Energy R&D in the FY 2012 Appropriations Bill: Boosts in Science, Renewables & Efficiency, ARPA-E, and Atomic Defense at the Expense of Fossil Energy
Amid the fierce debates that surround the nations energy policy, the FY 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act actually increases R&D funding at the Department of Energy in some unexpected ways. For instance, while the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energys overall budget remains steady, the portion devoted to R&D will increase above FY 2011 levels by 36.7 percent, or $283 million. Conversely, fossil energy R&D will actually decrease in FY 2012 by $70 million, or 15.4 percent below FY 2011 levels. The Office of Science R&D is funded at $4.5 billion, representing a relatively moderate increase of $209 million or 4.9 percent. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy has been the subject of substantial budgetary debate, but ended up receiving a $92 million or 53.1 percent increase above FY 2011 levels. The National Nuclear Security Administration also receives a moderately large R&D boost of $318 million or 8.3 percent, primarily through increases in nonproliferation research and naval reactors.