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Environment

Energy Department Faces Cuts To Its 2012 Budget

by Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay
June 13, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 24

The Department of Energy is facing major funding cuts for fiscal 2012, according to the 2012 Energy & Water & Related Agencies Appropriations bill approved by the Energy & Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. The bill funds DOE at $24.7 billion, $850 million less than its 2011 budget and $5.9 billion below President Barack Obama’s 2012 request. Citing the need to rein in spending, subcommittee Chairman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) said, “We had to make some difficult choices, but in the balance, I think this is a fair bill.” For scientific research, the bill provides $4.8 billion for work in areas such as basic energy issues and high-performance computing systems, $43 million below this year’s level. For R&D in coal, natural gas, and other fossil energy technologies, the bill provides $477 million, an increase of $32 million over the 2011 level. The bill includes only $100 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a 44.3% cut compared with current funding and 81.8% below the President’s request.

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