Sunday, July 08, 2012

House proposes cuts in federal science budgets

We got updates from a number of professional societies summarizing the House Committee on Appropriations  fiscal year 2013 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that includes funding for the Department of the Interior including the USGS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, and various other agencies.

The American Geophysical Union reports that, "Overall, the bill provides $28 billion in funding – $1.2 billion below FY12 funding and $1.7 billion below the President’s FY13 budget request. The bill includes significant budget cuts for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and for the EPA. Cuts to the USGS total 9.5 percent below FY12 levels while cuts to the EPA total 16.5 percent below FY12 levels.  USGS budget cuts were not uniform, with some branches such as Water Resources and Core Science Systems receiving an increased budget from FY12."

The Senate has yet to act on these budgets.

In other actions, AGU reports that the committee "approved amendments prohibiting the EPA from applying greenhouse gas standards to new fossil fuel energy plants. The bill also restricts the scope of EPA research on the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water quality by disallowing funds for studying environmental justice impacts."
In other committees, the House approved a substantial cut to DOE's Energy and Environment program (-7.7%) while the Senate committee supports an increase (+2.8%).  Both the Senate and House are supporting increases for the National Science Foundation of 3.3% to 4.3% respectively overall.

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