FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FY 2012 Appropriation for Department of Energy Office of Science, ARPA-E

Richard M. Jones
Number 149 - December 20, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

Adjust text size enlarge text shrink text    |    Print this pagePrint this page    |     Bookmark and Share     |    rss feed for FYI

Congress and the President have agreed on a final FY 2012 appropriations bill.  H.R. 2055 combines nine funding bills, and is accompanied by House Report 112-331.  This 1,385 page report contains the bill language and a second section with the appropriators’ recommendations.  The following is a selection of the report’s recommendations for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, starting on page 853.  FY 2011 figures are taken from the Senate Appropriations Committee report

Office of Science:

The FY 2011 appropriation was $4,857.7 million
The FY 2012 administration request was $5,416.1 million
The FY 2012 appropriation is $4,889.0 million, an increase of $31.3 million or 0.6 percent

The report states:

“The conference agreement includes the House direction for a report regarding underrepresented college minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics areas.

“In order to increase transparency and accountability across all Science activities, the Department is directed, not later than September 1, 2012, to create a performance ranking of all ongoing multi-year research projects across the six major Science research programs, including those at universities, national laboratories, Energy Frontier Research Centers, Energy Innovation Hubs and other recipients, by comparing current performance with original project goals. The report shall include an inventory of the number and dollar amount of awards that have been terminated in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 before their multi-year awards have concluded.

“The conferees direct the Department to provide to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, not later than February 10, 2012, a budget scenario for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 with the Office of Science funded at the fiscal year 2012 level, highlighting funding levels for each major program and project, including activities, such as ITER, with scheduled changes in funding requirements.”

Within the Office of Science are the following programs:

Advanced Scientific Computing Research:

The FY 2011 appropriation was $422.0 million
The FY 2012 administration request was $465.6 million
The FY 2012 appropriation is $442.0 million, an increase of $20.0 million or 4.7 percent

The report states:

“The conferees support the exascale initiative, but note that future funding for the initiative is contingent upon delivery of the joint exascale plan, as directed. The conferees provide the budget request for the Leadership Computing Facilities and for High Performance Production Computing, in support of continuing petascale upgrades at the three facilities.”  

Basic Energy Sciences:

The FY 2011 appropriation was $1,678.2 million
The FY 2012 administration request was $1,985.0 million
The FY 2012 appropriation is $1,694.0 million, an increase of $15.8 million or 0.9 percent.

The report states:

“The conference agreement includes $24,300,000 to continue the Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub, and $20,000,000 to establish the Batteries and Energy Storage Energy Innovation Hub. The conference agreement includes up to $100,000,000 for the existing Energy Frontier Research Centers; $10,000,000 for predictive modeling of internal combustion engines; $8,520,000 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research; and no funding for gas hydrates research within the Office of Science.

“The conference agreement includes $97,000,000 to fund each major item of equipment at the level provided in the budget request. Funding provided for the Linac Coherent Light Source II at SLAC is for the exploration and design of the two-tunnel option. “

Biological and Environmental Research:

The FY 2011 appropriation was $611.8 million
The FY 2012 administration request was $717.9 million
The FY 2012 appropriation is $611.8 million, which is level funding

The report states:

“Within available funds, the conference agreement includes $12,000,000 to continue nuclear medicine research with human application. The conferees direct the Department to report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, not later than June 1, 2012, on the Administration's strategy to continue funding this research through more appropriate federal agencies with health-focused missions.

“Within available funds, $16,000,000 is provided for radiobiology to help determine health risks from exposures to low levels of ionizing radiation to properly protect radiation workers and the general public, and to conduct studies of health impacts at and around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.”

Fusion Energy Sciences:

The FY 2011 appropriation was $375.5 million
The FY 2012 administration request was $399.7 million
The FY 2012 appropriation is $402.2 million, an increase of $26.7 million or 7.1 percent

The report states:

“The conference agreement provides $402,177,000 for Fusion Energy Sciences, of which not more than $105,000,000 is for U.S. Contributions to ITER. The conference agreement includes $24,741,000 for the High Energy Density Laboratory Plasma program, of which $12,000,000 is to be evenly distributed among heavy-ion fusion, laser-driven fusion, and magneto-inertial fusion. The conference agreement includes direction for the submission of a 10-year fusion plan as provided by both the House and Senate.”

High Energy Physics:

The FY 2011 appropriation was $795.4 million
The FY 2012 administration request was $797.2 million
The FY 2012 appropriation is $791.7 million, a decrease of $3.7 million or 0.5 percent

The report states:

“The conferees understand that the United States has unique capabilities to develop a world-leading neutrino science program. To begin the transition to the intensity frontier, the conferees provide $21,000,000 for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment, which includes $17,000,000 for research and development and $4,000,000 for project engineering and design. The conferees provide no funding for long-lead procurements or construction activities. The conferees are concerned that this project is not mature enough for construction because a location and technology for the underground detectors has not been selected. Before consideration of congressional approval of construction, the Department is directed to provide to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a detailed project plan and refined total cost estimate for construction, not later than April 1, 2012.

“Within available funds, the conferees provide $15,000,000 as requested, $10,000,000 within High Energy Physics and $5,000,000 within Nuclear Physics, to support minimal, sustaining operations at the Homestake Mine in South Dakota.”

Nuclear Physics:

The FY 2011 appropriation was $540.1 million
The FY 2012 administration request was $605.3 million
The FY 2012 appropriation is $550.0 million, an increase of $9.9 million or 1.8 percent

The report states:

“Within available funds, the conference agreement includes $22,000,000 for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, and $50,000,000 for the 12 GeV upgrade of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility.”

The report also provides funding levels and recommendations for Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, Science Laboratories Infrastructure, Safeguards and Security, and Science Program Direction.

A separate section of the budget provides funding for:
 

Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy:

ARPA-E did not receive an FY 2010 appropriation. It did receive funding under the economic stimulus act. For FY 2012, the Administration is requesting $550.0 million. The bill provides $275.0 million, the report stating “of which $20,000,000 is provided for Program Direction.”

 

The report also contains the following language:

Differences in Report Language (page 797):

“The language and allocations set forth in House Report 112–118 and Senate Report 112–75 should be complied with unless specifically addressed to the contrary in the conference report and statement of managers. Report language included by the House which is not contradicted by the report of the Senate or the conference, and Senate report language which is not contradicted by the report of the House or the conference is approved by the committee of conference.  The statement of managers, while repeating some report language for emphasis, does not intend to negate the language referred to above unless expressly provided herein. In cases where both the House report and Senate report address a particular issue not specifically addressed in the conference report or joint statement of managers, the conferees have determined that the House report and Senate report are not inconsistent and are to be interpreted accordingly. In cases in which the House or Senate have directed the submission of a report, such report is to be submitted to both the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations.”

Exascale Computing (page 846):

“The conferees support the Department’s initiative to develop exascale computing as a crucial component of long-term U.S. leadership, but are concerned that the Department has not yet developed an integrated strategy and program plan.  The Department is directed to submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, not later than February 10, 2012, a joint, integrated strategy and program plan for the crosscutting effort to develop exascale computing that includes:
 -  a target date for developing an operational exascale platform;
 - interim milestones toward reaching that target;
 - minimum requirements for an exascale system, including power consumption efficiency goals;
 - multi-year budget estimates for the exascale initiative and costs of meeting each interim milestone;
 - clear roles and responsibilities for each office involved in exascale research and development; and
 - a complete listing of exascale activities included in the fiscal year 2013 budget request broken out by program, project and activity with comparisons to the current year’s funding levels.”

Energy Innovation Hubs (page 846):

“For each Energy Innovation Hub funded in this Act, the Department is directed to deliver to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, not later than 120 days after enactment of this Act, a report detailing milestones and performance goals for the end of each of the Hub’s five fiscal years, and specific milestones and performance criteria the Hub must meet to be considered for a second five-year term. For Hubs established in prior fiscal years, the report shall include current performance against planned milestones, and a summary of progress against plans for staffing and facilities. For new Hubs, the report shall include a plan and timeline for selecting an awardee.”

PCAST Recommendations (page 846):

“The conferees direct the Secretary of Energy, within 6 months of enactment of this Act, to submit a report detailing how the Department has or will implement in all Energy Programs the following features that have been used successfully in ARPA-E and highlighted by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology:
 - a rigorous review process;
 - contract or grant negotiations completed in just a few months;
 - co-location within the program offices of such support functions as procurement, contracts, human resources, and information technology services; and
 - an agile and innovative workforce.”

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095