Department of Energy

10 May 2018

Draft spending bills advanced this week in the House offer initial indications of the outlook for federal science funding in fiscal year 2019. The picture emerging is largely positive, with House appropriators seeking substantial increases for several science agencies.

1 May 2018

Increasing the odds that the fruits of federally funded R&D traverse the so-called “valley of death” between the lab and the market without spoiling has emerged as a top priority of the Trump administration.

19 Apr 2018

At a hearing on the fiscal year 2019 Department of Energy budget, Senate appropriators questioned the rationale behind the administration’s proposed spending cuts to energy R&D programs and made clear they will reject them again this year.

10 Apr 2018

Final fiscal year 2018 appropriations are providing major across-the-board funding increases for the Department of Energy’s applied energy R&D programs, which the Trump administration has targeted for large-scale cuts.

19 Mar 2018

The president’s budget request for fiscal year 2019 would cut the Department of Energy’s applied energy programs significantly, including a 67 percent cut to the $2 billion Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Other offices would receive lesser but still dramatic decreases in funding.

1 Feb 2018

Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar and Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes appeared before the House Science Committee this week to discuss a recent realignment of their responsibilities as well as DOE’s R&D priorities, including its plans for nuclear fusion research.

18 Jan 2018

At a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, participants touched on a wide range of issues related to the Department of Energy, including R&D priorities and the management and structure of the national lab system. The committee framed the hearing as a prelude to potential DOE reform legislation.

9 Jan 2018

A new National Academies report warns that withdrawing from ITER, a mammoth international fusion project under construction in France, could jeopardize the U.S.’s pursuit of commercial fusion energy. The report also calls for a national strategic fusion plan to resolve issues that will not be addressed through ITER.

8 Jan 2018

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is kicking off a series of hearings related to its ongoing efforts to reform the Department of Energy. The first hearing will focus on DOE’s primary mission areas and “opportunities to unleash the full potential of DOE’s scientific, engineering and technological capabilities.” The committee’s efforts will add to a growing set of changes, proposals, and discussions concerning how DOE structures, manages, and prioritizes its laboratory and other R&D activities.

8 Dec 2017

A new National Academies study warns the U.S. has lost leadership in high-intensity ultrafast laser research to Europe. To regain ground, it recommends the Department of Energy invest in at least one new large-scale facility and lead the development of a coordinated national research strategy.

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