Flat budget better than one with deep cuts

In this cost-cutting environment, a flat budget may not be such a bad thing.

Case in point: The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved $4.8 billion for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which begins Oct. 1. The budget would fund the DOE science office at its current Fiscal Year 2011 amount – also $4.8 billion.

The FY 2012 budget level is also $42 million higher than the House-approved level. It will fund the Advanced Research Projects Agency— Energy at $250 million, $70 million than the FY 2011 amount and FY 2012 House bill. DOE’s Energy and Efficiency and Renewable Energy program is funded at $1.8 billion, the same as FY 2011 and $498 million above the House FY 2012 level.

In a recent blog post on ScienceInsider, lab directors Thom Mason, of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and Eric Isaacs, of Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, described the budget news as relatively good given the tight fiscal environment.

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