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FYI Number 66: June 29, 2007

Senate Appropriators Fund FY 2008 DOE Science Request

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed and sent to the Senate floor a bill providing the Bush Administration's full FY 2008 request, plus an additional $99 million, for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. Under this bill, the Office of Science would receive $4,497.3 million, an increase of 18.4 percent, or $700 million above the current budget.

This number, which should be approved on the Senate floor, puts the Office of Science in an excellent position for the future conference that will decide on the final funding level for FY 2008. The House has already passed its bill, which contains $4,514.1 million for the Office of Science. Threatening this favorable outcome is President Bush's promised veto of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill since the bill's total spending level of $32.3 billion is more than he requested (see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/062.html.)

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee; Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) is the Ranking Member. Excerpts from the forthcoming committee report, which will be posted at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app08.html are below. Readers are urged to review http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/060.html for the comparable House report language.

OVERALL OFFICE OF SCIENCE:

The FY 2007 appropriation for the Office of Science is $3,797.3 million.
The Bush Administration requested $4,397.9 million.
The House bill would provide $4,514.1 million, an increase of 18.9 percent or $716.8 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $4,497.3 million, an increase of 18.4 percent or $700 million over this fiscal year.

The Senate committee report states:

"These funds represent an investment in basic research that is critical to both the future economic competitiveness of the United Sates and to the success of our national and energy security.

"Report on Scientific Cooperation. - The Department is directed to prepare a report supported by the Office of Science and the Office of Energy Supply and Conservation regarding the specific steps the Department is taking to ensure cooperation between the two offices in identifying broad research objectives and goals as well as specific R&D priorities required in the short term. This report should contain information as to how the various Department of Energy Laboratories are supporting these activities and budget projections in the next 5 years. This report is due to the [Appropriations] Committee concurrent with the President's fiscal year 2009 budget submission."

"Advanced Materials Testing. - Many of the stockpile stewardship, Office of Science, and nuclear energy R&D programs face scientific challenges posed by ultra high temperature and pressure and high radiation environments. As such, the Committee urges the Department to begin to develop a research and development roadmap that considers the questions of what types of facilities are needed to perform experiments on materials under extreme temperature and pressure. This facility should be shared between the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration and likewise should contribute to the benefit of both programs."

HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS:

The FY 2007 current operating plan budget for High Energy Physics is $751.8 million.
The Bush Administration requested $782.3 million.
The House bill would provide the full request, an increase of 4.1 percent or $30.5 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $789.2 million, an increase of 5.0 percent or $37.4 million.

The Senate committee report states:

"Understanding the way the universe works is the key mission of the High Energy Physics program, and it succeeds by probing interactions among matter, energy, space and time. The High Energy Physics program has many promising opportunities to advance our understanding of the universe and its makeup. However, the Department must make important decisions about the future of this program, including balancing the immediate opportunities provided through the Joint Dark Energy Mission and large future investments in the International Linear Collider.

"International Linear Collider. - The Committee provides $60,000,000 to support research to support the U.S. ILC effort within the Accelerator Development, International Linear Collider R&D activities. The Committee appreciates the scientific challenge of building the ILC in the United States, establishing our leadership in this discipline among an international team. Despite the large financial commitment by the President in scientific research, the Committee is concerned that the ILC will crowd out other valuable research as has been demonstrated with both the National Ignition Facility within the NNSA, the Rare Isotope Acce1erator and ITER, both within the Office of Science. The Department must provide a cost estimate including an out year [beyond FY 2008] funding plan and an explanation of how this initiative will impact other facilities and scientific research.

"Joint Dark Energy Mission. - The Committee has consistently urged the Department to move forward toward launch of the Joint Dark Energy Mission [JDEM]. Unfortunately, in spite of the Committee's support and the Department's own scientific facilities planning process, this has not happened. The Department's fiscal year 2008 request for JDEM will cripple the Department's capacity to move forward either in partnership with NASA or as a single agency mission in 2008. Unfortunately, this budget reduction may also discourage international collaborations interested in a near term launch – collaborations which could significantly reduce the United States' costs. The Committee reasserts its strong support of JDEM, directs DOE to down select from among the three JDEM competitors immediately following the decision of the NRC committee, and provides $7,000,000 above the combined requests for JDEM, SNAP and other Dark Energy research programs to fund the competition and to aggressively ramp up activities focused on a launch in 2014."

NUCLEAR PHYSICS:

The FY 2007 current operating plan budget for Nuclear Physics is $422.8 million.
The Bush Administration requested $471.3 million.
The House bill and the Senate Appropriations Committee would provide the full request, an increase of 11.5 percent or $48.5 million.

The Senate committee report does not include specific budget or policy direction.

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES:

The FY 2007 current operating plan budget for Basic Energy Sciences is $1,250.3 million.
The Bush Administration requested $1,498.5 million.
The House bill would provide the full request, an increase of 19.9 percent or $248.2 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $1,512.3 million, an increase of 21.0 percent or $262 million.

The Senate committee report states:

"The Committee fully funds facilities within this account including the four Nanosca1e Science Research Centers and provides $15,992,000 for the Manuel Lujan, Jr., Neutron Scattering Center. The Committee provides $17,000,000 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research [EPSCoR]."

FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES:

The FY 2007 current operating plan budget for Fusion Energy Sciences is $319.0 million.
The Bush Administration requested $427.9 million.
The House bill and the Senate Appropriations Committee would provide the full request, an increase of 34.1 percent or $108.9 million.

The Senate committee report states:

"High Energy Density Plasma Laboratory Program. - The Committee is pleased that the Department has developed a multi disciplinary research program, which this Committee has been an advocate for the past several years. The Committee believes this program will provide greater interaction between the Office of Science researchers and the NNSA scientists and provide greater access to user facilities such as the Z machine, NIF and Omega. While these activities have their primary responsibility in the weapons program, these facilities can offer scientists new capabilities to support their experiments. The Committee encourages the Department to increase their investment in this modest program to ensure its future success. The Committee supports the budget request of $12,281,000 for the Office of Science. The Committee notes a similar amount has been included in the NNSA program."

BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH:

The FY 2007 current operating plan budget for Biological and Environmental Research is $483.5 million.
The Bush Administration requested $531.9 million.
The House bill would provide $581.9 million, an increase of 20.1 percent or $98.4 million over this fiscal year.
The Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $607.8 million, an increase of 25.7 percent or $124.3 million.

This section of the Senate committee report identifies 26 congressionally directed projects ranging from $500,000 to $12.0 million. See the forthcoming report for the list of these projects. The committee report also states:

"Low Dose Research. - The Committee supports the Department's ongoing research efforts to understand the relationship between low dose radiation exposure and the impact to human health. After eight years of research, the Department is now compiling the data for independent scientific review. Following this review, the Committee encourages the Department to share its finding with other agencies and Congress as it may support review of our existing regulatory thresholds.

"Medical Applications and Measurement Science. - Of the funds provided, $34,000,000 is for Medica1 Applications and Medical Science. The increase of $20,000,000 is for nuclear medicine research and should be distributed through a grant program. The Committee is disappointed that for the third year in a row the Department has eliminated from its budget funding for nuclear medicine research.

"The Committee recommends that funding be used to support new isotope development R&D and increased availability of research isotopes for critical nuclear medicine applications. The Committee also notes that diagnostics are currently in development between the University of New Mexico and Los Alamos utilizing the unique capabilities of Los Alamos at the IPF at LANSCE and the radio-pharmaceutical expertise of UNM at the Center for Isotopes in Medicine."

ADVANCED SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING RESEARCH:

The FY 2007 current operating plan budget for Advanced Scientific Computing Research is $283.5 million.
The Bush Administration requested $340.2 million.
The House bill would provide the full request, an increase of 20.0 percent or $56.7 million
The Senate Appropriations Committee would provide $334.9 million, an increase of 18.1 percent or $51.4 million.

The Senate committee report states:

"The increase of $7,700,000 is for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to maintain budget and cost schedule. The Committee has also included language in the NNSA Advanced Simulation and Computing program to encourage the Office of Science and the NNSA to work together to establish a high performance computing capability within the Department by joining the capabilities of both program support advanced computing architecture, improvements in cyber security and to support the development of advanced software and algorithms to increase the speed and efficiency of existing and future systems. The Committee does not support the Department transferring $19,000,000 to the Department of Defense to play a minor role in that effort. Instead, the Committee has shifted $13,000,000 from the Office of Science to the NNSA Advanced Computing and Simulation program to reestablish the Department leadership role in high, performance computing."

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

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