Building Support for the DOE Office of Science Budget Request

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Publication date: 
18 May 2009
Number: 
66

Your senators have been asked to demonstrate their support for the $4.9 billion FY 2010 budget request for the Department of Science.  Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have sent a “Dear Colleague” to all senators asking them to sign a letter to the senior leadership of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

“We are writing to express our support for President Obama's Fiscal Year 2010 request of at least $4.9 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Science,” states this letter to Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Ranking Republican Member Robert Bennett (R-UT).  It later continues, “we commend you and the subcommittee for making the Office of Science a funding priority in recent years. We urge your continued support for the Office of Science so that we can maintain this critical investment in our nation's future.”

Members of Congress receive many Dear Colleague letters every day.  These letters are more likely to be acted upon if constituents contact their senators or representatives about it.

Information on the FY 2010 Office of Science request is available here. Guidance on contacting a Member of Congress can be reviewed here.

The full text of the letter follows:

“Dear Chairman Dorgan and Ranking Member Bennett

“We are writing to express our support for President Obama's Fiscal Year 2010 request of at least $4.9 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

“The America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-69) authorized the Office of Science to receive $5.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2010, with the goal of doubling the Office of Science's budget over a seven-year period.

“The Office of Science is the main federal sponsor of basic research aimed at achieving the scientific breakthroughs necessary to meet our nation's growing needs for clean, abundant energy. In addition, the Office of Science is our nation's largest supporter of basic physical sciences research.

“The Office of Science supports research in new fields - biotechnology, nanotechnology, and supercomputing - that will revolutionize the 21st Century economy. Investment in basic scientific research is critical to preserving America's brainpower advantage so that we can compete in the global economy and prevent our good jobs from going overseas. Especially now in the midst of this severe economic downturn, a strong investment in science is prudent and necessary to regain and sustain economic growth through the development of new industries.

“Through its many world-class user facilities and programs, the Office of Science plays an indispensable role in attracting, educating, training, and sustaining the nation's scientific workforce. Thousands of university researchers - professors, young post-doctoral scientists, and undergraduate students - rely on support from the Office of Science. Roughly half of the researchers at facilities run by the Office of Science come from universities, and about a third of Office of Science research funds go to institutions of higher learning.

“Historically, there is strong bipartisan support for increasing funding for the Office of Science. We are acutely aware of the tight constraint on available budgetary resources, and we commend you and the subcommittee for making the Office of Science a funding priority in recent years. We urge your continued support for the Office of Science so that we can maintain this critical investment in our nation's future.”

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