“The FY 2008 Office of Science budget request of $4.4 billion or 7 percent above the FY 2007 request is designed to sustain the planned doubling of Federal support for physical sciences research by FY 2017 under the American Competitiveness Initiative. Given the large-scale nature of Office of Science facilities and the thousands of scientists and researchers receiving DOE support for their research and education, sustained and predictable budgetary trajectories are essential to preserve America’s vitality in science and avoid an attrition of U.S. scientific talent.” - Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman at today’s hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Honoring an “ambitious strategy” to double total federal funding within ten years for the DOE Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology core research program, the Administration has requested a 7.2 percent budget increase for the Office of Science in FY 2008. The $4,397.9 million request is $296.2 million over the Administration’s request of last year, and $765.8 million over the FY 2006 level.
The 7.2 percent figure is significant in the context of the ten-year doubling goal of the American Competitive Initiative; an annual 7 percent increase is required for doubling over ten years.
The FY 2007 appropriation bill for the Office of Science is not yet complete. Under the House-passed budget resolution that is now awaiting action in the Senate, funding would increase from an adjusted current budget of $3,632.0 million to $3,796.4 million (which is a shortfall of $305 million as compared to the original request.).
Several figures provide perspective on the requested Office of Science funding increase. The total FY 2008 Department of Energy request, including its national security, energy and environment, and corporate management functions is $24.3 billion, up $705 million above the amount requested a year ago. As noted above, the Office of Science requested increase is $296 million.
An Office of Science document explains that the $4,398 million FY 2008 request is distributed as follows: FACILITIES: $1,829 million (up 1.6 percent over FY 2007 request) RESEARCH: $2,002 million (up 7.1 percent) ITER: $160 million (up 166.7 percent) OTHER (such as program direction, safeguards and security, etc.): $407 million (up 11.5 percent)
The following are selected Office of Science programs. Increases are as compared to the FY 2007 budget request submitted a year ago. Also included below are “Program Highlights” taken from “Department of Energy, FY 2008 Congressional Budget Request, Budget Highlights.” This document, which also describes “Significant Funding Changes - FY 2007 to 2008 Request” for each program, can be accessed at: http://www.mbe.doe.gov/budget/08budget/Content/Highlights/Highlights.pdf See pages 69-74 for Section 3. Scientific Discovery and Innovation
In describing the overall program, the document states: “Within this budget, most research programs and facility operations are maintained near optimal levels, and there are several increases for construction and scientific equipment projects. The Science program also supports the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative ($713.1 million) that is comprised of solar ($69.1 million), biomass ($112.9 million), Hydrogen ($74.5 million), ITER ($160 million), Fusion Energy (not including ITER) ($267.9 million) and program management ($28.8 million). Other Presidential initiatives include the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative ($59.5 million); the Climate Change Science Program ($129.6 million); Networking and Information Technology Research and Development ($369.4 million); and the National Nanotechnology Initiative ($285.6 million).”
HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS: Up 0.9 percent or $7.1 million, from the FY 2007 congressional request of $775.1 million to $782.2 million. Current funding: $698.2 million. The document states: “High Energy Physics (HEP) gives priority to operation of the Fermilab and SLAC facilities. Fermilab will focus on investigating particles and forces at the current energy frontier, including enhanced research on neutrino physics. SLAC continues its research on charge parity violation, a phenomenon which may explain the preponderance of matter over antimatter in the universe. FY 2008 is the final year of operation of the B-factory at SLAC and responsibility for the operation of SLAC is transitioned to Basic Energy Sciences. DOE, participating with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), completed U.S. fabrication projects for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and is now a partner in its research program. Research and development is maintained at $60.0 million on the International Linear Collider (ILC), an accelerator which would enable the extension of particle physics research beyond what is feasible at the LHC. HEP also has a program of non-accelerator physics, including research on neutrinos, dark matter, and dark energy.”
NUCLEAR PHYSICS: Up 3.8 percent or $17.3 million, from the FY 2007 congressional request of $454.1 million to $471.3 million. Current funding: $357.8 million. The document states: “Nuclear Physics (NP) maintains support in FY 2008 for operations and research at near the FY 2007 request level. This will fund operations of the four national user facilities and research efforts at universities and laboratories. The request continues support of research efforts in the CERN LHC heavy ion program, PED for the 12 GeV CEBAF Upgrade project ($13.5 million), and construction on the Electron Beam Ion Source at RHIC ($4.2 million).”
BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH: Up 4.2 percent or $21.6 million, from the FY 2007 congressional request of $510.3 million to $531.9 million. Current funding: $564.1 million, which includes earmarks. The document states: “Biological and Environmental Research (BER) has several high visibility activities. The Genomics: GTL program, which compliments the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative, increases by $19.4 million, and fully funds operation of three bioenergy research centers. The Human Genome program continues to conduct research and support operations at the Joint Genome Institute. Climate Change Research increases by $3.2 million and includes a focus on abrupt climate change modeling. Funding for Medical Applications research is maintained.”
BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES: Up 5.5 percent or $77.5 million, from the FY 2007 congressional request of $1,421.0 million to $1,498.5 million. Current funding: $1,110.2 million. The document states: “The Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program increases by 5.5 percent in FY 2008. Funding for operation of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) levels out as it enters its second full year of operation. Nanoscale Science Research funding increases to $279.5 million and all five research centers are operating. The President’s Hydrogen Initiative is funded ($59.5 million), as are solar ($69.1 million) and biomass ($15.8 million) research related to the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative. FY 2008 marks the third and final year of the transition of SLAC linac operation and funding from HEP to BES. Funding is provided for PED for the National Synchrotron Light Source II project (NSLS II) ($45.0 million); construction for the Advanced Light Source (ALS) User Building ($17.2 million); and for construction of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) ($51.4 million).”
FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES PROGRAM: Up 34.1 percent or $108.9 million, from the FY 2007 congressional request of $319.0 million to $427.9 million. Current funding: $280.7 million. The document states: “The Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) program will continue support for research and operation of domestic research facilities at DIII-D, Alcator C-Mod and the National Spherical Torus Experiment. The United States will be a full partner in the international ITER project, with funding of $160.0 million in FY 2008. Fabrication of the National Compact Stellarator Experiment at PPPL is continued. The entire FES program supports the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative.”