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President's FY2002 Budget Request (7-10-01)

The fiscal year (FY) 2002 budget is the first for President George W. Bush and his administration.  Required by law to submit some type of budget at the beginning of February, Bush provided "A Blueprint for New Beginnings" that outlined broad-budget priorities.  Specific numbers for the FY2002 budget were provided on April 9th, with specific numbers for the Department of the Defense released in late June (after an agency-wide review).  Overall funding for non-biomedical research did not fare well in this request.  As is often the case with post-election budgets, Bush's request focused primarily on campaign promises and priorities -- biomedical research, defense funding, tax breaks, and education reform.  Below are details on the budget request for specific earth science programs in the federal government.

Much of the information on the President's FY2002 budget request was originally sent out as an e-mail Special Update to AGI's member societies.

Commerce, State, Justice, Judiciary (NOAA)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is targeted for a $60.8 million (1.8%) cut from last year's appropriations to $3.15 billion. According to budget documents, "NOAA proposes essential realignments that allow for a total of $270.0 million in program increases in critical areas such as infrastructure, severe weather prediction, coastal conservation, living marine resources, and climate."

NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would receive $345.2 million, a $15.6 million (4.7%) increase. Within that amount, funding for Geodesy would be increased 5.9% to $23.8 million. The Climate Services account would get a 47.6% increase under this budget with the initiation of many new research programs and a $7.0 million investment in the High Performance Computing Communications (HPCC) program and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL). According to the budget document, "The system (HPCC/GFDL) would be used full time to attack some of the most difficult critical obstacles to developing and testing new and more realistic models for predicting climate variability, detecting climate change, and forecasting hurricanes." The Ocean Exploration Program would receive a 60.0% increase in funding for a total of $14.0 million. These funds will be used to deploy six missions to map the physical, geological, biological, chemical, and archaeological aspects of the Exclusive Economic Zone - the offshore lands surrounding the US including the Gulf of Mexico, the Northeast Pacific, the South Atlantic Bight, California, and the Gulf of Alaska.

Elsewhere in NOAA, large cuts go to the National Estuarine Research Reserve program, down 52.7% to $26.3 million, but most other conservation programs would see funding increases. The Coastal Zone Management (CZM) activities would receive a 16.2% increase in total funds including an $8.6 million increase in funding for CZM grant programs. The Marine Transportation System account would be increased 66.1% from $6.8 million in FY2001 to $20.1 million in FY2002 with new funds for shoreline mapping, electronic navigational charts, the National Spatial Reference System, coastal storm monitoring, as well as oil spill response and habitat restoration activities.

The funding request for the National Weather Service (NWS) totals $727.6 million, a 5% increase over last year's allocation. Within this amount, $658.5 million for operations and research activities in areas such as the Cooperative Observer Network and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's modeling center. Data assimilation activities from joint NOAA/NASA programs will receive $3 million.

More at

Energy & Water (DOE)

Department of Energy
The Department of Energy (DOE) request totals $19.2 billion, a decrease from last year's $19.7 billion.  According to the budget document, this request "is a principled and responsible effort, one that fulfills President Bush's commitment to moderate discretionary spending while meeting critical requirements in national security, energy, science, and environmental quality."  DOE earth-science related programs are divided between the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (fossil energy and energy conservation programs) and the  Energy and Water Appropriations bill (everything else).

Like most other science programs, the Department of Energy's Office of Science will remain at last year's funding level. Environmental research within the office, which funds the U.S. Global Change Research Program and some hydrology programs, will total $129.5 million, a slight decrease from FY 2001 levels.  Basic Energy Science (BES) will break the $1 billion mark, an increase of $13 million over last year's $991.7 million.  Funding for the Engineering and Geoscience account within BES is targeted for a 2.1% decrease but, under the current proposal, none of this decrease will come out of the geoscience projects. More at

Nuclear Waste Disposal comes up big in the president's request, up 14% to $445 million. The increase is directed at completion of the Yucca Mountain site recommendation and final environmental impact statement as well as the start of the license application process. According to DOE budget documents, this request "is based on the presumption that the Secretary will recommend the site to the President in FY 2002."

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Interior & Related Agencies (USGS, DOE-Fossil Fuels, BLM, MMS, OSM)

Department of the Interior
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is down 10.8% to total $1.8 billion.  In anticipation that this year's fire season will be less active than last year, the Wildland Fire Management account absorbed the bulk of the cut, down $318.7 million or 32.6 percent.  Funding increases within BLM support land-use planning.  The budget launches a targeted effort to expanded energy and mineral production on public lands that would receive $15 million -- including $5 million for planning and environmental studies in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to prepare for the proposed lease sale in 2004 as well as expanding exploration and development of the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) budget request is up 4.5% overall to $258.2 million, but elimination of some programs reflects changes in priorities and reorganization of the agency.  Funding for the Center for Marine Resources and Environmental Technology -- transferred from the defunct U.S. Bureau of Mines -- and the Offshore Research and Technology Center would be reduced in favor of funding research in oil and gas exploration and production. Because MMS expects to increase Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing activities in the Gulf of Mexico, it has requested a funding increase of $2.1 million to cover related administrative activities and another $6.0 million for regulatory activities. The Oil Spill Research program would retain the FY 2001 budget of $6.1 million.

The total budget request for the Office of Surface Mining is down 34.7% from the FY 2001 enacted budget to $269.0 million. Most of this decrease is through the removal of a one-time emergency transfer of interest from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to offset operating deficits in the United Mine Workers of America Combined Benefit Fund.  Earmarked funds for the Pennsylvania anthracite region reclamation were reduced along with the state grant and federal high-priority mine land reclamation programs.

The budget request for the Bureau of Reclamation is $783.5 million, nearly identical to FY 2001 levels.  The Central Valley Restoration Fund and the California Bay-Delta Restoration program would receive slight increases, whereas other water resource programs would be cut by an average of 4.6%.

The National Park Service is requesting $2.49 billion, an increase of 13.5% over FY 2001. Much of the dollar increase would go to park operations including repair and maintenance of facilities. Geoscience programs are flat funded. The president's budget request includes full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, $107 million of which would go to the Park Service for land acquisition.

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U.S. Geological Survey
Last year, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) requested its largest increase ever. It was a small step forward after years of budgetary stagnation interrupted only by the addition of functions from the abolished National Biological Service and U.S. Bureau of Mines. The Survey ultimately received $882.8 million in FY 2001. This year's $813.4 million request would take the Survey back to FY 2000 levels, but two year's worth of inflation means that the real-dollar total is lower than FY 2000. According to budget documents, the USGS "proposes to focus resources on high priority programs, including meeting the science needs of the Department and land management programs, and to reduce funding for programs that primarily benefit external customers." How's that for service with a smile?

Because most uncontrollable cost increases (e.g. cost-of-living adjustments) are to be covered by program cuts or otherwise absorbed, the total programmatic reduction is $90.4 million, or roughly a 10 percent cut. According to Department of the Interior budget documents, this budget request would result in a loss of 506 jobs at USGS -- over a 5 percent reduction. It is the largest staff reduction of any Interior bureau and represents 30 percent of the job losses in the entire department.

The Geologic Division would receive $213.8 million, down 5.1 percent from FY 2001. Geologic mapping is particularly hard hit, erasing the advances made the previous year. The National Cooperative Geologic Mapping program would receive a $6 million cut, and the Survey would save $500,000 by eliminating the USGS partnership with the Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition. Other cuts include a $3 million reduction in global change research and elimination of the international minerals information program ($2 million). Cuts are also made to congressionally earmarked funds for specific projects, including the Alaska Minerals Information project, the Puget Sound LIDAR consortium, and an eastern Gulf of Mexico coastal pilot program.

The Water Resources Division is by far the hardest hit of the four divisions, taking a 21.6 percent reduction from $203.5 million in FY 2001 to $159.5 million in FY 2002. The bulk of the reduction would be accomplished by eliminating the Toxic Substances Hydrology program (a $10 million cut) -- despite the observation that it "has generated significant information about the sources, fate, and persistence of toxic substances in ground and surface water" -- and reducing the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program by $20 million, halting its next phase. These programs are being cut because they primarily benefit entities outside the Department -- including other federal agencies, state and local government, and foreign governments. In the future, USGS is expected to seek funding from these partners who "rely on USGS to provide information to help them fulfill their own mission-critical responsibilities." (Read: EPA, whose funding is down 6.4 percent this year.)

In an annual ritual, the request eliminates support for the Water Resources Research Institutes ($5.5 million). It also cuts the Water Information Delivery program by $3 million and the streamgage network by $5 million. Both geologic mapping and the streamgage network benefited in FY 2001 from funds provided under Title VIII of the FY 2001 Interior appropriations bill, which authorized a six-year Land Conservation, Preservation, and Infrastructure program. This program distributes royalties collected from offshore oil and gas activities. Although the administration has requested full funding of nearly $1 billion for this fund in FY 2002, it has chosen to shift most of the money toward the National Park Service and direct state grants. USGS funding will drop from $25 million to zero.

The National Mapping Division would receive $123.7 million, a 5.2 percent cut. The request eliminates funding for the OhioView consortium ($3 million), discontinues the Urban Dynamics program ($1.1 million), and cuts $2.5 million from the Mapping Information and Delivery program. It also eliminates $2 million in Title VIII funding for Mapping State Planning Partnerships, all part of an "shifting the costs of information delivery to the program beneficiaries."

The request for the Biological Resources Division is $149.3 million, down 7.0 percent. Decreases include $3.5 million for the GAP program, which had received $3 million in Title VIII money in FY 2001. The request eliminates the National Biological Information Infrastructure program ($4 million) and transfers wildland fire research ($2.8 million) to a separate department-wide account.

Finally, the USGS is transferring the bureau's library from the Facilities account to the Science Support account. According to USGS budget officials, the transfer was funding neutral.

Department of Energy -- Fossil Fuels
The recent focus on developing a domestic energy policy has not had a positive result on funding for the Department of Energy (DOE). Secretary Spencer Abraham noted in his statements at the budget briefing that "the outcome of Vice President Cheney's Energy Policy Development Task Force will determine our energy policy and energy resources budgets" for the coming years.  In the interim, the DOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE) is marked for a 17.1 percent decrease for FY 2002, to total $449 million.  Within this decrease, only two programs received an increase -- the new presidential clean coal initiative and the carbon sequestration research program.

President Bush's Clean Coal Power Initiative was the big winner with $150 million -- nearly a third of the entire FE budget.  This allocation is the first step in a "ten-year, $2 billion commitment to clean coal R&D."  This new initiative builds on the Clinton Administration's Power Plant Improvement Initiative that began last year. It is a joint government-industry program designed to explore the barriers and technologies needed to make current and future coal-fired generators cleaner and more efficient.

The other winner in FE was the Sequestration R&D program, marked for a 10.3 percent increase to total $20.7 million. According to the budget document: "The major thrust in FY 2002 will center around exploratory research on novel and innovative concepts for greenhouse gas emission mitigation such as increasing the carbon uptake of terrestrial plants or soils, advanced carbon dioxide separation and capture concepts, and storing greenhouse gasses in geologic formations or in the deep ocean."

To make room for these initiatives, many of the established programs received large cuts -- most over 50 percent. The Natural Gas R&D program request is $21 million, a 53.4 percent decrease from last year's allocation.  Within the Natural Gas program, Exploration and Production activities are targeted for a 34.5 percent decrease, to total $9.3 million.  Gas Hydrate activities would be funded at $4.7 million, a 52.5 percent cut.  Funding for coal-bed methane research is cut by 97% to total $200,000.

The Petroleum R&D program is slated for a 54.4 percent cut to total $30.5 million.  Within this amount, $20.3 million will go towards petroleum exploration and production, a 29.5 percent decrease from last years funding.  According to budget documents: "The program plans to reduce research on oil basin analysis, smart well technology, advanced recovery methods, and fundamental technologies for frontier oil production."

Cooperative Research and Development activities will be zeroed out under the budget request. "The program traditionally supported 50/50 cost-shared R&D projects with private industry.  Although no funding is requested for FY 2002, the Office of Fossil Energy (FE) will continue to pursue cooperative research with other government agencies, academic institutions, and private industry within each of its technology line items."

Labor HHS (DOED)

Department of Education
Education was a key campaign issue for President Bush. This budget for the Department of Education (DoEd) works to both increase funding and reform elementary and secondary education.  Bush's request for DoEd closely follows his "No Child Left Behind"  proposal that Congress is currently incorporating into the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization debate.  In all the reform rhetoric, however, science education -- particularly the Eisenhower programs -- have been losing ground.  The FY2002 budget request consolidates the Eisenhower Professional Development programs (state, national, and federal professional development activities and the math and science education consortia), the class size reduction program, and the parental assistance program into state grants for teacher development and improving teacher training. Totaling $2.6 billion, this new block grant would remove any federal "strings" from the funds.  It would allow states flexibility in using federal funds as long as they "are used for professional development that is (1) grounded in scientifically based research, (2) tied to State or local standards, (3) of sufficient intensity and duration to affect teaching performance, and (4) directly related to the subjects taught."

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VA/HUD & Independent Agencies (NSF, NASA, EPA, FEMA)

National Science Foundation
What is the correct gift for the 51st Anniversary?  According to the presidential budget request for NSF in FY 2002: the status quo. After receiving a record increase for its 50th Anniversary, NSF is marked for a 1.3% increase over last year's allocation to total $4.47 billion. In general terms, the NSF budget includes $3.3 billion for research and related activities, $872 million for education and human resources, and $96 million for major research equipment (MRE). Overall funding for the major research directorates is flat.  The Geosciences Directorate is down 0.6% and Polar Research programs are up 1.5%. Funding for MRE would include no new starts for this fiscal year -- EarthScope is on hold.

NSF's below-inflation increase reflects the president's plan to use his first budget to meet campaign promises, such as tax relief and increased education spending, while limiting discretionary spending to 4% growth. According to NSF Director Rita Colwell's budget briefing, Bush's education reform plan includes NSF as a key player in "re-stitching the web" of education. The Education/Human Resources (EHR) Directorate is marked for an 11% increase that is the first step in a proposed 5-year, $1 billion initiative to link primary and secondary education to higher education.  Under this education umbrella, stipends for graduate research fellowships, teaching fellowships for K-12 education, and Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships would increase from $18,000 to $20,500.  The hope is that increased graduate stipends will help remove barriers to attracting science students to the teaching profession.

The Geoscience Directorate is basically unchanged from last year's allocation, requesting $558.5 million.  Atmospheric science support will total $186.5 million, a $2 million drop from last year.  Earth science programs are up a little under one percent to total $116.8 million -- $79.2 million for project support, $28.5 million for instrumentation and facilities, and $9.1 million for Continental Dynamics.  Ocean science support will total $255.3 million, a $2.7 million or 1% drop from last year.  Geosciences Directorate head Margaret Leinen noted in her budget presentation that NSF remains committed to the idea of EarthScope and that science funding in this budget cycle is on "pause" while the new administration looks at the bigger picture.

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration
The total National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) budget request is $14.5 billion, up 1.7% from the FY 2001 enacted budget.  The Office of Earth Science (OES) has requested $1.5 billion to fund the Earth Science Enterprise, a 2% increase from this year's budget. But this total includes the reallocation of funds formerly appropriated to Mission Support. Actual programs would receive a 13.9% cut. The Earth Observing System would see a 10.2% decrease in funding to $371.9 million, "taking a pause" in the words of NASA Administrator Dan Goldin. The Earth Explorers satellite programs would get a 40% budget cut to $84.5 million for FY2002. Under this budget, Research and Technology programs would receive a total of $516.6 million, a decrease of 10.9%.  Within this category, Earth Science Program Science would increase 1.9% from FY 2001 to $357.4 million. OES programs that have been eliminated to fit the president's budget blueprint include Universe Explore and Digital Earth.

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Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested $7.3 billion, a 6.4% decrease from the FY 2001 enacted budget. Many of the cuts reflect the agency's shift to more cooperative operations, combining efforts with state and local governments as well as private industry to accomplish its mission.  Some enforcement programs have been reduced, favoring grants to states that would give them "more flexibility to craft solutions that meet their unique environmental needs." Under the budget request, funding for clean air programs would be $5.7 million, down 4.3%.  Clean and safe drinking water programs would receive a 12.6% cut to $3.2 billion. Within the clean water category, the request for watershed research programs is $5.8 million, down from this year's budget by 25.7%. Funding for wetlands programs would be elevated 1.9% to $17.2 million.

The EPA budget category that includes waste management and clean-up programs would receive $1.5 billion, down only slightly from FY2001. Within this category, Brownfields programs would receive a boost of 4.9% to $97.4 million. Other Superfund programs would remain close to at last year's levels. Programs aiming to reduce global and cross-border environmental risks would receive a total of $282.7 million, commensurate with the FY2001 budget. Within this category, funding for climate change research would be $21.9 million, a 2.6% reduction from this year. Climate protection programs for buildings, carbon removal, industry, state and local initiatives, and transportation would be slightly enhanced. The budget request under the category Sound Science, Improved Understanding of Environmental Risk, and Greater Innovation to Address Environmental Problems is down 8% to $307.2 million. Within this category, coastal environmental programs, the Environmental Monitoring Assessment Program (EMAP), and the Energy STAR program would see slight budget increases from last year.

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Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) request for FY2002 totals $2.2 billion.  According to the budget document, FEMA will save close to $166 million by requiring that all public buildings cover disaster insurance and by reducing the federal share of funding for hazard mitigation from 75 to 50 percent.  The National Flood Insurance Program would find savings by not insuring "repetitive lost" properties and by not subsidizing rates for non-primary residences and businesses.  Project Impact would be discontinued.  More at


Department of Agriculture
Total discretionary spending for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) comes to $32 billion, a decrease of close to $4 billion from last year's allocation. The Natural Resource Conservation Service would receive $1.1 billion under the request, a 21% decrease from last year's allocation.  For the last few years, the watershed and flood prevention account has received emergency supplemental funding.  Last year it received a total of $209 million, but this year, with the NERF, the program will receive $100 million.  Soil surveys would receive a boost from the $78 million it has received in the past two years to total $80 million.  Watershed surveys and planning would remain at $11 million, and the wetlands reserve program would receive no funding.

Discretionary funding for the Forest Service would total $3.7 billion, a 15.2% decrease from the $4.4 billion allocated last year.  Once again, a majority of this cut is do to the removal of emergency supplemental funding from the request. Minerals and Geology Management is marked to receive $49 million.

The Research, Education, and Economics mission area requested $2.1 billion.  Within this amount, the Agriculture Research Service would receive $23 million and the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) would receive $994 million.  Funding for the research and education section of CSREES would decrease from last year's $544 million to $419 million.

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Sources: American Association for the Advancement of Science, President's FY2002 Budget Request, agency budget websites, Environment & Energy Newsline, White House website, and

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program at

Contributed by Margaret A. Baker and David Applegate, AGI Government Affairs Program, and AGI/AAPG Spring 2001 Geoscience Policy Intern Mary H. Patterson.

Posted July 10, 2001

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