APS News

Senators Sign Letter Calling for More DOE Funding

In an unprecedented move, 55 senators signed a bipartisan letter to Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Ranking Member Harry Reid (D-NV), urging them to increase the budget for the Department of Energy's Office of Science by 10% over that requested by the Bush Administration.

With this letter, more than half of the Senate is now on record for substantially higher funding for the Office of Science.

The letter highlighted the importance of the Office of Science-funded research to energy, technology, and the country's economic future, while lamenting its essentially flat budget since1990.

"The nation must have a balanced investment to maintain the overall health of science and technology research," the letter said. "Recent funding increases for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation cannot compensate for the need to invest in the physical sciences, upon which all other science is based."

This demonstration of support for the Office of Science, which many lament is often lost within the larger DOE structure, is a significant turnaround for that office.

A year ago, a similar letter had 39 signatories. Active constituent interest and diligent senatorial staff work was important in increasing the number of senators signing this letter. The APS played a very active role in this effort.

A pdf copy of the full text of the letter, with the signatures of the 55 senators, can be viewed at www.aps.org/programs/policy

— Richard M. Jones American Institute of Physics

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette