APS News

Washington Dispatch

ISSUE: Science Research Budgets

DOE/SC Funding
On July 17th, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3183, the FY2010 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which includes funding for the Department of Energy. The Senate passed H.R. 3183 on July 29th.

In the House, the bill includes a total of $4.94B for the Office of Science (DOE/SC) and represents an increase of 3.58% over FY2009 funding. Nearly all of the DOE/SC accounts, including High Energy Physics (HEP), Nuclear Physics (NP), and Basic Energy Sciences (BES) received increases over FY09 levels. The only two exceptions were a modest reduction in the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) account due to a reduction in earmarks, and an 8% reduction in funding for Science Laboratory Infrastructure (SLI) because of the additional funding that account received in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA-the “Stimulus” bill). Without earmarks, BER received a 30.44% increase over FY09 levels. Moreover, when coupled with the additional funding provided in the ARRA for DOE/SC, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Standards & Technology (NIST), FY2010 increases in funding for science puts these agencies on track to meet the ten-year doubling track set out in the America COMPETES Act strongly supported by the Obama Administration. It is unclear, however, if such increases will continue in successive fiscal years, particularly in light of the expected Administration push for deficit reduction measures.

The Senate numbers for the same accounts are fairly close, but with more modest increases over FY09 levels. For example, the topline number for DOE/SC represents a 2.64% increase totaling $4.89B, lower than the House number. Fusion received nearly 4% less in the Senate bill than in the House, with an increase of 3.34% instead of the 9.55% in the House.

NSF and NIST Funding
The House passed H.R. 2847, the FY 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) bill, which funds NSF and NIST, on June 18th. NSF received a 6.87% increase over FY2009 funding, with Research and Related Activities adding 8.85% to its account over last fiscal year. These increases are in addition to the $3 billion NSF received through the ARRA. The Senate has not yet considered the CJS bill. 
Gray arrow  Key Changes in DOE/SC, NSF and NIST Accounts

ISSUE: POPA Activities

The National Security Subcommittee held a second workshop June 30-July 1 for work on their Study, which examines technical steps that support nuclear arsenal downsizing. Writing has now begun on a draft report.

The Energy & Environment Subcommittee has two studies in progress. The first, a Carbon Capture Study examining non-biological CO2

The second, a Grid Study that will examine the technical challenges and priorities for increasing the amount of renewable electricity delivered by the grid to high-demand centers, is in the process of shaping their committee. Their first meeting is planned for September.
If you have suggestions for a POPA study, please send in your ideas.
Gray arrow   POPA Study Suggestion Box

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Editor: Alan Chodos