The Department of Energy's Office of Science is in an excellent position going into this fall's conference committee that will determine the FY 2007 appropriation. Both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee have now passed their versions of the FY 2007 funding bill, H.R. 5427. The Senate bill was written by Subcommittee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Ranking Member Harry Reid (D-NV) and their colleagues. Here are the overall numbers:
The Administration requested $4,101.7 million for the Office of Science for FY 2007, an increase of 14.1% over the current budget of $3,596.4 million See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/022.html
The House-passed bill would provide $4,131.7 million, an increase of 14.1% over the current budget plus an additional $30 million for earmarked projects. See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/068.html
The Senate's version would provide $4,241.1 million, an increase of 16.6% plus an additional $48.6 million for earmarks.
There is important language in Senate Committee Report 109-274 regarding the Office of Science. Readers interested in viewing all of this report language will be able to access it soon at http://thomas.loc.gov/ under "Other Legislative Activities - Committee Reports." Selections from the report language are below:
COMMITTEE PERSPECTIVE ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES FUNDING:
"The DOE Office of Science is the largest Federal provider of research in the physical sciences. In July 2005, the Congress passed and the President signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This directed the Department to increase its investment in funding for basic physical sciences. In his State of the Union address, the President unveiled his vision for science, embodied in the American Competitiveness Initiative [ACI], which proposes doubling the appropriation to the Office of Science over 10 years. Congressional initiatives such as the PACE-Energy Act propose a similar objective. The fiscal year 2007 request will put the Office of Science on course to doubling the funding over the next decade. This is critical to augmenting fundamental research while also supporting the President's new investment in energy technologies such as solar, hydrogen, coal and nuclear power as outlined in the Advanced Energy Initiative [AEI]."
A CAUTIONARY NOTE - TWENTY-YEAR FACILITIES PLAN:
"The Committee is concerned that the Department is no longer abiding by the peer-reviewed 20 year Facilities plan the Department produced less than 3 years ago [see http://www.aip.org/fyi/2003/150.html]. This document established a prioritization of large investments and facilities the Department intended to support based on input from all of the scientific advisory boards within the Department. These investments are sufficiently large that they require long-term funding commitment that will exceed beyond a specific administration. As such, continual reprioritization will undermine the long-term goals and is likely to hinder the ability of the Office of Science to plan and this Committee's efforts to fund such long term investments. The Committee expects the Department to clarify its current priorities and update the 20 year plan to reflect these new priorities."
HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS:
Current budget: $716.7 million
Administration request: $775.1 million (Up 8.1% over the current budget)
House bill: $775.1 million (Up 8.1%)
Senate bill: $766.8 million (Up 7.0%)
"For High Energy Physics, the Committee recommends $766,789,000. Understanding the way the universe works is the key mission of the High Energy Physics program, and it succeeds by probing interactions among matter, energy, space and time. The Committee fully funds the investments at the user facilities including the Tevatron Collider, the Neutrinos in the Main Injector at Fermi Laboratory and the B-Factor[y] at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. In addition, the Committee provides full funding for the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research Laboratory. The High Energy Physics program has many promising opportunities to advance our understanding of the universe and its makeup. However, the Department must make important decisions about the future of this program, including balancing the immediate opportunities provided through the Joint Dark Energy Mission and large future investments in the International Linear Collider.
"International Linear Collider.—The Committee provides $45,000,000, an increase of $15,000,000 above current year levels, to support pre-conceptual research to support the U.S. ILC effort within the Accelerator Development, International Linear Collider R&D activities. The Committee appreciates the scientific challenge of building the ILC in the United States, establishing our leadership in this discipline among an international team. The budget calls for doubling the request above current year to support pre-conceptual R&D, yet the Committee does not have a clear understanding of the cost of this international project, which has been reported to exceed $8,000,000,000, twice the annual budget of the Office of Science. Despite the large financial commitment by the President in scientific research, the Committee is concerned that the ILC will crowd out other valuable research as has been demonstrated with both the National Ignition Facility within the NNSA, the Rare Isotope Accelerator and ITER, both within the Office of Science. Therefore, before the Committee agrees to adopt large budget increases for the ILC, the Department must provide a cost estimate including an out year funding plan and an explanation of how this initiative will impact other facilities and scientific research. In addition, the Committee would like to see the initial results from the Large Hadron Collider, which is set to begin operations in mid 2007 before the Committee commits to a long-term investment toward the ILC. The Committee looks forward to reviewing the data and visiting this matter again in 2008.
"Joint Dark Energy Mission.—The Committee has consistently demonstrated its support of the Department's initiative to launch a space probe to answer the fundamental physics question of our time – what is the ‘dark energy' that constitutes the majority of the universe? The Committee strongly believes that this initiative should move forward. Unfortunately, the multi-agency aspect of this initiative faces insurmountable problems that imperil its future, and the Department risks losing a world-class scientific team. The Committee is concerned that the joint mission between the Department of Energy and NASA is untenable because of NASA's reorganization and change in focus toward manned space flight. The Committee directs the Department to immediately begin planning for a single-agency space-based dark energy mission and to conduct a peer-reviewed competition to select a single winning proposal based both upon the quality of the science and the overall cost to the Department. The competition should be initiated by the end of the calendar year 2006 and completed in 2007 with the goal of a launch in fiscal year 2013. The Committee encourages the Department to aggressively explore potential domestic and international partnerships and launch options to help defray the cost of the missions. The Committee provides $74,271,000 for Non-Accelerator Physics, an increase of $15,000,000 above the request to support the Joint Dark Energy Mission. The Committee has moved $8,310,000 from Theoretical Physics to the High Energy Density Physics account."
"HIGH ENERGY DENSITY SCIENCE":
The Senate report recommends the establishment of a new Office of High Energy Density Physics. It would receive funding of $79.9 million from other science programs. The report language follows:
"The Committee recommends the creation of a new discipline within the Office of Science to support the growing research in high energy density sciences currently being pursued within the Office of Science, the National Nuclear Security Administration and universities worldwide. With his recent elevation of position, from Director to Under Secretary, the Under Secretary is increasing his field of view and now has the responsibility of developing science at all the labs within the Department, not just the Office of Science. As such, the Committee recommends that a new office be created to consolidate and support research in high energy density physics. This office will be charged with supporting research in inertial fusion energy, fast ignition, petawatt laser development, plasma accelerators and other laboratory and university sponsored research related to high energy density science that is presently funded within the Fusion Energy, Nuclear Physics, High Energy Physics and the NNSA, ICF accounts. This research has important applications ranging from materials research to fusion energy and fundamental research into the make up and reactions of nuclear matter. One of the of the primary responsibilities for this new program will be to establish a peer-reviewed technology and research and development roadmap to support a robust experimental program. This R&D roadmap is due to the Committee by March 31, 2007. The Committee directs the Department to break out the funding within the existing budgets and programs and consolidate within this new office. The Committee provides $79,924,000 to support this new research account, funded equally between the Office of Science and the NNSA and consistent with the high energy density research allocation within the Office of Science. Funding shall be drawn from the following accounts: $11,949,000 from the Fusion Energy Account, $20,000,000 from Nuclear Physics, and $8,310,000 from High Energy Physics. In addition, the Committee has provided funding from the ICF budget that includes the following: $8,903,000 to support university grants and $30,000,000 to support research on z pinches, high average power lasers and other HED research that has been exclusively funded within the NNSA accounts. The Committee provides $7,000,000 for the continued operation and experimental program on the Atlas Pulse Power Machine. This funding is in addition to the funding provided within the NNSA. Additionally, the Committee recommendation includes $2,000,000 for the Nevada Terawatt Facility for joint research on dynamics of materials under extreme conditions; and $2,000,000 for UNR to continue its advanced research on Z-pinch and wire array physics. The Committee directs the Department to renew its base Nevada Terawatt Facility high energy density physics research cooperative agreement at financial levels consistent with the current year. The Committee recommendation includes $5,300,000 above the budget request for fast ignition research. The Committee provides $3,000,000 in the ICF and High Yield Science Campaign of the NNSA to continue the development of a short pulse laser at the University of Texas at Austin, and $2,000,000 for continued collaborative research under the z-Petawatt Consortium for operations at the Z-Beamlet laser facility at Sandia National Laboratories, and $1,000,000 for collaborative research.
"The Department is directed to convene an advisory board to develop a technology roadmap for this program and provide the Congress with a plan to support HED science while contributing to the operations at the various facilities in the NNSA. The Committee strongly urges the Department to eliminate barriers to discovery that have developed by historic jurisdictional boundaries and line management responsibility."
Current budget: $367.0 million
Request: $454.1 million (Up 23.7%)
House bill: $454.1 million (Up 23.7%)
Senate bill: $434.1 million (Up 18.3%)
"The Committee provides $434,060,000 for Nuclear Physics. The Nuclear Physics program fosters fundamental research that will advance our understanding of nuclear matter, helping the United States maintain a leading role in developing nuclear energy, nuclear medicine, and national security. The Committee has shifted a portion of the funding budgeted for High Energy Density R&D to the new High Energy Density Science program."
BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH:
Current budget: $579.8 million (of which $128.7 million is earmarked funding)
Request: $510.3 million (Up 13.1% after removing earmarks in current budget)
House bill: $540.3 million (Up 13.1% without current and new earmarks)
Senate bill: $560.0 million (Up 13.1% without current and new earmarks.)
"For Biological and Environmental Research [BER], the Committee provides $560,000,000, the same as the budget request. BER uses competitive and peer-reviewed research at national laboratories, universities, and private institutions to further the Nation's competitiveness in the scientific arena.
"Genomes to Life. The Committee strongly supports the GTL program and provides full funding as requested. Even before the Department mapped the first human genome, the Committee encouraged the Department to expand its genomic research and recommended that the Department accelerate the deployment of the four Genomes to Life facilities as was proposed in the 20 year plan. Now, a National Academies report has also concluded that the Department could greatly accelerate the research needed to unlock the genome. The Committee supports the Department's efforts to adjust its plan to move quickly to award two energy-related GTL collaborative research facilities. The Committee recommends full funding, as requested.
"Medical Applications and Measurement Science.—Modern nuclear medicine builds on the exploitation of nuclear energy to promote human health, a concept that has been successful since the middle of the 20th century. The Committee is disappointed the Department has eliminated funding for nuclear medicine for the second year in a row from its budget request. The Committee understands the Department is working with the National Institutes of Health on a research strategy between the two entities, furthering research in the nuclear medicine arena in a manner that does not duplicate efforts. However, because the Committee lacks necessary information about this partnership, the Committee is concerned that either research might be duplicated or that the NIH might not have the means to fund its share. Section 314 of the bill proposes to provide funding derived from a research account charged against Department of Energy research as provided in section 1001(e) of title X of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Committee expects that $25,000,000 will be available to support nuclear medicine research.
"Asia Pacific Project.—The Committee recommends that up to one-third of the funding be provided from the climate research activities from within this account."
At this point the committee report lists 61 earmarked projects totaling $48.63 million.
BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES:
Current budget: $1,134.6 million
Request: $1,421.0 million (Up 25.2%)
House bill: $1,421.0 million (Up 25.2%)
Senate bill: $1,445.9 million (Up 27.4%)
"The Committee recommends $1,445,930,000 for Basic Energy Sciences, an increase of $24,950,000 from the budget request. Basic Energy Sciences supports work on the natural sciences emphasizing fundamental research in materials sciences, chemistry, geosciences, and aspects of biosciences. The Committee recommends $1,004,212,000 to support the Materials, Sciences and Engineering research program. The Committee recommends the following: $174,409,000 in fully operational funding for Spallation Neutron Source; full funding for the four Nanoscale Science Research Centers to support construction and operations; full funding for Linac Coherent Light Source; the requested level of $25,000,000 for National Synchrotron Light Source-II; $10,582,000 to support operations for the Manuel Lujan, Jr. Neutron Scattering Center and $8,000,000, as requested for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.
"The Committee recommends $293,449,000, an increase of $24,950,000 for Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Energy Biosciences program. This program supports basic research in atomic and molecular chemistry, chemical physics, radiation chemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, geochemistry and geophysics.
"Energy and Water Technology Development.—Consistent with section 979 of the Energy Policy Act, 2005, the Committee recommends $24,950,000 authorized by this section to support research, development and demonstration of water technology used in the production of energy. The Committee believes water planning and water conservation are critical factors in economic development, human health and environmental well being. There are many regions in this country and across the world facing severe water shortages that are forced to look to water reclamation and desalination activities for adequate supplies. The Committee urges the Department to draw on the existing expertise within Department of Energy laboratories and other Federal agencies to develop a program consistent with the authorities provided in section 979 of Public Law 109-58; the Committee provides $15,950,000 within the available funds to support this activity. The Committee directs the Department to provide Sandia National Lab with $10,000,000 for advanced concept desalination and arsenic treatment research to be used in partnership with other national laboratories and universities.
"The Committee recommendation includes $5,000,000 for the University of Vermont Plant Sciences Building and $500,000 for the Environmental Learning Center, Nevada.
"Construction.—The Committee recommends $148,269,000 to support construction activities within the Basic Energy Science activities, as requested. Full funding is provided to the Nanocenters and the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC. Construction funding for the Spallation Neutron Source is no longer needed as the construction phase is complete."
FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES:
Current budget: $287.6 million
Request: $319.0 million (Up 10.9%)
House bill: $319.0 million (Up 10.9%)
Senate bill: $307.0 million (Up 6.8%)
"For Fusion Energy Sciences, the Committee recommends $307,001,000. This program advances plasma science, fusion science, and fusion technology through collaborations among U.S. universities, industry, national research laboratories, and the international fusion community. Consistent with budget descriptions, the Committee has shifted $11,949,000 provided for High Energy Density Science to the new office within the Department of Energy."
ADVANCED SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING RESEARCH:
Current budget: $234.7 million
Request: $319.7 million (Up 35.8%)
House bill: $318.7 million (Up 35.8%)
Senate bill: $318.7 million (Up 35.8%)
"For Advanced Scientific Computing Research, the Committee provides $318,654,000, the same as the President's request. In the past two decades, leadership in scientific computation has become a cornerstone of the Department's strategy to ensure the security of the Nation and success in the areas of science and environmental quality. The Committee is supportive of advanced computing as the Department has taken technological risks as part of the weapons program. The decisions have paid off as the Department deploys the Red Storm and Blue G architecture across the complex to support fusion, nuclear energy, and other disciplines in need of high speed computational capabilities to support complex simulations.
"The Committee is concerned with the relationship between the Office of Science and the NNSA. As an example, the ASCR strategic plan discusses the need to work with other Federal agencies including several defense agencies, but only discusses in general terms three areas of research where NNSA and the Office of Science cooperated. In the area of basic research, the strategic plan states that it is an area that is ‘not important enough to justify ASCI investment at this time.' The Committee is also aware that the Office of Science has budgeted $13,000,000 for the DARPA to support a petaflop computer deployment by 2010. The Committee believes this funding would be better spent within the Department to support a petaflop initiative. The Department is directed to divide the funds equally between the Office of Science and the NNSA Advanced Simulation and Computing activities to support development of component architecture for high-performance software and storage."
SCIENCE EDUCATION/WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:
The committee report's language on the Office of Science discussed science education in two different sections, which are below:
SCIENCE EDUCATION: "It is increasingly clear that the economic future of the United States will be tied to our ability to innovate and maintain a technological lead to ensure reliable and affordable energy supplies, advanced technologies that can be sold worldwide, and innovations that can deliver increases in productivity. These advantages must be earned and can only be guaranteed through investing in our education system and teachers. In 1999, only 41 percent of U.S. eighth graders received instruction from a teacher with specialization in mathematics, compared to the international average of 71 percent. This is a frightening statistic, but one that can be changed. A recent National Academy of Sciences report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, made several recommendations that closely track the recommendations of the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board, Science and Mathematics Education Task Force. The Task Force recently concluded that the Department of Energy has a significant opportunity to enhance science and math education in the Nation, and it is already well positioned to take a leadership role. The Department of Energy's national laboratories are home to many of the best scientific minds, but are also geographically distributed over the country, allowing access to teachers across the Nation. Moreover, the network of national laboratories is also tightly linked with industrial and academic resources, giving DOE the ability to forge educational partnerships that can extend its reach, and therefore also its capacity to enhance science, engineering and math education nationwide. The Committee believes more should and can be done to tap the significant teaching potential within the labs, and therefore has supported several initiatives within the Office of Science. As such, the Committee recommends additional funding in the Workforce Development account to support teacher training and primary and secondary science and math education."
SCIENCE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: "These initiatives support the missions of the Department's Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists program. The Committee provides $6,000,000 to establish the Protecting America's Competitive Edge [PACE] fellows program as a competitive, merit-based graduate fellowship program for students pursuing doctoral degrees in a science or engineering field related to a mission area of the Department. Fellowship recipients must rank in the upper 10 percent of their class and be citizens or permanent resident aliens of the United States. Fellowships awarded under this program shall be portable with the fellow.
"The Committee recognizes that the scientific and professional staff of the Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration laboratories are an untapped resource that should be used to support mathematics, science and engineering education and training in our primary and secondary schools. The Committee provides $35,000,000 to support this effort. Half of the funding will be used to establish or expand summer institutes at National Laboratories to provide additional training to strengthen the mathematics and science teaching skills of teachers employed at public schools in kindergarten through grade 12. The Committee directs the remaining funds to be used to support at each of the National Laboratories the establishment of a Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science at one public secondary school located in the region of the National Laboratory. The Secretary is directed to provide scientific and engineering staff of the National Laboratories to assist in teaching courses at these Centers, and to use National Laboratory scientific equipment in the teaching of the courses. The Secretary shall consider the results of performance assessments of the Centers in any performance review of a National Laboratories management and operations contractor."