Dept. of Energy

The House and Senate have completed work on the appropriations bill containing funding for physics-related programs at the Department of Energy. FY 2002 funding for the high energy physics, nuclear physics, basic energy sciences and fusion energy research programs remains largely unchanged from FY 2001.

2 Nov 2001

The Department of Energy's Inspector General concluded in a recent report that "The Department has been unable to recruit and retain critical scientific and technical staff in a manner sufficient to meet identified mission requirements.... [I]f this trend continues, the Department could face a shortage of nearly 40 percent in these classifications within five years." The IG also determined that DOE was not making full use of the tools available to it to attract and keep a skilled S&T staff.

20 Sep 2001

Later this year, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham is expected to make a recommendation to President Bush on whether Yucca Mountain, Nevada is a suitable site for a nuclear waste repository. In preparation for that decision, the Department of Energy has been holding several public hearings in Nevada this month, and is seeking public comments to inform the Secretary's decision. Comments MUST BE RECEIVED BY SEPTEMBER 20; please see below for details on how to submit comments.

12 Sep 2001

The Senate passed its FY 2002 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill on July 19. The Senate bill, S. 1171, would provide more funding (a total of $3,268.1 million) for DOE's Office of Science than would the White House or the House bill. Even so, in their committee report accompanying the bill, Senate appropriators remarked that "the relatively small funding increases provided to the Office of Science are inadequate." Selected language from the report, S. Rpt. 107-39, is provided below.

22 Aug 2001

The House of Representatives completed its consideration yesterday of the FY 2002 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2311. Accompanying this bill is a committee report detailing the House Appropriations Committee's recommendations on how the money should be spent next year. While this report language does not have the force of law, it is guidance that is usually not ignored. The Senate bill and accompanying report are scheduled for consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee during the second week of July.

29 Jun 2001


On June 19 the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development drafted the FY 2002 spending bill, containing funding for the DOE Office of Science. The full committee will take up the bill in the near future, after which it will go to the House floor. The Senate bill is still be drafted. Here are the House numbers:

The overall Department of Energy section of the bill totals $18.7 billion. This is an increase of $444.2 million over FY 2001.

21 Jun 2001

"To speak exclusively of conservation is to duck the tough issues. Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy," stated Vice President Dick Cheney in an April 30 speech on the President's National Energy Policy. Yesterday, five weeks later, the Department of Energy declared that it will hold a series of seven meetings throughout the month of June to receive public comment on the renewable and efficiency aspects of the policy.

8 Jun 2001

In introducing the Department of Energy's FY 2002 budget request last week, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham declared, "Unfolding the mysteries of science is one of our core missions. We can all take pride in it. DOE is the third largest funder of basic research in the United States and the largest government sponsor of the physical sciences. And the science we support is critical to many areas, from human health to quantum physics." Abraham continued, "The President has told us that science is critical to American competitiveness around the world.

19 Apr 2001


Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month on DOE's national security programs. Committee chairman John Warner's (R-VA) opening comments set the tone for this uneventful hearing, Warner saying how pleased he was that President Bush selected Abraham for this position. "I hope that we can put that debate behind us," Warner then said when citing the establishment of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

23 Feb 2001

The budget for the DOE Office of Science has been essentially flat for a decade, a situation that its Director, Ray Orbach, states is causing "tremendous strain." His office is working with DOE advisory committees and professional societies on a strategic plan and a series of Occasional Papers which will identify "where scientific opportunities might lie."

8 Oct 2002


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