President's Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Request (3-4-04)
President George W. Bush released his fiscal year (FY) 2005 budget
on February 2, 2004. At the time of the budget release, Congress
had not completed action on the FY 2003 appropriations bills, complicating
the reporting of the newest budget request by making it impossible
to compare the two budgets. As a result, budget documents released
by the administration are in terms of last year's presidential request.
While Congress continued to work out the final funding levels, federal
agencies were being funded under a series of continuing resolutions
at FY 2002 levels. Congress passed a FY2003 budget at the end of February,
with $819 billion in total discretionary spending, which includes
$123 billion for research and development (R&D). A complete list
of budget documents
is available at the OMB website, and information on the science and
technology aspects of the budget is available at the White House Office
of Science and Technology (OSTP)
website. The funding comparisons below are primarily based on the
final FY2003 appropriations.
Much of the information on the President's FY2004 budget request
was originally sent out as an e-mail Special Update to AGI's member
State, and Judiciary (NOAA)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA is slated to receive $3.3
billion for FY 2004, a 8.2% decrease from last year's appropriation.
Within NOAA, the majority of the research is managed by the Office
of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR),
which has requested a 12% decrease to total $350 million. The National
Ocean Service has requested $394.3 million (down 22%) and the
National Weather Service requested
$749 million (up 3%).
NOAA's budget slashes funding for the "wet side", which
includes the National Ocean Service and the OAR. Programs in the National
Ocean Service that will receive less funding than last year include:
Navigation Services (down $15 million), Ocean Resources Conservation
and Assessment (down $80 million) and Ocean & Coastal Management
(down $31 million). In OAR, the Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes Research
program was cut by $50 million. The Weather and Air Quality Research
program was cut by $20 million. However, the Climate Research Program
requested $13 million more than last year.
NOAA's budget documents are available at http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/budget2005/.
Department of Energy
Office of Science
Total funding for the DOE Office of Science would be cut by 1% to
$3.43 billion in the president's request.. Within the Office of Science,
the Basic Energy Sciences programs would receive $1.06 billion, up
5.2%. The Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biological Energy Sciences
account is slated to receive $228 million, an increase of 4% from
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 FY2003 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
The Office of Environmental Management (EM) is responsible for managing
the cleanup of the environmental legacy of the nation's nuclear weapons
program -- everything from research to testing to production. EM has
been under pressure from DOE and Congress to reform its management
to result in quicker, more cost effective cleanup of sites. To respond
to this request, the EM budget for FY 2005 is outlined in five new
appropriations accounts. 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 technology funded under the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy (EERE) is marked for a 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.
More details on the overall DOE budget request can be found at http://www.mbe.doe.gov/budget/05budget/index.htm.
Department of the Interior
Total funding request for the Department of the Interior (DOI) comes
to $11 billion, a 2.8% increase from the FY2004 funding level and
the "largest presidential request in the Department's history".
Among the agency's priorities are supporting coorperative conservation,
accelerating Indian trust reform, reforming the Abandoned Mine Lands
program, implementing the Healthy Forests Initiative, addressing the
National Park Service's maintenance backlog and enhancing the education
of American Indian children.
Funding for the Minerals Management Service (MMS)
is up just about 5% for a total requested level of $179 million. The
Outer Continental Shelf Resource Evaluation program is also up 5%
to $146.1 million.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
has requested $1.7 billion, a 2% cut from last year's allocation.
Funding for BLM energy
and mineral programs has decreased 3% from last year's allocation,
giving a total of $104 million for these activities. However, the
leasing of gas fields will raise an additional $4.0 million in revinue,
keeping the total budget at the 2004 enacted level.
The National Parks Service (NPS)
is slated for an increase of just under 5%, for a total request of
2.4 billion. Resource stewardship geologic resources funding within
NPS will stay the same at $2.7 million. Within this account, the NPS
budget document outlines a monitoring program for water quality in
the parks and an "inventory and monitoring program for park vital
signs" which will increase 8% to $41 million. Also with the resource
stewardship account is the water quality monitoring program that will
see a 5% increase to $12.6 million.
More information on the DOI budget request is available at http://www.doi.gov/budget/toc.html.
U.S. Geological Survey
Looking at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
as a whole, almost every major program area has had funding decreases,
and the FY 2005 budget represents a step backward from FY 2004 levels.
The total request is $920 million, down 2.5% from the FY 2004 level
of $944 million.
In all cases, the many increases and decreases described here do
not take into account the uncontrollable costs (salaries, maintenance,
) that increase each year and cut into funds available for
actual program activities. This year there have been reductions across
many programs, and targets some specific programs such as mineral
resources (down almost $7 million) and cooperative topographic mapping
(down $3 million). However USGS director Charles Groat told EOS that
"We are not seeing the big program gashes that we had before."
Groat attributes this change partly to better internal management
and information technology improvements. The budget winners were water
availability, invasive species and natural hazards. The Enterprise
Information budget, a new program for FY05, would receive funding
from each division of the agency to total $45 million, and will consolidate
funding for technology, management and information throughout the
Overall, geologic programs
would receive $220.8 million, a 5% decrease from last year's enacted
level. In addition to cutting funds for mineral resource assessments
and seismic networks as described below, the request also calls for
the survey's energy resources program to use existing funds to provide
scientific information regarding methane hydrates to the Minerals
The biggest hit in the geologic discipline goes to the Mineral
Resources Program, which would receive a $7 million decrease after
undergoing a $9.1 million cut in the FY04 budget. As with other programs,
such cuts are in addition to the budgetary erosion due to increases
in uncontrollable costs. The proposed cuts transfer over $3 million
to the new enterprise information budget and an $11 million reduction
The Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS)
will be funded at a flat rate from FY04 budget, however, the program
was cut by almost $2 million last year from the FY03 budget. The program
has never come close to the funding levels called for in the last
reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program
(NEHRP). That legislation, signed into law in November 2000, authorized
$170 million over five years. The flat funding after last year's cut
would eliminate nearly half of the increases that previous budgets
had provided toward that lofty goal.
Overall, water programs would
receive $202.7 million, still down 6.2% from last year's allocation.
The Water Resources Research
Institutes, which were zeroed out in the president's FY 2003 and
FY 2004 requests would be cut again by $6.4 million this year. It
is expected that the Institutes get the majority of their funding
from non-USGS sources and are self-sufficient. The water resources
program would receive $1 million this year for research into the water
quality in the Klamath basin
The National Water-Quality
Assessment program requested an increase of $200,000, its first
increase since FY 1999. The Ground
Water Resources Program would increase by $800,000 for a water
availability and use initiative. The Toxic
Substances Hydrology Program would decline by $518,000 to $12.64
million, which is far less drastic than last year when cutbacks were
proposed and a transfer of what remained to the National Science Foundation.
Overall, mapping programs
would receive $118.9 million, down 7.8% from last year's allocation.
The budget request includes an $8.6 million transfet to the Enterprise
Information program and a $1.9 million decrease for the National
Map a program to create a comprehensive geographic information
data base which incorporates elevation data, orthophotography, hydrology
and other information. According to EOS, National Map program director
Barbara Ryan said "that cut arrests the development of the National
Biology is also marked for
a small decrease from last year's allocation. Totaling $167.6 million,
biology programs would receive increases for finding solutions and
assisting the mitigation of biological resource problems facing Federal
agencies and State, local and tribal governments. The budget proposes
transferring $2.9 million to the Enterprise Information program and
a $2.8 million reduction in fire science. Some of the fire science
programs will be funded by the Wildland Fire Management account.
More information on the DOI budget request is available at http://www.doi.gov/budget/toc.html.
Department of Energy -- Fossil Fuels
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, Research and Development
(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
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, an 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/.
U.S. Forest Service
Total funding for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
would decrease by 6.5% from last year's funding level, for a total
of $5.2 billion. The FY 2005 budget proposes a $63.8 million increase
in funds for the National Fire Plan, which includes program increases
for wildfire suppression and hazardous fuel reduction. The total request
for the National Fire Plan from both Forest Service and the Department
of Interior is $2.5 billion.
Funding for wildland fire management would decrease by 12% from last
year's allocation, to total $1.4 billion. Forest and Rangeland research
requested an increase of $14.3 million for science and technology.
The Minerals and Geology Management program requested $60 million,
a 10% increase from last year's funding level.
Addition information on the USFS budget request is available at
The FY 2005 request for the Smithsonian is $628 million, including
a new Facilities Capital account. This funding level marks a 27% increase
from the FY 2004 appropriation. Approximately $21 million of the $32
million increase would be used primarily for renovation and revitalization
of facilities. The National Zoological Park would get $19.5 million
and the National Museum of Natural History would get $7 million for
revitalization projects. Last year a specially appointed science commission
released a report outlining the role of research within the Smithsonian.
The report noted that funding erosion and poor long-term scientific
leadership have placed the institution in poor financial standing.
Adding to the funding complexities are congressionally mandated increases
for targeted programs; the report asserts: "The cannibalization
of staff positions to fund these mandated increases must stop."
Earlier, the National Research Council released a report with similar
findings. The message, however, does not appear to have had a significant
impact on the president's FY 2004 request. This year, however $1.5
million would go toward implementing some of the commission's recommendations
such as expanding the fellowship program and providing funds for the
care of the collections at the National Museum of Natural History.
Department of Education
The Department of Education (ED) requested a total of $57.3.4 billion
in discretionary funding, an increase of nearly 3% from last year's
funding level. Similar to the last couple of years, the ED program
for math and science education for elementary and secondary education
is funded through the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program --
there is an identically named program at the National Science Foundation
that complements the ED program. The funding request for MSP is $269.1
million, an 80% increase over last year's allocation. However, this
funding is primarily for mathematics, not science. In addition, this
large increase is due to a decrease in the NSF part of the MSP program.
The Administration is phasing the MSP program out of NSF and trying
to move it entirely to ED.
Additional information on the ED budget is available at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OUS/Budget04/04summary/index.html.
National Science Foundation
In the FY 2005 proposed budget NSF would receive only a 3% boost
to $5.75 billion. Within the total request, $4.3 billion would go
to the Research and Related Activities (RRA) account that funds the
disciplinary directorates, an increase of just under 5% from last
year's allocation, and $778 million would go to Education and Human
Resources, a cut of 17.9% from last year's funding level. The Major
Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account, which
funds capital costs associated with large-scale facilities such as
telescopes or networked installations, is slated to receive $213 million,
an impressive 36% increase from what this account received last year.
This funding increase is less than the amount authorized last year
by legislation, signed by President Bush in December 2002, that would
put the agency on a budget-doubling track similar to that achieved
by the National Institutes of Health over the past five years. Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Christopher Bond (R-MO) and Ranking
Minority Member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) both support the NSF and are
deeply disappointed by the 3% increase. At a hearing of the subcommittee
in late February, Senator Mikulski stated "Senator Bond and I
are committed to doubling the NSF's budget. It's bipartisan and bicameral.
But we cannot do it alone."
The request for the Geosciences Directorate, which includes Atmospheric,
Oceanic and Earth Science Divisions, is complicated by the administration's
attempt last year to transfer several programs from other agencies
into the directorate. Congress rejected this proposed transfer. Funding
for the Geoscience Directorate (GEO)
would increase from the FY2004 appropriation, with a budget request
of $728.5 million. Within GEO, the Earth Sciences Division (EAR) would
receive $155.6 million, Atmospheric Sciences would receive $243.6
million, and Ocean Sciences would receive $329.3 million all increases
from the FY 2004 budget.
In FY 2005 GEO will emphasize research on the key physical, chemical
and geologic cycles with in the Earth system. Both the Earthscope
and Ocean Drilling Programs
operations budgets were doubled in the FY 2005 budget request. The
Climate Change Research Initiative funding would stay flat with the
Major Research Equipment & Facilities Construction Account
The total MREFC amount requested for 2005 is $213.3 million, up 37.6%
from 2004. New starts requested in the 2005 MREFC budget include:
National Ecological Observatory Network ($12 million), Scientific
Ocean Drilling Vessel ($40.9 million) and Rare Symmetry Violating
Processes ($30 million). On a long-term outlook, other new starts
budgeted to start in 2006 are Ocean Observatories Initiative, Alaska
Region Research Vessel.
The budget documents also clearly state the priorities for MREFC
funding in FY 2005. EarthScope is one of seven projects highlighted.
Others include continued support of the Incorporated Research Institutions
for Seismology (IRIS), the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP),
and continued construction of the Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter
Radar (AMSIR). For FY 2005, the $47.4 million requested for EarthScope
in the MREFC account would support three of its components: the United
States Seismic Array (USArray), the San Andreas Fault Observatory
at Depth (SAFOD), and the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO).
The Office of Polar Programs (OPP)
funds research activities, in conjunction with other federal agencies,
in the Arctic and Antarctic. OPP is requesting $349.7 million for
FY 2005, an increase of 2.2% from last year's funding level. Of this
amount, $281 million will be for the Polar Research Program, with
the remaining amount going towards Antarctic Logistical Support Activities.
Science facilities; operations at McMurdo, South Pole and Palmer stations;
engineering construction and facilities maintenance; and data handling
and communications all have budget request increases for 2005.
The NSF budget documents provide a wealth of information regarding
the research and education funded by the foundation, including multi-year
trends in funding and descriptions of successful past research that
is benefiting the nation. The budget documents are available on the
web at http://www.nsf.gov/home/budget/.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA has requested $16.2 billion for FY 2005, a slight increase (5.2%)
over the agency's congressional appropriation in FY 2004. The increase
is largely for reorienting the agency toward space exploration and
manned missions to the Moon and Mars. In mid-January President Bush
announced a new mandate for NASA; a return to the moon with robotic
missions no later than 2008. To accomplish this goal, $11 billion
would be reallocated from other NASA programs. The plan also calls
for completing work on the International Space Station by 2010 and
refocusing onboard research on the effects of space flight on astronaut
health. The shift in NASA's mission would add 1% in FY 2005 to the
space science budget, which would increase to $4.1 billion.
Programs that feel the effect of the reallocation are the Earth Science
Enterprise (ESE) and Earth science applications. ESE would be cut
by 7% to $1.41 billion and Earth science applications would decrease
15% to $76.9 million. Despite the cuts, the ESE budget includes funding
to complete the current generation of satellite systems, the June
2004 launch of the Aura satellite that will look at the physics and
chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere, and Cloud-Sat satellites to study
climate and weather.
NASA budget documents are available at http://www.nasa.gov/about/budget/index.html.
Environmental Protection Agency
In its FY 2004 request, EPA has sought a total of $7.76 billion,
down 2% from the agency's FY 2004 appropriation. Extramural research
grants and graduate fellowships administered by the EPA would be severely
cut under the FY 2005 budget request. The Science to Achieve Results
(STAR) graduate fellowship program would be cut by 33.5 % relative
to the FY 2004 enacted level. Approximately 93 fewer of the larger
STAR research grants would be awarded. The cuts to the STAR program
are somewhat surprising because the National Academy of Science called
the program "excellent" in a recent report. Research programs
that would be affected by the proposed cuts in EPA STAR funding include:
ecosystems protection ($22.2 million decrease), pollution prevention
($5 million decrease), endocrine disruptors ($4.9 million decrease),
mercury research ($2 million decrease) and hazardous substance research
centers ($2.3 million decrease). Other research programs that would
receive less funding next year include a $8.3 million cut for Homeland
Security Building Decontamination Research and a $1 million cut for
Environmental Technology Verification. Lastly, all funding for the
EPA Office of Environmental Education would be eliminated in the proposed
budget. The office received approximately $10 million in FY 2004.
EPA's budget documents are available at http://www.epa.gov/ocfo/budget/budget.htm.
Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture supports several programs in soil science,
watershed management, and water resources. Most of these programs
are funded through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),
which requested a total of $2.76 billion. Within this amount, $40
million would go towards watershed
and flood prevention operations, $5 million would go towards watershed
surveys and planning activities, $20 million would go towards ground
and surface water conservation program, and $295 million would go
towards the Wetlands
Reserve Program. Of all programs mentioned, only the Wetlands
Reserve Program would see an increase in funding. The Emergency Watershed
Protection account would not be funded at all under the proposed FY
Additional information on the Department of Agriculture's budget
request is available at http://www.usda.gov/agency/obpa/Home-Page/obpa.html.
Sources: American Institute of Physics, Department of Agriculture,
Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior,
EOS, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management
Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Council
for Science and the Environment, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, National Science Foundation, University of Michigan
Research Reporter, U.S. Geological Survey, and the White House Office
of Management and Budget.
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI
Government Affairs Program.
Contributed by Gayle Levy, 2004 AGI/AAPG Spring Semster Government
Affairs Program Intern.
Posted March 5, 2004