FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI THIS MONTH: JULY 2010

Richard M. Jones
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HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN WASHINGTON IMPACTING THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY FROM FYI, THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BULLETIN OF SCIENCE POLICY NEWS

GAO Report on National Polar-orbiting Operation Environmental Satellite System

After reviewing this long-troubled program, the Government Accountability Office offered recommendations addressing cost, schedules, satellite capabilities, risks, and future products. (#71)

NRC Board Rejects Administration’s Attempt to Stop Yucca Mountain Construction Review

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission board denied a motion by the Department of Energy to withdraw its construction authorization application for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. (#72)

Nanotechnology Community Asked for Guidance on Strategic Plan

The nanotechnology community has until August 15 to provide input to the Office of Science and Technology Policy on the development of a 2010 Strategic Plan for the National Nanotechnology Initiative. (#73)

NASA Reauthorization Bill

Following months of congressional hostility to the Administration’s space exploration initiative, Senate and House committees drafted versions of a NASA authorization bill incorporating major components of the Administration’s policy. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) previewed the bill in remarks on the Senate floor. (#74) The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved the bill with strong bipartisan support. (#76) The House Science and Technology Committee passed its version of this bill that largely parallels the Senate bill. (#84)

House Appropriators Draft DOE Funding Bill

A House appropriations subcommittee released the outline of a FY 2011 funding bill for the Department of Energy. Overall funding would be reduced 3.7 percent below the current year. Office of Science funding would remain flat. Funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) would be significantly less than the request. Funding for Weapons Activities would increase 8.2 percent, and for Nuclear Energy by 4.7 percent. (#75)

PCAST Meeting

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met to discuss science diplomacy and upcoming reports on health information technology and STEM education. (#77)

Senate FY 2011 DOE Bill

Senate appropriators released their version of the FY 2011 funding bill for the Department of Energy. Total DOE funding would increase 4.6 percent. Funding for the Office of Science would increase 2.2 percent, for Weapons Activities by 10.0 percent, and would remain basically level for Nuclear Energy. The bill would provide two-thirds of the Administration’s request for ARPA-E. (#78) Details are available at #79 and #81.

Senate FY 2011 National Science Foundation Bill

Senate appropriators recommend a 7.0 percent increase for NSF in FY 2011. Research and Related Activities funding would increase 7.3 percent, Education and Human Resources by 2.2 percent, and Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction by 32.3 percent. (#80)

Senate FY 2011 NASA Appropriations Bill

The FY 2011 budget for NASA would increase 1.5 percent under a bill approved by Senate appropriators. Science funding would see a 12.0 percent increase, while the budget for Exploration would increase 4.4 percent. The committee characterized this bill as a “solid compromise for human spaceflight.” (#82)

Senate FY 2011 NIST Bill:

Senate appropriators recommend a 13.0 percent increase for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The budget for Scientific and Technical Research and Services would increase 13.5 percent. (#83)

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