News & AnalysisU.S. Science Budget

House Cuts to DOE National Labs Would Also Hamstring Industry

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Science  25 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6020, pp. 997-998
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6020.997

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A spending bill passed by the House of Representatives last week would bring the Department of Energy's (DOE's) entire science program to a screeching halt and wreak havoc on research funded by other agencies and by private industry (see p. 993). The so-called continuing resolution, which provides funding for the federal government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year, would cut DOE's Office of Science by 18%. The $4.9 billion agency supports 10 national laboratories as well as research at hundreds of universities. Republican opposition to the Obama Administration's plans to beef up clean energy research may be the driving force behind the deep cuts, but if they are enacted—the bill now goes to the Senate, which takes issue with many provisions—the impact would extend far beyond research geared toward developing green energy technology.