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August 23, 2017

Federal budget: Department of Energy

The House Appropriations Committee has been releasing budget proposals from the various subcommittees over the last two months. Contained within the budgets are some increases (though none as significant as in the previous fiscal years) and significant proposed cuts to various programs.

    Department of Energy

    • $1.7B cut to Energy Programs
    • $30M cut to Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup
    • No change in total science budget*
    • Defunding the  Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program (-$276M)
    • 5% cut to biological and environmental research
    • 5% cut to fusion energy research
    • 5% cut to high energy physics research
    • 5% cut to basic energy sciences research
    • Defunding radiological facilities management (-$10M)
    • 9% cut to nuclear energy research and development
    • 5% cut to fossil energy research and development
    • 20% cut to energy programs
    • 10% increase to nuclear weapons activities
    • 10% increase to nonproliferation research and development
    • Defunding uranium enrichment decontamination and decommissioning fund (-$563M)
    • 3% increase to construction of the exascale computing project
    • No change in advanced technology vehicles manufacturing loan programs
    • 8% increase to research, development, test and evaluation of nuclear weapons
    • 42% increase to nuclear weapons engineering

    * the itemized increases for the Office of Science are largely focused on facilities construction, offsetting the above listed reductions to research programs and maintenance

    In summary, across the board there is a 5% cut to scientific research in the Department of Energy, which is offset by increased funding for facilities construction - including beam lines, neutron sources, and ITER. There is a general increase in funding for defense-related programs, and there are limited cuts in maintenance costs and activities related to such programs.