Science Energy Crisis; 2008 Budget Cuts Energy Research Funding
posted by December 19 at 12:30 PMon
Energy crisis? The president is on the case!
Technology Has Enabled Us To Make Significant Progress. We need to continue with important research into plug-in and advanced hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of high efficiency clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol and other biofuels. We must further expand the use of clean coal technology, solar and wind energy, and clean, safe nuclear power.
Congressional Democrats are heeding the call to arms! Surely basic science funding will increase, particularly in energy technology. Crisis! Not a time to cave in to a veto threat.
The White House and Congress delivered a heavy blow to the hopes of the U.S. science community yesterday as part of a long-delayed final agreement on the 2008 federal budget. As a result, what began as a year of soaring rhetoric in support of science seems likely to end with agency officials and research advocates shaking their heads and wondering what went wrong.
NIH? “The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive a 0.5% increase after high hopes for a slice that would at least keep up with inflation.” (For you, David Wright.)
Ok, but what about the Energy Department? Surely energy research will be properly funded; everyone—the president, the Republicans and Democrats in congress—agrees this is the only way out of the mess.
The bill set the budget at DOE’s Office of Science at $4.055 billion—$342 million short of the requested amount—and the shortfall comes mainly out of two programs: fusion sciences and high-energy physics. Congress realized some savings by allotting nothing for U.S. participation in the international fusion reactor experiment, ITER, which is set to begin construction next year in Cadarache, France (ScienceNOW, 21 November 2006)
DOE’s largest program, Basic Energy Sciences (BES), gets $1.282 billion, $217 million less than requested. That could translate into less beam time at the x-ray sources and other facilities BES runs for research in materials science, structural biology, chemistry, and other areas.