FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FY 2010 House Appropriations Bill - DOE Office of Science

Richard M. Jones
Number 93 - July 15, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The House is now considering its version of the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. Approved by the full House Appropriations Committee a week ago, the report accompanying the House bill, S. 1436, was just released. This report provides funding and policy recommendations for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed its version of this legislation and issued a committee report. Excerpts from this report regarding the Office of Science can be viewed here.

The full text of House Report 111-203 can be found by going to this site. Under “Other Legislative Activity” at the bottom of the center column, search “Committee Reports.” Excerpts from this report follow, with funding comparisons based on the current budget:

Office of Science:

The current budget is $4,757.6 million.
The Administration requested $4,941.7 million, an increase of 3.9 percent or $184.1 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $4,898.8 million, an increase of 3.0 percent or $141.2 million.
The House appropriations bill recommends $4,943.6 million, an increase of 3.9 percent or $186.0 million.

There were no policy or funding recommendations in the report language.

High Energy Physics:

The current budget is $795.8 million.
The Administration requested $819.0 million, an increase of 2.9 percent or $23.3 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $813.0 million, an increase of 2.2 percent or $17.2 million.
The House appropriations bill recommends $819.0 million, the same as the budget request.

There were no policy or funding recommendations in the report language.

Nuclear Physics:

The current budget is $512.1 million.
The Administration requested $552.0 million, an increase of 7.8 percent or $39.9 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $540.0 million, an increase of 5.5 percent or $27.9 million.
The House appropriations bill recommends $536.5 million, an increase of 4.8 percent or $24.4 million.

The committee report stated:

“The Committee recommends $111,816,000 for Low Energy Nuclear Physics, $5,000,000 below the request. From within these funds, the Committee recommends $12,000,000, $3,000,000 above the request, for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

“The Committee recommends $12,000,000 for the 12GeV continuous electron beam facility upgrade at the Thomas Jefferson Laboratory, $10,000,000 below the request in light of reduced requirements for the project.

“The Committee recommends $29,200,000, $10,000,000 above the request, for Isotope Development and Production for Research and Applications, University Operations. The Committee is aware that several universities, including the University of California at Davis and Idaho State University, operate facilities with the potential to make important contributions to the nation's supply of medical isotopes. The Committee directs the Department to work with the academic community to most cost-effectively increase the availability of medical isotopes.”

Biological and Environmental Research:

The current budget is $601.5 million.
The Administration requested $604.2 million, an increase of 0.4 percent or $2.6 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $604.2 million, the Administration request.
The House appropriations bill recommends $597.2 million, a decrease of 0.7 percent or $4.3 million.

There were no policy or funding recommendations in the report language.

Basic Energy Sciences:

The current budget is $1,572.0 million.
The Administration requested $1,685.5 million, an increase of 7.2 percent or $113.5 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $1,653.5 million, an increase of 5.2 percent or $81.5 million.
The House appropriations bill recommends $1,675.0 million, an increase of 6.6 percent or $103.0 million.

The committee report stated:

“Within this sum, the Committee recommends $35,000,000 for one Energy Innovation Hub as described in the Research and Development Initiatives section of this report.

“The Committee recommends $365,112,000 for Materials Sciences and Engineering Research, including $10,020,000, $1,500,000 above the request, for EPSCOR, and $320,857,000 for Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Energy Biosciences.

“The Committee recommends $834,791,000, $23,000,000 above the request, for Scientific User Facilities. From within these funds, the Committee recommends $198,872,000, $15,000,000 above the request, for the Spallation Neutron Source, and $68,841,000, $8,000,000 above the request, for the High Flux Isotope Reactor, both at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.”

Fusion Energy Sciences:

The current budget is $402.6 million.
The Administration requested $421.0 million, an increase of 4.6 percent or $18.5 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $416.0 million, an increase of 3.3 percent or $13.4 million.
The House appropriations bill recommends $441.0 million, an increase of 9.5 percent or $38.4 million.

The committee report stated:

“From within these funds, the Committee recommends $20,000,000 for the laser fusion program at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which has been funded in previous years from the accounts under the National Nuclear Security Administration. NRL has identified a path to inertial fusion energy that could substantially reduce the cost and the time to develop a practical fusion power source, based on krypton-fluoride (KrF) lasers and high-performance directly driven targets. NRL researchers and their collaborators have developed a staged plan to systematically develop the needed science and technologies for the energy application. The Committee directs the Department of Energy to evaluate the potential of the KrF laser for commercial fusion and the merits of the staged development plan. The Office of Nuclear Energy shall take the lead in this evaluation, working with the Office of Science, and report to the Committee not later than August 31, 2009, on its findings.”

Advanced Scientific Computing:

The current budget is $368.8 million.
The Administration requested $409.0 million, an increase of 10.9 percent or $40.2 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $399.0 million, an increase of 8.2 percent or $30.2 million.
The House appropriations bill recommends $409.0 million, the Administration’s request.

There were no policy or funding recommendations in the report language.

Science Workforce Development:

The current budget is $13.6 million.
The Administration requested $20.7 million, an increase of 52.2 percent or $7.1 million.
The Senate appropriations bill recommends $20.7 million, the Administration request.
The House appropriations bill also recommends $20.7 million, the Administration request.

The committee report stated:

“By utilizing the Department's intellectual and physical assets to provide teachers with the opportunity to become teacher-scientists rather than teachers who happen to teach science, this program can significantly enhance the ability of teachers to involve their students in doing science rather than just reading about and reproducing well-established principles.”

ARPA-E:

The Administration requested $10.0 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, the first budget request for ARPA-E.

The Senate appropriations bill provided no funding, without comment.

House appropriators did not provide funding, the committee report stating:

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $400 million for the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency--Energy (ARPA-E). The Committee believes that, in addition to the fiscal year 2009 appropriation of $15,000,000 (for program direction), this funding will allow ARPA-E to fund its first round of projects beginning in fiscal year 2010 and provides an appropriate foundation of project funding as ARPA-E ramps-up to full operation. The decision not to provide any additional funding for ARPA-E in fiscal year 2010 beyond the funding already provided does not in any way suggest a lack of commitment to this new program by the Committee. The Committee looks forward to ARPA-E becoming fully operational in fiscal year 2010 and beginning its important work of developing innovative and transformational energy technologies.

“The initial staffing and leadership of ARPA-E will be critical to its long-term success. While the Committee commends the Department for moving quickly on the establishment of ARPA-E, there is concern that the timeline dictated by the agency's Funding Opportunity Announcement may outpace the selection of the Program Managers and a Director or an acting Director, as intended in the America COMPETES Act. The Committee encourages the Secretary to use all existing authorities to aggressively recruit staff that will be uniquely qualified to both make project funding decisions and create a distinct organizational culture for ARPA-E.”

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