Monday, January 07, 2008

Federal squeeze on geoscience funding

The outcome of the federal omnibus spending bill for fiscal year is a "squeeze on funding of geosciences research across the federal agencies," according to the American Geological Institute, in their Government Affairs Program monthly review. AGI says the omnibus bill cut $22 billion in spending from House and Senate bills, because of the President's veto of the "mini-omnibus" bill earlier.

As a result, increases to science agencies are small and many will be more than lost because of rising costs. However, a few programs will see meaningful increases or were restored from proposed elimination. According to AGI:
  • The Department of Energy’s Office of Science, where additional basic geosciences research is funded also received a last minute reduction of about $500 million compared to funding levels in the House and Senate proposals. Again the geosciences will see real cuts to basic research support, continuing a trend in the Office of Science of decreasing funding for geosciences.
  • NASA’s Earth science division, Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and the U.S. Geological Survey will receive small, sustaining increases for geosciences research to keep a wide variety of programs and projects afloat.
  • Congress restored a $22 million requested cut for the USGS Mineral Resources Program, giving it a total budget of about $50 million and provided $6.4 million for the Water Resources Research Institutes.

Details on the entire federal R&D funding is at the AAAS site,

The AGI monthly review can be read at

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