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Proposed funding up 5.7%; highlights clean energy, operations and construction

By Richard Jones, FYI: The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News (reprinted with permission)

April 17, 2013

The DOE Office of Science is one of three federal S&T agencies for which the Obama Administration is seeking larger budget increases. As explained in FYI #62, “the Obama Administration proposes to increase total funding for the three ‘key science agencies’ that ‘are critical to preserving America’s place as the world leader in innovation.’  Continuing the drive that first started in 2006 to significantly increase funding for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Administration requested an 8.0% total increase over FY 2012 levels for the three agencies.”

Under the President’s proposal, funding for the Office of Science would increase by 5.7 percent as compared to the FY 2012 enacted appropriation.  This requested funding increase is significant because of intense pressure on discretionary spending mandated by the Budget Control Act. 

Office of Science Director William Brinkman presented a budget briefing on the Office of Science request on Wednesday.  Among his briefing slides was the following slide entitled “Highlights of the FY 2014 Office of Science Budget”:

“Research for clean energy

  • $69 million has been added to EFRC [Energy Frontier Research Centers] funding to fully fund a number of EFRCs, all of which will be recompeted in FY 2014
  • Bioenergy Research Centers are fully funded
  • The Fuels from Sunlight Hub (Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis) and Energy Storage Hub (Joint Center for Energy Storage Research) are fully funded

Facility operations

  • Most of the scientific user facilities operate at or near optimal levels -- this includes the Leadership Computing Facilities and the light sources that together host more than half of all users at the facilities

Construction and large MIEs [Major Item of Equipment]

  • NSLS-II at BNL has its final year of construction funding and enters early operations
  • NOvA at Minnesota has completed construction funding and enters into full operations
  • The 12-GeV upgrade at TJNAF; LCLS-II at SLAC; APS Upgrade at ANL; Muon to Electron Conversion Experiment at FNAL all continue construction or fabrication
  • U.S. contributions to ITER continue
  • FRIB at MSU has its first construction funding

Balance among research, facility operations, and construction

Mindful of out-year commitments”

Late enactment of final appropriations legislation for the current fiscal year prevented the Administration from preparing customary current year budget to requested year budget comparisons.  All calculations are based on FY 2012 funding levels which are approximately equal to current funding levels, less approximately 5.0 percent mandated by sequestration.

The Department of Energy has posted its “Budget Highlights” document as well as the slides used in a briefing by Director Brinkman.  While the FY 2014 request for the Office of Science of $5,152,752,000 is the same in both presentations, as are the FY 2014 program line items, the respective percentages vary by a significant degree because of internal accounting procedures.  DOE advises that the best “apples to apples” comparison is made with the figures in the Brinkman presentation that are used below. 

Summaries of individual program highlights can be found in the “Budget Highlights” document on pages 44 and 45.

Requested changes for selected programs follow:

Advanced Scientific Computing: An increase of $24.7 million or 5.6 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $440.9 million to a FY 2014 request of $465.6 million.

Basic Energy Sciences: An increase of $174.3 million or 10.3 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $1,688.1 million to a FY 2014 request of $1,862.4 million.

Biological and Environmental Research: An increase of $15.8 million or 2.6 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $609.6 million to a FY 2014 request of $625.4 million.

Fusion Energy Sciences: An increase of $57.3 million or 14.3 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $401.0 million to a FY 2014 request of $458.3 million.

High Energy Physics: A decrease of $14.3 million or 1.8 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $790.9 million to a FY 2014 request of $776.5 million.

Nuclear Physics: An increase of $22.6 million or 4.1 percent from the FY 2012 enacted appropriation of $547.4 million to a FY 2014 request of $569.9 million.

Related Articles:
FY 2014 National Institute of Standards and Technology Budget Request

April 17, 2013

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