The Trump Administration has released its “America First” budget blueprint for the FY 2018 budget. The core of the blueprint is a $54-billion increase in defense spending in 2018 that is offset by targeted reductions in other areas.
For the Department of Energy (DOE), the blueprint requests $28.0 billion—a $1.7-billion (5.6%) decrease from the 2017 annualized CR level. Within that, the proposed budget would provide a $1.4-billion increase above the 2017 annualized CR level for the National Nuclear Security Administration—an 11% increase. The new budget proposal focuses resources toward early-stage research and development of energy technologies and reflects increased reliance on the private sector to fund later-stage research, development, and commercialization.
The budget proposal emphasizes what it calls energy technologies best positioned to enable American energy independence and domestic job-growth in the near to mid-term. It also emphasized continued progress on cleaning up sites contaminated from nuclear weapons production and energy research and includes a path forward to accelerate progress on the disposition of nuclear waste.
At the same time, the Budget reflects the Administration’s strong support for the United States’ nuclear security enterprise and nuclear force capability. Highlights of the budget proposal for DOE include:
Eliminates the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program because the private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research and development and to commercialize innovative technologies.
Cuts $900 million compared to the 2017 annualized CR level from the Office of Science, which is to continue to invest in the highest priority basic science and energy research and development as well as operation and maintenance of existing scientific facilities for the community.
Focuses funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Nuclear Energy, the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, and the Fossil Energy Research and Development program on limited, early-stage applied energy research and development activities where the Federal role is stronger.
Eliminates the Weatherization Assistance Program and the State Energy Program to reduce Federal intervention in State-level energy policy and implementation.
Provides $120 million to restart licensing activities for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and initiate a robust interim storage program.
Elimination of defense sequestration for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Enables NNSA to begin to address its critical infrastructure maintenance backlog.
Provides $6.5 billion to advance the Environmental Management program mission of cleaning up the legacy of waste and contamination from energy research and nuclear weapons production, including addressing excess facilities to support modernization of the nuclear security enterprise.
Supports the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s capacity to carry out cybersecurity and grid resiliency activities that would help harden and evolve critical grid infrastructure.
Continues research, development, and construction to support the Navy’s current nuclear fleet and enhance the capabilities of the future fleet.