Department of Energy

19 Apr 2018

At a hearing on the fiscal year 2019 Department of Energy budget, Senate appropriators questioned the rationale behind the administration’s proposed spending cuts to energy R&D programs and made clear they will reject them again this year.

10 Apr 2018

Final fiscal year 2018 appropriations are providing major across-the-board funding increases for the Department of Energy’s applied energy R&D programs, which the Trump administration has targeted for large-scale cuts.

19 Mar 2018

The president’s budget request for fiscal year 2019 would cut the Department of Energy’s applied energy programs significantly, including a 67 percent cut to the $2 billion Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Other offices would receive lesser but still dramatic decreases in funding.

1 Feb 2018

Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar and Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes appeared before the House Science Committee this week to discuss a recent realignment of their responsibilities as well as DOE’s R&D priorities, including its plans for nuclear fusion research.

18 Jan 2018

At a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, participants touched on a wide range of issues related to the Department of Energy, including R&D priorities and the management and structure of the national lab system. The committee framed the hearing as a prelude to potential DOE reform legislation.

9 Jan 2018

A new National Academies report warns that withdrawing from ITER, a mammoth international fusion project under construction in France, could jeopardize the U.S.’s pursuit of commercial fusion energy. The report also calls for a national strategic fusion plan to resolve issues that will not be addressed through ITER.

8 Jan 2018

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is kicking off a series of hearings related to its ongoing efforts to reform the Department of Energy. The first hearing will focus on DOE’s primary mission areas and “opportunities to unleash the full potential of DOE’s scientific, engineering and technological capabilities.” The committee’s efforts will add to a growing set of changes, proposals, and discussions concerning how DOE structures, manages, and prioritizes its laboratory and other R&D activities.

8 Dec 2017

A new National Academies study warns the U.S. has lost leadership in high-intensity ultrafast laser research to Europe. To regain ground, it recommends the Department of Energy invest in at least one new large-scale facility and lead the development of a coordinated national research strategy.

17 Nov 2017

The House Science Committee has approved a package of bills that establish target funding profiles for eight Department of Energy research facility construction projects. The committee also approved four STEM education and research bills, one of which would require federal science agencies to annually report to the National Science Foundation information on the demographics of all R&D grant applicants.

11 Oct 2017

At a hearing last week, members of the House Science Committee heard testimony about the status of domestic plutonium-238 supplies, an essential fuel for many robotic science missions. A Government Accountability Office report released at the same time recommends that the Department of Energy improve its long-term planning for producing Pu-238 and associated power systems.

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