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FYI Number 68: May 22, 2006

House Appropriations Committee Report Language: Office of Science

Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Hobson (R-OH), Ranking Minority Member Peter Visclosky (D-IN) and their colleagues have sent a very favorable FY 2007 funding bill for the DOE Office of Science to the House floor. This appropriations bill provides full funding for the Bush Administration's request (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/022.html for the exact figures; recommended percentage increases in the FY 2007 request are noted with the headings.) The following selections are from just-released House Report 109-474 that accompanies H.R. 5427. The full report may be accessed at http://thomas.loc.gov/cp109/cp109query.html

COMMITTEE PERSPECTIVE ON OFFICE OF SCIENCE REQUEST (Up 14.1%):

"The Committee is generally pleased with the Department's budget request for the Office of Science in fiscal year 2007. This request finally reverses the trend of recent years, which saw the requests for the Office of Science held essentially flat. As a consequence, funding for physical sciences research, funded at the federal level primarily by the DOE Office of Science, lagged seriously behind funding for life sciences research. Congress was forced to provide additional funding to address obvious deficiencies in the Office of Science request. Fortunately, the fiscal year 2007 request fully funds operating time at existing DOE user facilities, funds the investment in major new research facilities such as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, the International Linear Collider, and the 12 GeV upgrade to the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, and maintains a healthy level of funding for ongoing research at the DOE laboratories and at universities. The fiscal year 2007 budget request appears to strike the right balance between maximizing existing capabilities and investing in new capabilities for the future.

"The Committee recognizes that funding a significant increase for the Office of Science required some difficult choices regarding other DOE programs. However, the Committee supports the Secretary's judgment that robust funding for the basic research mission of the Department represents the best long-term use of the Department's constrained resources, and the best long-term investment for the economic future of the country. The Office of Science took seriously the Congressional direction to prepare laboratory business plans and five-year budget plans, and these plans give added credibility and context to the fiscal year 2007 budget request.

"The Committee recommendation is $4,131,710,000, an increase of $30,000,000 compared to the budget request and $535,319,000 over the fiscal year 2006 enacted level. Compared to the previous fiscal year, the Committee has reduced the number and dollar value of House-directed projects [earmarks] in the Biological and Environmental Research subaccount to $30,000,000, and has provided additional funding for these projects so they do not diminish the proposed American Competitiveness Initiative."

HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS (Up 8.1%):

"The Committee recommends a total of $775,099,000 for high energy physics, the same as the budget request. The Committee supports the requested increase in research and development activities, from $30,000,000 to $60,000,000, to prepare for the International Linear Collider (ILC), including detailed studies of possible U.S. sites for the ILC. The Committee also supports the construction funding request of $10,300,000 for Preliminary Engineering and Design (PED) for the new Electron Neutrino Appearance detector (project 07-SC-07), which will maximize the science to be obtained from the Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) project at Fermilab.

"Over the past few years, the Committee has consistently supported the DOE/NASA Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), a space probe to help answer the fundamental physics question of our time what is the ‘dark energy' that constitutes the majority of the universe. Answering this question is among the top priorities of the physics community and of the Office of Science, and the Committee strongly believes that this initiative should move forward. DOE has done its part, developing the SuperNova Acceleration Probe (SNAP) as the DOE mission concept for JDEM. Unfortunately, NASA has failed to budget and program for launch services for JDEM. Unfortunately, in spite of best intentions, the multi-agency aspect of this initiative poses insurmountable problems that imperil its future.

"Therefore, the Committee directs the Department to begin planning for a single-agency dark energy mission with a launch in fiscal year 2013. The Committee directs DOE to explore other launch options, including cooperative international approaches and the procurement of private launch services, to get the SNAP platform into space. DOE is to report back to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, not later than March 2, 2007, on the cost and feasibility of a single-agency mission, including the use of alternative launch options. The Committee will consider providing further guidance on this issue in the fiscal year 2008 appropriations bill and report.

"The control level is at the High Energy Physics level."

NUCLEAR PHYSICS (Up 23.7%):

"The Committee recommendation for nuclear physics is $454,060,000, the same as the budget request. The requested funding will support increased operations of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. The requested funding will also complete PED (project 06-SC-02) and initiate construction (project 07-SC-02) for the Electron Beam Ion Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and initiate PED for the 12 GeV upgrade to the Continuous Beam Electron Beam Accelerator Facility at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (project 07-SC-01).

"Section 981 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) directs the Secretary to construct and operate a Rare Isotope Accelerator (RIA), with construction to commence no later than September 30, 2008. Unfortunately, the Department has ignored this direction, and the fiscal year 2007 budget includes no funding for RIA. Instead, the Department proposes $4,000,000 for ‘generic R&D activities aimed at development of exotic beam capabilities.' Despite the high near-term priority assigned to RIA in the ‘Facilities for the Future of Science: A Twenty-Year Outlook' report, prepared by the Office of Science in 2004, RIA seems to have been supplanted by a longer-term international facility for exotic beams research. The Department, in its March 20, 2006, report to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees as directed in the statement of managers accompanying the conference report for the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-103), argues that this shift is a sound programmatic decision and in the best interests of the nuclear physics community. The Committee directs the Department to submit a report to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees providing the Department's plans to comply with Section 981 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, or the legislative proposal to seek relief from the requirements of that section. In order to inform Congress prior to conference on the fiscal year 2007 bill, this report should be submitted no later than August 11, 2006."

BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH (Up 13.1% without current and recommended earmarks):

"The Committee recommendation for biological and environmental research is $540,263,000, an increase of $30,000,000 over the budget request. The Committee recommendation provides an additional $30,000,000 for House-directed university and hospital earmarks.

"The Committee concurs with the proposed re-scoping of the Genomics: GTL program, from four separate facilities to two vertically-integrated sets of facilities. The Committee reiterates its previous guidance that any Genomics: GTL facilities must be fully competed. The funds appropriated in fiscal year 2005 for Preliminary Engineering and Design (PED) work for the Genomics: GTL facilities are available to fund operating expenses for the proposed new Genomics: GTL centers."

[The report then lists House-directed projects in a table.]

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES (Up 25.2%):

"The Committee recommendation for basic energy sciences is $1,420,980,000, the same as the budget request and an increase of $286,422,000 over the current fiscal year. For purposes of reprogramming during fiscal year 2007, the Department may allocate funding among all operating accounts within Basic Energy Sciences, consistent with the reprogramming guidelines outlined earlier in this report.

"Research.--The Committee recommendation includes $1,004,212,000 for materials sciences and engineering, and $268,499,000 for chemical sciences, geosciences, and energy biosciences. The Committee recommendation funds operations of the four completed nanoscale science research centers, instrumentation for the recently-completed Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), and the science research portion ($50,000,000) of the hydrogen initiative at the requested levels. The Committee has directed the National Nuclear Security Administration to make available, from existing stocks, sufficient heavy water to meet SNS needs. Also included within this account is $8,000,000 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), the same as the budget request.

"Construction.--The Committee recommendation includes $148,269,000 for Basic Energy Sciences construction projects, the same as the requested amount. The Committee recommendation provides the requested funding of: $161,000 for completion of PED (03-SC-002) and $105,740,000 to initiate construction of the Linac Coherent Light Source (05-SC-320) at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center; $18,864,000 to complete construction of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (05-R-321) at Brookhaven National Laboratory; $257,000 to complete construction of the Molecular Foundry (04-R-313) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; $247,000 to complete construction of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (03-R-313) at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories; $20,000,000 for PED for the National Synchrotron Light Source II (07-SC-06) at Brookhaven National Laboratory; and $3,000,000 for PED for the Advanced Light Source User Support Building (07-SC-12) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory."

FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES (Up 10.9%):

"The Committee recommendation for fusion energy sciences is $318,950,000, the same as the budget request. The Committee is pleased that the department finally requested sufficient funding for the U.S. participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project without doing so at the expense of domestic fusion research activities or at the expense of other Office of Science programs.

"The Committee strongly encourages the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences to invest adequately in fast ignition research and leverage the new facilities such as OMEGA-EP and FIREX-I in Japan to conduct critical research to explore the feasibility of this innovative concept. Also, the Committee is aware of the recent proposal from the Naval Research Laboratory for a fusion test facility; the Committee encourages the department to give serious consideration to providing Office of Science funding support in the future for these alternative approaches to fusion energy."

ADVANCED SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING RESEARCH (Up 35.8%)

"The Committee recommendation is $318,654,000, the same as the budget request and an increase of $83,970,000 over the current fiscal year. The Committee commends the Office of Science and the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research for their efforts to provide cutting-edge capabilities to meet current scientific computational needs, and at the same time to extend the boundaries of that cutting edge into the next generation of high-performance scientific computers and supporting software."

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3095

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