FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI THIS MONTH: JUNE 2011

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

FY 2012 Department of Energy Appropriations Bill Approved by House Subcommittee

Funding for the Office of Science would decline by 0.9 percent in FY 2012 under a bill passed by the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.  APRA-E’s budget would decline 44.3 percent, while that for NNSA’s weapons activities would increase 2.8 percent.

New Developments in Yucca Mountain Controversy

House appropriators included $35 million to support Yucca Mountain activities in their FY 2012 funding bill.  A House subcommittee continued to investigate the Administration’s efforts to close the repository with a review of a Government Accountability Office report. 

House Actions on FY 2012 Defense Bills

House appropriators and authorizers are moving ahead on their FY 2012 bills. 

DOE Strategic Plan Highlights Science and Engineering

“Maintain a vibrant U.S. effort in science and engineering as a cornerstone of our economic prosperity with clear leadership in strategic areas” is the second of four goals in the “U.S. Department of Energy Strategic Plan” that was released in May.  The plan lists ten “Targeted Outcomes” in a section entitled “The Science and Engineering Enterprise.” 

Upbeat PCAST Meeting Addresses Future of NASA and Science Education

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology heard from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden about the agency’s 2011 Strategic Plan, and a framework for K-12 science education. 

FDA and EPA to Examine Nanotechnology

The Food and Drug Administration will consider whether a regulated product involves the application of nanotechnology, while the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will be collecting information on nanoscale materials in pesticides.

House FY 2012 Defense Appropriations Bill: Science and Technology Programs

Under a bill approved by the full House Appropriations Committee, funding for 6.1 basic research would increase 4.3 percent, decrease for 6.2 applied research by 3.2 percent, and decline by 8.2 percent for advanced technology development. 

House FY 2012 Appropriations Bill: DOE Office of Science

The full House Appropriations Committee passed a bill that would increase some program budgets by as much as 8.1 percent, while reducing one by a recommended 10.6 percent.

House FY 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill: NNSA

Total funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration would decline 3.3 percent or more than $1 billion from this year under a bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee. 

House Committees Press Administration on Yucca Mountain

In extensive language in a report accompanying the FY 2012 Energy and Water Development bill, appropriators criticized the Obama Administration’s decision to terminate the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.  Other committees continued their investigations. 

No Go: House Appropriators Reject FY 2012 DOE Funding Request for Pu-238 Production

For the third year in a row, House appropriators rejected a request for the Department of Energy to share in the costs of an isotope that fuels deep space probes. 

High Praise, Low Number: House FY 2012 Funding Recommendation Slashes ARPA-E Budget

Without clear explanation, House appropriators provided only $100 million of the $550 million requested by the Administration for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy.

National Science Board Requests Comments on Draft NSF Merit Review Criteria

Public comments are due by July 14 on the criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals to the foundation. 

Coalition Supports FY 2012 Budget Request for the National Science Foundation

The Coalition for National Science Funding announced its support of the $7,767 million request for the National Science Foundation. 

House Science Committee Grills NOAA Administrator about Climate Science

Democrats and Republicans disagreed about the need to establish a Climate Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

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