President Signs Department of Energy Funding Bill

Sep 28, 2018

The Department of Energy (DOE) will receive $35.7 billion in fiscal year 2019 under legislation (H.R. 5895) signed into law by President Trump late last week. The total is $1.44 billion more than enacted in the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill, and $8.32 billion more than the President requested for FY 2019.  In addition to rejecting the Administration’s call to cut research funding and eliminate entire research agencies, such as the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the bill also excluded funding to support development of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site, another Administration priority for the bill. 

The legislation provides significant support for the DOE’s national labs and basic energy research programs, with the DOE Office of Science receiving a 5 percent increase to almost $6.6 billion, a $325 million increase over last year.  DOE’s applied energy programs also received a significant funding increase, including:

  • $2.3 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (+$57 million),
  • $1.1 billion for the Office of Nuclear Energy (+107.9 million), and
  • $740 million for the Office of Fossil Energy R&D (+$13 million)

ARPA-E received a total of $366 million (+$12 million), and supporting conference report language specifically prohibiting DOE from using any appropriated funds to plan or execute the termination of ARPA-E. 

In a further push back against calls to eliminate many of DOE’s applied energy research and technology commercialization programs, the conference report also includes language on the DOE’s broader R&D efforts, noting, “The Department is directed throughout all of its programs to maintain a diverse portfolio of early-, mid-, and late-stage research, development, and market transformation activities. The Department is further directed to fully execute the funds appropriated in a timely manner and to keep the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress apprised of progress in implementing funded programs, projects, and activities.” 

To view the final FY 2019 DOE appropriations package, visit: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5895

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