Congress Approves Omnibus FY2023 Spending Bill, Includes LIHEAP Increase

On December 23, Congress gave final approval to a $1.7 trillion spending bill which would fund the government through the end of FY 2023 (September 30, 2023).

This is the final legislative item before lawmakers leave town for the holidays and mark an end to the 117th Congress.

Of significance for energy marketers, the bill includes:

— $93.2 million for the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) fund which matches previous funding levels. An additional $1 million for cleanup due to Hurricanes Fiona and Ian.

— $4 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a $200 million increase from FY 2022. Including the emergency supplemental funding that passed this Fall, LIHEAP will receive approximately $5 billion in FY 2023.

— $207 million for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The spending bill cancels the sale of 140 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve mandated by Congress. As a result, total congressionally mandated drawdowns between FY23 and FY31 drop from 265.6m to 125.6m barrels.

— $7 million for the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve which is a slight boost compared to previous years.

— $10 billion for EPA which is a $576 million increase from current levels including $100 million for diesel emissions reduction grants, an $8 million increase.

— $803 million for the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program to reimburse states for costs to repair damaged roads and bridges from eligible disasters and $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program (CDBG-DR) to help communities recover from major declared disasters.

— $1.218 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA), which is $188 million more than fiscal year 2022, and includes $179 million for SBA disaster loan program.

The PPA continues its work as a member of the LIHEAP Advisory Committee (LAC) to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to represent the deliverable fuels industry.

This stakeholder committee provides input to the annual state LIHEAP plan and the general operation of the program.

PPA supported the creation of this year’s $500 summer fill program and is pushing for the spending of additional federal funding coming to the state (including the most recent Omnibus Spending Bill and the $38 million issued earlier this fall).

The PPA is participating on a LAC subcommittee to determine how these unbudgeted federal dollars will be spent during the 2022 – 2023 heating season.

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