Senate FY 2015 DOE Office of Science Appropriations Bill

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Publication date: 
29 July 2014
Number: 
127

Senate appropriators have released their draft committee report accompanying the FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.  This bill was scheduled for action by the full Senate Appropriations Committee in mid-June, but was pulled from consideration because of concerns about an expected amendment to the bill to restrict EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants.  No new date has been scheduled.

The posting of the unnumbered committee report was unexpected.  Senate Appropriations Committee reports are usually released after the full committee meets and approves the bill.   The full House voted its approval of its version of this funding bill in June.  Action on appropriations bills has stalled.  The House and Senate will go on a summer recess at the end of this week and will not return until September. 

Notable in the Senate report language on the Office of Science in the section entitled Fusion Energy Sciences is the statement:  “the Committee directs the Department of Energy to work with the Department of State to withdraw from the ITER project.”  Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has long been concerned about the ITER program.  A previous FYI incorrectly described her earlier actions on ITER; this is the first instance in which her subcommittee’s report has formally called for US withdrawal from the program.

The five page section in the Senate report on the Office of Science starts on page 98. 

Total Office of Science:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $5,066.4 million
The FY 2015 request is $5,111.2 million, an increase of $44.8 million or 0.9 percent
The House bill provides $5,071.0 million, an increase of $4.6 million or 0.1 percent above current funding.
The Senate bill provides $5,086.0 million, an increase of $19.6 million or 0.4 percent above current funding. 

There was no overall language on the Office of Science.

Within the Office of Science are the following selected programs:

Advanced Scientific Computing Research:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $478.1 million
The FY 2015 request is $541.0 million, an increase of $62.9 million or 13.2 percent
The House bill provides $541.0 million, an increase of $62.9 million or 13.2 percent above current funding
The Senate bill provides $557.0 million, an increase of $78.9 million or 16.5 percent above current funding. 

See pages 79 and 100 of the report for language about this program, including the committee’s support for the deployment of a US exascale system by 2022.

 

Basic Energy Sciences:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $1,711.9 million
The FY 2015 request is $1,806.5 million, an increase of $94.6 million or 5.5 percent
The House bill provides $1,702.0 million, a decrease of $9.9 million or 0.6 percent below current funding
The Senate bill provides $1,806.5 million, an increase of $94.6 million or 5.5 percent above current funding. 

See pages 98-99 of the report for extensive language about this program, including the committee’s recommendations about nuclear facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Energy Frontier Research Centers, a new computational material science effort, and the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

 

Biological and Environmental Research:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $609.7 million
The FY 2015 request is $628.0 million, an increase of $18.3 million or 3.0 percent
The House bill provides $540.0 million, a decrease of $69.7 million or 11.4 percent below current funding
The Senate bill provides $627.5 million, an increase of $17.8 million or 2.9 percent above current funding. 

See page 100 of the report for language about this program, including the committee’s recommendation “for a new initiative on climate model development and validation.”

 

Fusion Energy Sciences:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $504.7 million
The FY 2015 request is $416.0 million, a decrease of $88.7 million or 17.6 percent
The House bill provides $540.0 million, an increase of $35.3 million or 7.0 percent above current funding
The Senate bill provides $341.0 million, a decrease of $163.7 million or 32.4 percent below current funding. 

See pages 102-103 of the report for extensive language about this program, including the committee’s recommendation to withdraw from ITER, and funding levels and recommendations for several domestic facilities.

 

High Energy Physics:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $796.5 million
The FY 2015 request is $744.0 million, a decrease of $52.5 million or 6.6 percent
The House bill provides $775.0 million, a decrease of $21.5 million or 2.7 percent below current funding
The Senate bill provides $774.5 million, a decrease of $22.0 million or 2.8 percent below current funding. 

See pages 100-101 of the report for extensive language about many programs and facilities, including the committee’s supportive statement about the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5).

 

Nuclear Physics:
The FY 2014 appropriation was $569.1 million
The FY 2015 request is 593.6 million, an increase of $24.4 million or 4.3 percent
The House bill provides $600.0 million, an increase of $30.9 million or 5.4 percent above current funding
The Senate bill provides $601.6 million, an increase of $32.5 million or 5.7 percent above current funding. 

See page 102 of the report for language about this program, including CEBAF construction and operations, and other facilities.