At the State of the Union in January, President Obama said, “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future.” Secretary Chu chose this quote to begin the FY2012 Department of Energy budget briefing. The message was clear: investing in science research is NOT optional if we want to be competitive with the rest of the world.
The President’s Budget Request (PBR) included a 9.1 percent increase in the overall budget of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science for FY2012 compared to FY2010, for a total budget of $5.41 billion.
The Advanced Scientific Computing Research program would see a significant increase of 21.5 percent for a total of $465.6 million. Basic energy sciences would get a 24.1 percent increase, a total of $1.99 billion.
The Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists program is still heavily supported. That request is for a 72 percent increase to $35.6 million, which is the exact same request made for FY2011.
ARPA-E, a program that has not yet seen funding from normal appropriations, requested $550 million.
The presentations and detailed budget information for the Department is available online.
Unfortunately, as we reported earlier, despite this strong support for science funding by the Administration, the House has been very vocal that decreases will be the standard moving forward.