate Resilience program, an increase of $44.0 million from the 2021 enacted level. The increase includes $23.0 million to expand Tribal Climate Adaptation Grants, $11.0 million in additional funding for Alaska Village Relocation Grants, and $10.0 million for a Tribal CCC. The budget includes $56.2 million for Minerals and Mining projects, which focus on clean and alternative energy programs, an increase of $40.1 million from the 2021 enacted level.
BIA’s 2022 budget includes $507.1 million for Public Safety services, an increase of $38.5 million. This increase includes $10.0 million to support the McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court decision, $10.0 million to support a body-worn camera initiative for officers, $8.2 million to continue support for BIA participation in the Federal Opioid Initiative, and $5.0 million for implementation of the Violence Against Women Act. The budget includes $116.4 million, an increase of $10.0 million, for detention and correction programs and $43.2 million, an increase of $4.2 million, for Tribal courts.
The 2022 BIA budget includes a $14.1 million increase to support Human Services activities, including $3.0 million to expand the Tiwahe Initiative. The Tiwahe Initiative is a holistic approach to addressing overall Tribal community needs that support youth, family, community safety and stability, and cultural awareness. The initiative facilitates collaboration within Tribal communities—which can help to leverage resources, share expertise, reduce duplication, and exchange information about families’ needs—to formulate the most responsive approach to provide service.
The 2022 BIA budget maintains strong support for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous American Indians and Alaska Natives initiative, including $16.5 million for the program, an increase of $5.0 million from the 2021 enacted level. The 2022 budget also includes specific investments to address environmental quality problems on Tribal lands. Within BIA Construction, the budget includes $29.9 million specifically to address water safety and sanitation requirements related to BIA-owned drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
The 2022 budget includes $270.2 million for Indian water rights settlement activities, an increase of $71.9 million from the 2021 enacted level. This amount includes $75.2 million within BIA, an increase of $30.2 million from the 2021 enacted level, and $157.6 million within the Bureau of Reclamation, an increase of $36.8 million, for settlements. The budget proposes to reclassify discretionary funding for enacted Indian water settlements, including these two new settlements, to mandatory funding starting in 2023. Doing so will provide Tribal nations with certainty that these commitments will be met with a dedicated, predictable funding source.
The 2022 budget includes $1.3 billion for Indian Education programs, an increase of $110.6 million from the 2021 enacted level. The primary focus of funding remains on support for the day-to-day operations of BIE-funded elementary and secondary schools. Funds will enable BIE to improve opportunities and outcomes in the classroom, provide improved instructional services, and support improved teacher quality, recruitment, and retention. The budget requests $24.7 million for Early Child and Family Development, an increase of $3.7 million, to expand preschool opportunities at BIE-funded schools. The budget also invests in postsecondary programs, including $45.0 million for Tribal scholarships and adult education, an increase of $10.2 million from the 2021 enacted level, and includes $5.0 million for the Science Post Graduate Scholarship Fund, an increase of $2.0 million, for a new initiative providing research internships to highly qualified students from economically disadvantaged rural communities.
The BIE is working collaboratively with Tribes and communities to alleviate the strains imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on BIE students and their families, as well as on teachers, administrators, and staff across BIE’s schools and the Tribal Colleges and Universities. The 2022 budget includes funding to maintain the important investments in distance learning infrastructure provided during the pandemic. The budget includes $35.4 million for Education Information Technology, which is an increase of $20.1 million from the 2021 enacted level. This increase provides critical funding to support upgraded broadband access at BIE schools, including recurring operating costs for network systems, such as annual learning software subscriptions and licenses. These investments will enable BIE to continue delivering education during the pandemic as well as substantially improve the efficiency and quality of education upon return to in-school learning.
To support infrastructure needs, the 2022 budget also includes $264.3 million in discretionary education construction funds to replace and repair school facilities and address priority maintenance needs at 183 schools. The budget continues to invest in activities that promote educational self-determination for Tribal communities and includes $94.9 million, an increase of $8.0 million, for Tribal Grant Support Costs to cover the administration costs for Tribes that choose to operate BIE-funded schools. This level of funding supports 100 percent of the estimated requirement.
President Biden’s EO 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government clearly states the Administration’s policy: “The Federal Government should pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all” to include those who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality. The President’s call to agencies to advance equity for all is being put into action at Interior.
The Department is taking stock of current programs across Interior that address equal employment opportunity, civil rights, diversity and inclusion, accessibility, workplace culture transformation, and discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. As part of this process, the Department is working with bureaus and offices to identify gaps, challenges, and best practices and to examine Department and bureau roles, responsibilities, and governance to ensure that any necessary changes are implemented. The 2022 budget includes a $12.8 million increase across Interior bureaus and offices to better address diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in Interior’s workforce.
The Administration’s emphasis on equity for all and inclusion is also a part of how Interior executes its core missions. As part of the NEPA process, bureaus and offices must consider the impacts on the natural or physical environment as well as social, cultural, and economic impacts. The Department is committed to ensuring the Federal Government honors the government-to-government relationship with Tribes and strengthens Tribal sovereignty through meaningful Tribal consultation.
The FY 2022 budget request promotes racial justice and equity in underserved communities by embedding environmental justice and racial equity goals into programs across the Department, with discrete investments in key areas. The NPS plays a particularly important role in ensuring cultural diversity in Federal programs and connecting underserved communities to the Department. The NPS is also charged with preserving and caring for structures and artifacts that tell the story of all Americans. Providing outdoor recreation opportunities, the telling of America’s story, and preservation of our collective history are an essential element of Interior’s mission. The NPS 2022 budget includes $15.0 million to expand capacity at more than 16 national park units and programs that preserve and tell the story of historically underrepresented and marginalized groups, including $5.0 million for the African American Civil Rights Network. The budget includes an additional $5.0 million for competitive historic preservation grants to increase support to State and local efforts to preserve sites that document the struggle for equal opportunity for African Americans. The budget includes $10.0 million for construction at the Selma Interpretive Center for a voting rights center that honors the legacy of civil rights leaders, including the late Representative John Lewis.
The 2022 budget expands ongoing programs working to connect new audiences to the outdoors and Interior’s mission activities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget includes $12.5 million for its Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, an increase of $7.0 million from the 2021 enacted level. The program features 101 national wildlife refuges that are within a 25-mile radius of an urban area, such as Bayou Savage National Wildlife Refuge near New Orleans. With 80 percent of Americans living in cities, the program is helping people to get outside, engage with their community, and become part of the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.
EO 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, establishes the Justice40 Initiative that will seek to bring 40 percent of the overall benefits of relevant Federal investments to underserved communities. The initiative will focus on clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and sustainable housing, training and workforce development, the reduction of legacy pollution, and the development of critical clean water infrastructure. Interior programs will play a strong role in this initiative to address racial equity and environmental justice through inclusive initiatives, such as Reclamation Jobs and Clean Energy for Tribal Communities, as well as core mission activities to construct drinking water and irrigation systems in underserved communities, encourage open areas and recreation in cities through urban refuges and parks, and increase access to broadband and power in the hard-toreach parts of America.
The 2022 budget includes important investments in programs needed to help build back America to be better and more competitive as the world continues to change. This includes funding to support a strong, talented workforce at Interior and strengthen the core infrastructure needed to continue to deliver Interior’s missions. Staffing declined during the past 4 years by 4,382, or 6.7 percent, from 2017 through 2020. Current staffing is expected to increase so that by the end of 2021, Interior staffing levels will be roughly where they were at the end of 2018. With the 2022 budget, staffing is estimated to surpass 2017 staffing levels by 3.2 percent. As the Department works to rebuild its workforce, Interior will seek to recruit, hire, and train the next generation of talent that reflects the diversity and strength of the United States. Complementing our diverse workforce, the Department is committed to providing the tools critical for success across Interior.
Interior manages an infrastructure portfolio valued at more than $330 billion, ranging from large dams and canals in the West to iconic national landmarks across the country. In total, the Department is responsible for roughly 43,000 buildings, 100,000 miles of road, and 80,000 structures. Operations, maintenance, recapitalization, and modernization of Interior’s infrastructure are a significant part of annual cost requirements. The 2022 budget includes $2.8 billion for operations, maintenance, repair, and construction of Interior facilities, an increase of $241.8 million from the 2021 enacted level. This amount includes maintenance and construction across the Department, including water project construction, maintenance, and dam safety.
Much of Interior’s workforce worked remotely during the pandemic, and bureaus and offices worked quickly to adapt and ensure that staff had the right equipment and bandwidth to telework effectively. These efforts increased demand on the Department’s networks and heightened attention to the importance of a strong cybersecurity posture at Interior. The 2022 budget includes an increase of $25.5 million to support the post-SolarWinds Department-wide cyber defense capability and address related gaps identified in specific bureaus.
Interior’s central Financial and Business Management System (FBMS) requires modernization, and the budget requests an increase of $5.0 million for the first year of a 2-year system infrastructure migration to prevent technical obsolescence. FBMS supports the administrative systems requirements of all Interior bureaus for core accounting, budget execution, acquisition, aspects of financial assistance, real and personal property management, fleet management, travel integration, enterprise information management, and reporting. The migration will modernize and transform Interior’s administrative operations, strengthen the cybersecurity of Federal networks and critical infrastructure, and implement security measures. As part of the modernization of FBMS, the 2022 budget includes an increase of $4.0 million to support migration to improved cloud hosting with sufficient virtual in-memory servers needed to support the size and complexity of the Departmentwide FBMS system.
The 2022 budget includes a $17.5 million increase to begin the next phase of the Office of Natural Resource Revenue’s (ONRR’s) ongoing IT Modernization effort of the Minerals Revenue Management Support System. The modernization is focused on the design, development, and deployment of the new systems and the eventual decommissioning of the legacy system. ONRR ensures that revenue from Federal and Indian mineral leases is effectively, efficiently, and accurately collected, accounted for, analyzed, audited, and disbursed in a timely fashion to recipients. Revenue distributions, which totaled $8.1 billion in 2020, benefit States, Tribes, individual Indian mineral royalty owners, and U.S. Treasury accounts. The modernization will improve the timeliness and accuracy of payments to fund recipients by reducing the need for manual processes.
The President believes we must use every lever at our disposal to meet the moment and make necessary progress. I firmly believe we have the opportunity of a lifetime to strengthen our country, protect our environment, and improve our way of life for generations to come.
I look forward to working with you to achieve these goals. Thank you again for having me. I am pleased to answer any questions you may have.