Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham submitted a $19.2 billion budget request for Fiscal Year 2002, calling it an “important first step and prudent transition setting a course toward comprehensive change and reform as the department looks to the future.”
Abraham said the budget request reflects a commitment by the Bush Administration to moderate discretionary spending while continuing to meet critical challenges in national security, energy, science and environmental quality.
“Instead of following the status quo, the budget is principled and sends a clear signal that change is on the way. It strengthens our ability to carry out our national security responsibilities. It meets our key priorities for health and safety. It advances our energy security, and supports important scientific research. And, it reflects President Bush’s commitments and my priorities for reform,” Abraham said.
“This budget sets a sensible course by clearly fulfilling commitments and establishing key priorities, but at the same time signals our intention to rethink a host of programs while we craft the Bush Administration’s policy.”
Noting that the ongoing government-wide reviews for national security and energy policy helped shape the budget, Abraham said the FY 2002 budget maintains the flexibility to respond to changes in policy. “Budgets must follow policy, which in turn must follow strategic thinking. Ongoing policy reviews will evaluate the department’s critical tasks and will impact the department more than any other in government.”
Abraham also announced that he will direct the department to conduct a sweeping review of its Environmental Management programs and activities while maintaining the department’s commitment to health and safety and continued environmental cleanup with the ultimate goal of a “stronger, more effective and efficient environmental management program.”
Funding priorities for the FY2002 budget follow four business lines:
• National Security — $7.2 billion, an increase of $180 million, or 2.6 percent above FY2001.
The total funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), is $6.8 billion. This is a $136 million, or 2 percent increase over the FY2001 appropriation. Within this total, funding has been shifted to weapons activities to increase support for the near- and long-term needs of the department’s nuclear weapons stockpile.
The DOE Stockpile Stewardship Program budget is $5.3 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent over FY 2001, to make immediate investments to support long-term stockpile stewardship and weapons refurbishment programs.
As part of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, the department will launch several campaigns to develop new capabilities to assess weapon status, extend weapon life, and certify that the stockpile remains safe.
To support these efforts, $2 billion is requested for these campaigns. The department’s Advanced Strategic Computing Initiative and construction of the world’s largest scientific laser, the National Ignition Facility, are two examples of the significant scale and sophistication required in this effort.
The budget calls for $1.03 billion for Safeguards and Security throughout the DOE complex — a $100 million increase over the FY2001-enacted level. Additionally, the request provides $109.7 million for cyber security — an increase of $32.8 million above FY2001, to enhance protection of information in the NNSA and Science programs. This increase in funding will also be used to improve physical security throughout the complex and enhance materials management and surveillance.
In addition to the NNSA programs, there are five other essential national security programs —Intelligence, Counterintelligence, Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance, Security and Emergency Operations, and Worker and Community Transition. The FY2002 request for these five programs total $395.1 million, an increase of $44.4 million or 12.7 percent.
• Energy Resources — $2.3 billion, a decrease of $196 million, or 7.9 percent below FY2001.
Abraham said the Clean Coal Power Initiative is a new effort that reflects the president’s commitment to clean coal technology. The request provides new funding, $150 million in federal matching funds, for innovations in coal-fired power technology.
This year’s budget also marks the beginning of the president’s commitment to increase funding for Weatherization Assistance by $1.4 billion over 10 years.
• Environmental Quality — $6.5 billion, a $246 million decrease, or 3.6 percent below FY2001.
This year’s Environmental Management budget of $5.9 billion fulfills commitments to major closure sites, promotes important safety and environmental projects involving treatment and disposal of nuclear materials, and supports the winterization and cold standby of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Ohio. The budget also anticipates an upcoming, comprehensive DOE Environmental Management Mission Assessment. This assessment will ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to achieve the overriding goal of a safe and expeditious cleanup of DOE weapons sites.
With this budget, the department retains its capability to receive transuranic waste for permanent disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M., continue the movement of spent fuel to safe, dry storage at the Hanford, Wash., and Idaho sites; and continue constructing the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Plant at Idaho; and accelerate cleanup activities at Portsmouth, Ohio.
• Science and Technology — $3.2 billion, an increase of 0.1 percent over FY2001.
“The department will maintain its commitment to critical scientific research,” Abraham said. Our scientific advances contribute to America’s competitiveness around the world. Our Basic Energy Science program brings together chemical, biological and other sciences to uncover fundamental knowledge that will help us to better utilize our energy resources.”
The budget calls for $19.5 million to support the next phase of research in the Human Genome Program, the Genomes to Life initiative to explore how genomes account for the functioning of cells.
Also included in this year’s science budget is $443 million for biological and environmental research, and $166 million for the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program.
A total of $445 million is requested for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. Work during the fiscal year will focus on continuing a transition from predominantly investigative science at Yucca Mountain to engineering and design to support the preparation of a license application for submittal to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, if the site is determined to be scientifically suitable.
The budget also includes $140 million for the Office of Environment, Safety and Health.