Friday, 3 June 94 Washington, DC
1. HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE SPARES DOE RESEARCH FROM CUTS!
The Energy and Water Appropriations Bill would cut Department of
Energy spending $1.1B below this year's level and $357M less than
the Clinton Administration requested. But research did not do so
badly. The bulk of the cut resulted from cancellation of the SSC,
for which $640M was appropriated this year; DOE wanted another
$180M in FY-95, but the appropriators preferred to hold off until
DOE and Texas can reach an agreement on what to do with the site.
The SSC aside, the committee actually augmented DOE's request for
high-energy physics; noting that running time of accelerators had
declined 25%, the appropriators put an extra $25M into operating
expenses! CEBAF would also get an extra $8.9M, and LAMPF would
be able to keep operating with an additional $24M. Construction
of the B-factory at SLAC ($44M), the injector upgrade at Fermilab
($43M), and RHIC at Brookhaven ($70M) would all be fully funded.
But in a reminder of the great SSC potted-plant scandal
(WN 2 Jul 93),
any expenditure for "food, beverages, receptions, parties,
country club fees, plants or flowers" is specifically prohibited.
2. ENERGY R&D ALSO FARED WELL IN THE COMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDATION.
Solar and renewable energy programs would get their full request
($300M), as would magnetic fusion ($372M), even though DOE was
scolded for dragging its heels on providing a plan for selecting
the US candidate site for ITER. Although only termination funds
are provided for the advanced liquid metal reactor, $12M was
added to DOE's request to keep research going on the passively-
safe gas cooled reactor. The bill even funds the Administration's
$16M request for EMF research and finds several million more for
pet earmarks. But the only new construction, the Advanced Neutron
Source, was cut from $27M to just $10M. "For many that stumble
at the threshold are well foretold that danger lurks within."
3. SENATE APPROPRIATORS DECIDE TO SKIMP ON HUD-VA-IA ALLOCATION!
Senator Barbara Mikulski, who chairs the Subcommittee, says she
is getting strong support from the White House in her efforts to
save the space station, but neither she nor the President seems
to have much clout with the Appropriations Committee leadership.
Just one day after telling Space News that her Subcommittee needs
$100M more than its House counterpart got
(WN 13 May 94), she was
told the allocation would be $316M less; more than $700M below
the President's request! Something has to give
(WN 20 May 94), if
it's not the space station, NSF and space science are in trouble.
4. ONE YEAR LATER: THE "CLASSIFIED UNIVERSE" CONTINUES TO EXPAND!
A year ago President Clinton directed a task farce to prepare a
plan to cut down on the number of classified documents
(WN 23 Jul 93).
Their draft report called for automatic declassification--
after 40 years (WN 21 Jan 94).
What's happened since? The rate
of classification went up 1%, declassification declined 30%.