Federal Science Budget Update

5 July 2012
AGU Science Policy Alert 12-29

Congress has been moving forward with its appropriations process on a number of bills including: Interior and EnvironmentCommerce, Justice, and Science; and Energy and Water. As you read about the latest Earth and space science funding, remember that there is still a chance for congressional members to offer amendments to improve funding levels. Please contact your legislators and tell them to support science funding in appropriations bills for FY13 and beyond.  For more information on how to contact your legislators and talking points, please visit the AGU website or contact us at sciencepolicy@agu.org.

Interior and Environment Appropriations

Last week, the House Committee on Appropriations approved the fiscal year 2013 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, and various other agencies.

On 28 June, Representatives agreed to funding levels well below the President’s FY13 request. 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.

USGS FY11 Enacted FY12 Estimate FY13 House Committee Change from FY12 Estimate
Overall 1,084 1,068 967 -101 (-9.5%)
Ecosystems 161 161 133 -29 (-17.8%)
Climate and Land Use Change 138 144 128 -16 (-11.0%)
Energy, Minerals, and Environ Health 100 96 88 -8 (-8.3%)
Natural Hazards 136 134 107 -27 (-20.2%)
Water Resources 212 215 220 +5 (+2.4%)
Core Science Systems 113 107 112 +6 (+5.2%)

Table 1. Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations, in millions of dollars, rounded to nearest million.

The committee approved amendments prohibiting the EPA from finalizing greenhouse gas emissions for cars after model year 2017 and 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. Other amendments forbid the EPA from applying asbestos emissions standards to residential buildings with four or fewer units and criticize the EPA for delaying state “regional haze” implementation plans and asking for a report on these plans.

EPA FY11 Enacted FY12 Estimate FY13 House Committee Change from FY12 Estimate
Overall 8,682 8,449 7,055 -1,394 (-16.5%)
Science and Technology 813 794 738 -55 (-7.0%)
Environmental Programs and Management 2,756 2,678 2,479 -199 (-7.4%)

Table 2. Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations, in millions of dollars, rounded to nearest million.

Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations

The Senate Committee and full House approvals for versions of the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill passed earlier this summer. Both the House and the Senate Committee support increases in funding for NSF and NIST overall. However, while the House supports and increase of 0.9% for NOAA, the Senate Committee proposes a nearly 30% cut in NOAA’s budget. The difference is largely due to the Senate Committee’s proposal that funding for NOAA’s new satellite acquisitions be transferred to NASA.

Agency FY11 Enacted FY12 Estimate FY13 House House change from FY12 Estimate FY13 Senate Committee Senate change from FY12 Estimate
NSF 6,913 7,033 7,333 +299 (+4.3%) 7,273 +240 (+3.3%)
NASA 18,448* 17,771* 17,448 -323 (-1.8%) 19,340 +1569 (+8.8%)
NOAA 4,597 4,907 4,949 +42 (+0.9%) 3,419 -1488 (-30.3)
NIST 750 751 831 +80 (+10.6%) 826 +75 (+10.0)

Table 3. Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million.

*These numbers do not include funds for NASA’s operational satellite acquisition as proposed by the Senate committee for FY13.

A further breakdown of NSF and NOAA budgets shows support for NSF’s Research & Related Activities (+3.3%) and Education & Human Resources (+5.6%) and NOAA’s Operation, Research & Facilities (+3.9%). The Senate Committee’s proposal for extensive decrease in funding in NOAA’s Procurement, Acquisition, and Construction is the result of transferring satellite responsibilities to NASA.

NSF Branch FY11 Enacted FY12 Estimate FY13 House House change from FY12 Estimate FY13 Senate Committee Senate change from FY12 Estimate
Research & related activities 5,510 5,689 5,943 +254 (+4.5%) 5,883 +194 (+3.3%)
Education & human resources 861 829 876 +47 (+5.6%) 876 +47(+5.6%)
Major research equipment and facilities 125 197 196 -1 (-0.4%) 196 -1 (-0.4%)

Table 4. Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million. Changes calculated from unrounded figures.

NASA Branch FY11 Enacted FY12 Estimate FY13 House House change from FY12 Estimate FY13 Senate Committee Senate change from FY12 Estimate
Overall Science 4,920 5,074 5,095 +21 (+0.4%) 5,021 -53 (-1.0%)
Earth Science 1,722 1,761 1,775 +14 (+0.8%) 1,785 +24 (+1.4%)
Planetary Science 1,451 1,501 1,400 -101 (-6.7%) 1,292 -209 (-13.9%)
Heliophysics 639 621 642 +21 (+3.4%) 647 +26 (+4.2%)
James Webb Space Telescope 477 519 628 +109 (+21%) 628 +109 (+21%)

Table 5. Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million.

NOAA Branch FY11 Enacted FY12 Estimate FY13 House House change from FY12 Estimate FY13 Senate Committee Senate change from FY12 Estimate
Operations, research & facilities 3,180 3,022 2,968 -54 (-1.8%) 3,139 +117(+3.9%)
Procurement, acquisition, & construction 1,340 1,817 1,946 +129 (+0.7%) 218 -1,599 (-88%)
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research 385 414 415 +1 (+0.2%) 425 +11 (+2.7%)
Fisheries (NSFS) 895 881 775 -106 (-12.0%) 834 -47 (-5.3%)
National Weather Service 992 972 996 +24 (+2.5%) 1,006 +34 (+3.5%)
Oceans & Coasts 490 478 427 -51 (-10.7%) 497 +19 (+4.0%)
Satellites, Data and information Services 1,878 2,041 2,000 -41 (-2.0%) 279 -1762 (-86.3%)
Program Support/Fleet 467 477 421 -56 (-11.7%) 447 -30 (-6.3%)

Table 6. Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million.

Energy and Water Appropriations

The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies 2013 Appropriations, which deals with funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies, was approved in the House. The Senate Committee on Appropriations has marked up their funding levels as well, but the full Senate still needs to vote on the bill. Overall, the House supports a minor budget cut for the DOE (-0.1%) while the Senate supports an increased budget (+3.1%) over FY12 levels. Both the House and the Senate Committees support budget cuts to DOE Science (-1.5% and -0.7%, respectively). The House approved a substantial cut to Energy and Environment (-7.7%) while the Senate committee supports an increase (+2.8%).

DOE FY11 Enacted FY12 Estimate FY13 House House change from FY12 Estimate FY13 Senate Committee Senate change from FY12 Estimate
Overall 25,693 26,300 26,274 -26 (-0.1%) 27,128 +828 (+3.1%)
Science 4,897 4,874 4,801 -73 (-1.5%) 4,909 -35 (-0.7%)
Energy and Environment 9,124 9,252 8,542 -710 (-7.7%) 9,511 +259 (+2.8%)

Table 7. Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

For more detailed information, please see the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations reports, the House Interior Appropriations report, and the Energy and Water Appropriations House andSenate reports.