Science Cuts in the Trump Budget
Reporters, commentators and analysts somewhat understand Trump’s politically motivated attacks on climate scientists. Yet, it is not at all clear why Trump is attacking biologists and medical scientists at the NIH. Even if the military needs newer equipment, caring for the security of Americans should include exploring what advances could be made in medicines to keep them healthy and living longer. The NIH is being cut $6 billion, or 18%. The 2016 NIH budget was $32 billion. I will have a separate article on the NIH.
The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science has been cut $900 million, which is 18% of its $5 billion budget. This eliminates ARPA-E on advanced energy projects with $300 million. The Office of Science supports 300 universities and 10 national labs, distributed around the country. That’s a lot of congressional districts that will be affected by the cuts. The entire DOE was cut $1.7 billion to $28 billion, or 5.6%. The DOE contains the Nuclear Security Agency that manages our nuclear arsenal, and has been 65% of the DOE budget at $18.5 billion. That NSA will grow by 11.3%, while the rest will shrink by 17.9%.
The NSF was not directly included in the skinny budget. However, since the skinny budget has the complete total, it is included under “Other Agencies”. Other Agencies suffered a summed loss of 9.8%, where the present $29.4 billion is reduced by $2.9 billion to $26.5 billion. We do not know how that may be redistributed. The Continuing Resolution NSF budget is $7.5 billion.
NASA, at $19.5 billion, will only be cut 1%. But $100 million of the earth sciences program on climate related missions will be cut. Specific cut satellites are: the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3; the Plankton, Aerosol Cloud, and Ocean Ecosystem Program; the Deep Space Climate Observatory; and the CLARREO Pathfinder.
The EPA $8.2 billion budget will be cut by 31%. It’s Office of Research and Development will be cut from $483 to $250 million.
It’s not clear what will happen to current work on the budget extension for 2017 that expires on April 28. I’m sure that congress would prefer to just pass another continuing resolution. But Trump-Bannon is anything but predictable. They already have a hiring ban, and still have hundreds of top level political positions that they have not filled in all agencies.
While the climate scientists are working for the federal government, they are not allowed to politic. But once dismissed, they will be hired by universities, private industries who can market their analyses, or use it as agricultural and food companies, insurance companies, and state, county and city governments. In such positions, they can still write and appear on news programs, and work with environmental NGOs. Each muted government agency fired will become a thousand points of dissidents. Or, it’s like dropping a beehive. Their knowledge will also propagate through their companies or organizations.
Sources for this information were the NY Times, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the LA Times, the E&E News, Nature, Science, and the original Office and Management and Budget budget.