WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, today voted for H.R. 2354, the Fiscal Year 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act. The measure, the fifth of 12 annual funding bills to be considered by the House this year, provides $30.6 billion in funding for programs administered by the Department of Energy (DOE), Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and other federal agencies. Reflecting the need to control excessive federal spending, funding in the bill is $5.9 billion below President Obama’s request and $1 billion below Fiscal Year 2011 levels.

“H.R. 2354 strikes a sensible balance between our need to reign in excessive federal spending and provide crucial funding for programs that benefit the American people,” said Rep. Dent. “Achieving this balance is a difficult process and many tough decisions are made along the way, but I am confident the House has produced a bill that addresses our most critical energy and water infrastructure needs.”

Notably, H.R. 2354 includes over $116 million in funding for the continued development of hydrogen and fuel cell technology. During the drafting of H.R. 2354, Rep. Dent, a founder and co-chair of the House Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Caucus, rejected President Obama’s proposal to advance other alternative and renewable programs at the expense of hydrogen and fuel cells and worked to ensure more reasonable investment in the promising technology.

“I urge the Obama Administration to promote energy diversification rather than choosing winners and losers. I am glad Congress has embraced an all-of-the-above approach that includes alternative and renewable technologies, domestic oil and natural gas, clean coal and enhanced energy efficiency,” said Rep. Dent. “Hydrogen and fuel cells have the capacity to transform global energy production and consumption. Continued support for this cutting-edge technology will help produce cleaner energy while creating jobs across the nation, including here in the 15th District, and ensure the United States remains the global leader in the development of hydrogen and fuel cells.”