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  Latest News  
  May 3 ,  2005  

GOVERNMENT & POLICY

  More Funds Sought For Energy Department
Senators urge Appropriations Committee to hike Office of Science budget
 

JEFF JOHNSON
   
 
 

Sixty-eight senators have written a letter urging the Senate Appropriations Committee to increase next year’s research funds for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. In February, President George W. Bush’s Administration requested approximately $3.5 billion for fiscal 2006 for the Science Office—a 3.8% cut from 2005. The senators want an increase of 3.3% over last year, or 7% more than the Administration budget requests.

Although the Administration-proposed budget includes funding important to chemists—start-up of the spallation neutron source and further work at four nanoscale science research centers, for example—the senators write that these projects will come at the expense of core DOE research programs. They predict that funding reductions of about 25% could be expected for personnel and operations at various DOE scientific facilities under the Administration budget.

The letter goes on to warn that the R&D cuts will hamper U.S. economic competitiveness, which they say is strongly based on science and technology. The senators note that U.S. competitiveness in these areas is increasingly challenged by European nations as well as by emerging economic-powerhouse nations in Asia.

Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) led the letter-writing effort. Last year’s DOE Science Office appropriation, the senators note, represented a 4.3% increase over the Administration’s budget request.
 
     
  Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2005
 


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