SPECIAL UPDATE: President's FY 2005 Budget Request
Department of Energy
This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's
IN A NUTSHELL: A total of $3,431.7 million was requested
for the Department of Energy's Office of Science in President Bush's
FY 2005 budget request. This represents a reduction of 2.0%, or $68.5
million, from FY 2004 funding of $3,500.2 million. However, according
to Office of Science Director Ray Orbach, the cut reflects the elimination
of $140.7 million in congressionally-directed earmarks in the FY 2004
appropriation for Biological and Environmental Research, which were
not included in the FY 2005 request. Taking this into consideration,
Orbach said, the request of $3,431.7 million would represent an increase
of 2.2%, or $72.3 million, over the FY 2004 appropriation of $3,359.4
million for the Office of Science core programs.
The complete DOE budget documents can be found at www.mbe.doe.gov/budget/05budget/index.htm.
Highlights of the request for each of the Office of Science programs
are available in the "Budget Highlights" document (in pdf
format) under "Science Strategic Goal," at www.mbe.doe.gov/budget/05budget/content/highlite/highlite.pdf.
Department of Energy (DOE):
The total Department of Energy request for FY 2005 is $23.5 billion,
an increase of 1.8% from last year's funding level. The department
is responsible for a wide array of missions, most not related to energy.
The two largest parts of the budget are the National Nuclear Security
Administration ($9 billion), which oversees the development and management
of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile, and environmental cleanup
of former nuclear weapons production facilities ($14 billion).
*** Office of Science ***
Total funding for the DOE Office of Science was cut by 1% to $3.43
billion in the president's request. Within the Office of Science,
the Basic Energy Sciences (BES) programs would receive $1.06 billion,
up 5.2%. The Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biological Energy
Sciences account within BES is slated to receive $228 million, an
increase of 4% above last year's request. Also within the Office of
Science, the Biological and Environmental Research program would receive
nearly $501 million, down almost 22% from last year, but up slightly
from the FY03 budget.
*** Nuclear Waste Disposal ***
Last year's decision by the President and Congress to accept the Yucca
Mountain site as the nation's permanent disposal site for high-level
nuclear waste means that the project has moved into its second phase.
After more than 20 years and $4 billion in site characterization,
funding for Yucca Mountain will now be focused primarily on activities
to support the submission of a license application to the U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission. The budget request includes $591 million for
licensing and program management activities, basically flat from last
year's request but an increase of nearly 58% from the allocation two
years ago. Within this amount, there is a sizable jump in funding
for activities related to waste acceptance, storage, and transportation
in anticipation of the repository accepting waste by 2010.
*** Environmental Management ***
The Office of Environmental Management (EM) is responsible for managing
the cleanup of the environmental legacy of the nation's nuclear weapons
-- everything from research to testing to production. The total EM
request comes to $7.4 billion, a 4.1% increase from the comparable
FY 2004 budget request. The budget request states that this level
of funding should provide the resources for EM to work towards its
goal to complete cleanup of 89 of the 114 sites by the end of 2006.
*** Geothermal ***
Geothermal technology funded under the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy (EERE) is marked for an increase of 1% from last
year's request, to total $25.8 million. Again, research related to
hydrogen has won out over the established programs within this account.
In total, EERE has requested $374 million, an increase of 1.2% from
last year's request.
To keep up-to-date with the latest information about how Congress
plans to fund these programs within the Department of Energy, click
*** Fossil Energy Program ***
The Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) requested
a total of $729 million, a decrease of just over 9% from last year's
funding level. Within that total, R&D programs would receive $636
million, a cut of over 5% from last year's level. More than 60% of
the R&D funding goes to the president's $447 million Coal Research
Initiative (CRI), which is predominantly directed at downstream technology.
CRI does include $49 million for carbon sequestration R&D, which
marks a 19% increase from last year's allocation.
Funding for oil and natural gas R&D combined make up only 6.5%
of the total Fossil Energy R&D budget, a percentage that continues
to drop with each new request. Funding for Natural Gas Technologies
totals $26 million, a 40% cut from last year. Also funded through
the natural gas account is $6 million for joint research with industry
into the potential of gas hydrates as a future energy resource. The
funding for hydrates is down 36% from last year, for a total of $6
million. The budget proposes to consolidate a number of programs under
the Natural Gas Exploration and Production account into a new Sustainable
Supply account while cutting 21% from last year's allocation. According
to budget documents, this consolidation is in part due to a federal
government-wide assessment of programs that encourages management
to "phase out programs and activities that are neither productive
nor integral to the program's mission and goals."
Simply put, the Oil Technology R&D account is gutted in the president's
request. As with natural gas, programs within the Oil Exploration
and Production account have been consolidated but with much more dramatic
cuts. The total Oil Technology request is $26 million, a 40% cut from
last year. Funding for the Oil Exploration and Production account
was slashed to a total of $3 million, down 84% from last year's funding
level. Also within the overall FE funding is $20 million for the Naval
Petroleum & Oil Shale Reserves (NPR).
The FE budget document is available at http://fossil.energy.gov/budget/.
The Government Affairs Program will track the funding path for DOE's
fossil energy program in the coming months. Up-to-date information
can be found by logging on to http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2005_interior.html.
Special update prepared by Emily M. Lehr, AGI Government Affairs
Program and Gayle Levy, AGI/AAPG 2004 Spring Semester Intern.
Sources: American Institute of Physics, Environment and Energy Daily,
Greenwire, The Washington Post, the Department of Energy website
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.
Posted March 15, 2004