DOE Program Cuts Proposed for FY19

Silencing Science Tracker

DOE Program Cuts Proposed for FY19

On February 12, 2018, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Trump administration’s proposal for the budget of the U.S. government for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The budget proposes to reduce funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) by $1 billion or 3.4% (compared to FY2017 levels). When amounts allocated under the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act are taken into account, DOE’s funding would increase by approximately $0.5 billion (compared to FY2017).

Under the budget, DOE’s innovation arm, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), would be eliminated. Funding for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would be cut by more than half, from its current level of $2 billion to $696 million, including $120 billion allocated under the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act. Funding for the Office of Science, which oversees the majority of the national labs, funding would remain at current levels. However, some projects would see cuts, including fusion energy sciences (which would decline by $40 million).

Update: DOE documents indicate that the budget would result in a significant decline in funding for national laboratories. For example:

  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory would see its funding cut by approximately 51%.
  • The National Energy Technology Laboratory would see its funding cut by approximately 35%.
  • The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory would see its funding cut by approximately  23%.
  • The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory would see its funding cut by approximately 18%.
  • The National Energy Technology Laboratory would see its funding cut by approximately 35%.

DOE indicated that the decline in funding for national laboratories “reflects an increased reliance on the private sector to fund later-state research, development, and commercialization of energy technologies.” However, according to DOE, funding will be maintained for “the most critical core capabilities and infrastructure at DOE National Laboratories related to sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency technologies.”

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