Republican News

Feb 04 2003

PRESIDENT BUSH'S FY04 BUDGET - AGENCY OVERVIEWS

DOE Budget Highlights

Nuclear energy

  • Total request is $388 million, increase of $60.7 million (18.6%) over FY03 requested levels.
  • Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative funded at $63 million. This is the first year the Administration has strongly supported this Domenici initiative.
  • Nuclear Power 2010 and Generation IV reactors funded at $48 million (increase of $2 million from FY03 request, but flat with FY03 Senate mark) to encourage new commercial reactors by 2010 and exploration of new reactor concepts.
  • Nuclear Energy Research Initiative is cut from $25 million requested in FY03 (and $29 million in the FY03 Senate mark) to only $12 million in FY04. This is the main research funding for nuclear energy.
  • Nuclear Energy Plant Optimization, a cost-shared program to improve capabilities of existing plants, is not funded in the Administration’s FY03 or FY04 requests, but is funded at $5 million in the Senate FY03 mark.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

  • Total request is $444.2 million, an increase of $37.2 million (+9.1%) over FY03 requested levels.
  • $87.8 million requested for Hydrogen Technology – (increase of $48.1 million) to support development of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles.
  • $15.0 million requested for new Climate Change Technology Initiative – R&D to develop technologies that reduce, avoid, or sequester greenhouse gases.
  • Cut of -$16.3 million in biomass programs: reflects transfer of applied activities to USDA.
  • $76.9 million requested for Electricity Reliability activities, a $360 million (+.5%) increase over FY03 requested levels. Electricity Reliability activities are intended to promote technologies to relieve transmission line congestion and improve efficiency. $47.8 million is requested for the development and testing of prototype High Temperature Superconductivity (HTS) transmission components.
  • In FY03, DOE plans to create an Office of Electric Transmission and Distribution to assess transmission needs and resolve congestion problems working with regions and states.

Science

  • Science Budget remains flat, $3.3 billion requested in FY04, $3.268 billion requested in FY03 and $3.309 billion enacted in FY02. Many programs are level or cut. This trend is of concern.
  • Genomes to Life program, to understand how genome maps can be applied to beneficial uses, is funded at $59 million, $24 million over FY03 requested level.
  • Nanoscale Science funding is increased by $64 million and 5 Nanoscale Science Research Centers are funded for New Mexico, Tennessee, New York, California, and Illinois.
  • The Administration proposes that the U.S. rejoin the international fusion program in the ITER program, but only $12 million of redirected funding is identified in FY04 for the U.S. contribution. Total ITER construction is estimated to cost $5 billion.

Fossil Energy

  • Total request is $519.3 million, an increase of $40 million (+8.3%) over FY03 requested levels.
  • Increase reflects reduced use of previously appropriated clean coal technology funds – actual spending flat compared to FY03 request.
  • Oil technology R&D programs cut by -$20.4 million to pay for increases in coal, natural gas and administration costs.

Energy Conservation

  • Total request is $875.8 million, a cut of -$35.9 million (-3.9%) over FY03 requested levels.
  • Cuts funding for industrial efficiency programs by -$27.0 million: closes out programs identified as complete or less useful based on recent DOE review.
  • Reduced request by -$15.1 million for biomass activities as part of transfer of programs to USDA.
  • Reduced request by -$10.5 million for efficiency activities under Climate Change Technology Initiative.
  • Increased request of +$20 million for fuel cell technologies as part of FreedomCAR and Freedom Fuel hydrogen programs.

Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)

  • Total request is $175.1 million, an increase of +$6.2 million (+3.7%) over FY03 requested levels.
  • Includes funding to fill SPR to its 700 million barrel capacity with Royalty-in-Kind oil.

Environmental Management

  • Total request is $7.7 billion, 5% above comparable FY03 request and Senate mark of $7.3 billion.
  • A new Legacy Management program is proposed to provide long term oversight and stewardship of closed sites.

Yucca Mountain

  • Total request is $591 million for FY04, the same figure requested for FY03. However, the Senate mark for FY03 is $336 million.
  • Administration proposes that any difference between outlays in FY04 and FY05 and the amount enacted in FY03 be scored as an adjustment to the discretionary caps for those years.

Power Marketing Administration

  • Total request for the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) is $207 million, an increase of $9.9 million (+ 5%) over FY 03 requested levels.
  • The individual PMAs requests are:
    • Southeastern Power Administration = $5.1 million, an increase of $566 million (+12.5%)
    • Southwestern Power Administration = $28.6 million, an increase of $1.2 million (+4.5%)
    • Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) = $171 million, an increase of $8.2 million (+5.1%)
    • Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes a $700 million increase in borrowing authority

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requests $199 million, an increase of $7.4 million (+3.9%) over FY03 requested levels. FERC expects its annual charges and fees to fully offset its costs, resulting in a net appropriation of $0.

Bureau of Land Management

The BLM budget request provides for an overall increase of $40.1 million. With inflation factored in this is a flat budget. For a second year now, the President’s request only partially covers uncontrollable costs with $25.5 million not budgeted for. This largely off-sets any increases. The major initiatives include: increasing energy development, revitalizing the BLM Forest Management Program; improving resource protection and monitoring, improving recreation and visitor services; improve Wildland Fire Management and increases to Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).

Energy Development

  • FY 2004 builds on increases from FY02 and 03 for energy programs (+ $3.6 million).
  • Increases for Renewable Energy (+$850,000) for geothermal (+$550,000) and solar and wind energy (+$300,000) on public lands.
  • Increases for coalbed methane (+$1.3 million) and inspection and compliance (+$2 million) primarily for the Powder River and San Juan basins in Wyoming and New Mexico;

Revitalizing Forest Management

  • Increases to rebuild BLM’s forest management capability (+$2.5 million).

Resource Protection, Monitoring and Restoration

  • Strengthen BLM’s resource protection capabilities (+$5.3 million).

Recreation and Visitor Services

  • Expand recreational opportunities and improve Visitor Services on public lands. (+$5.2 million).

Wildland Fire Management

  • Address the increased costs of aircraft used in fire management (+$5 million).
  • Increase funding for wildland firefighting to the 10 year average cost (+$35 million).
  • Increase for burned area rehabilitation (+$4.5 million).

Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT)

  • There is a $35 million increase and a request to move the PILT appropriation account to the Department Budget. BLM makes up only 55% of federal lands with the balance being Park, Fish and Wildlife and Forest lands.
Forest Service There are four key initiatives within the Forest Service FY 2004 proposed budget. They include: 1) Implementation of the National Fire Plan; 2) Forest Stewardship program; 3) combating invasive species and noxious weeds; and 4) Grazing management.

Forest Health

  • There are significant increases for fire preparedness (+ $9 million) and fire operations - suppression (+ $184 million). The Forest Service will receive a total of 1.54 billion to implement the National Fire Plan, nearly 1/3rd of its entire budget.
  • There is a $15.1 million increase for Forest Stewardship to strengthen rural communities and Forest Service partnerships to reduce hazardous fuels and prevention of invasive species (noxious weeds). And a $19.9 million increase in the Forest Legacy program to enhance conservation of environmentally important private forests. The total funding for State and Private programs will be $315.8 million up $38.4 million over last years request.

Research

  • There is a $14.5 million increase to detect, control, prevent and monitor invasive species (noxious weeds) in the Forest and Rangeland Research program. Including $2.5 million to address Sudden Oak Death. The total request for Research is $252.1 million up $9.3 million over last years request.

Grazing and Rangeland Management

  • Within the $43.2 million request there is a $6.5 million increase to improve grazing on the National Forests and Grasslands, including a 30% increase in grazing allotment operations through updated grazing allotment plans.

Legislative Proposals

The Administration will be submitting the following legislative initiatives as part of this years budget request:
  1. A proposal to authorize emergency fuels reduction projects in priority areas of federal land outside of Wilderness.
  2. A proposal to expand and clarify the Stewardship Contracting pilot program beyond September 2004.
  3. A proposal to repeal Section 322 of the Interior Appropriations Act of 1993 that imposes procedural requirements on the Forest Service related to Administrative Appeals that are not required on any other agencies.
  4. A proposal to require the courts to consider a balancing of the short and long-term harms related to activities to restore fire-adapted forest and rangeland ecosystems.
  5. A proposal to make permanent the authority for the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program.
  6. A proposal to allow consolidation of financial records of Administrative units that have been consolidated like the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests in Wyoming and Colorado.

FY 2004 PRESIDENT’S BUDGET
FOREST SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

(THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS)
  • DOE Budget Highlights
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Forest Service
  • Office of Surface Mining
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Minerals Management
  • National Park Service
Program FY 2002 Actual FY 2003 Proposed FY 2004 Proposed
Research $241,304 $242,798 $252,170
State & Private $291,221 $277,363 $315,823
National Forest System $1,331,439 $1,366,475 $1,369,573
Wildland Fire Mgt $1,560,349 $1,369,138 $1,541,775
Capital Improvements & Maintenance $546,188 $552,088 $524,571
Land Acquisition $149,742 $130,510 $44,130
Other Appropriationse $10,173 $10,3393 $9,930
Mandatory Appropriations $664,526 $750,627 $762,287
Total $4,794,942 $4,699,338 $4,820,259
Taking inflation into account this is a flat Budget.

National Fire Plan

  • There are significant increases for fire preparedness (+ $9 million) and fire operations - suppression (+ $184 million). The Forest Service will receive a total of 1.54 billion to implement the National Fire Plan, nearly 1/3rd of its entire budget.
  • The budget zeroed out fire rehabilitation and restoration. The Forest Service has a $200 million backlog of this work from the 2002 fire season and will have to re-direct funds from other programs for needed rehabilitation and restoration work. This is a serious concern!
  • The size of the backlog and the small amounts of funding in previous years ($3.6 million in FY 2002) highlights a major challenge for the Forest Service.

Grazing and Rangeland Management

  • Within the $43.2 million request there is a $6.5 million increase to improve grazing on the National Forests and Grasslands, including a 30% increase in grazing allotment operations through updated grazing allotment plans.

State and Private Forestry

  • There is a $15.1 million increase for Forest Stewardship to strengthen rural communities and Forest Service partnerships to reduce hazardous fuels and prevention of invasive species (noxious weeds). And a $19.9 million increase in the Forest Legacy program to enhance conservation of environmentally important private forests. The total funding for State and Private programs will be $315.8 million up $38.4 million over last years request.

Land Acquisition/Land and Water Conservation Fund

  • It includes a significant ($83.4 million) reduction in Land Acquisition down from $130.5 million in the FY 2003 request to only $44.1 million in FY 2004.

Capital Improvements and Maintenance

  • It includes a significant ($27.5 million) reduction in Capital Improvement and Maintenance down from $552 million in the FY 2003 request to $524.6 million in the FY 2004 request.

Commentary on Budget

  • These shifts reflect the realization that the federal land managers must be able to maintain the health and ecological integrity of the lands they already manage, before acquiring additional lands.
  • Given the continued risk to our over-stocked, unhealthy, forests I have concerns with the program priorities. I will be asking the Department of Agricultures Undersecretary for Natural Resources, Mr. Mark Rey, to explain his priorities at a hearing next week.
  • We are spending more and more money on fire suppression and are getting less and less. In FY 2002 the Forest Service received $255.3 million for fire suppression and built 195 miles of fire line per hour. In FY 2004 they’ve requested $604.6 million, an increase of 2.3 times the FY 2002 level, but will only build 86.5 miles of fire line per hour. We simply must find a better approach.
  • We can no longer manage our forests by chasing after these fires year after year. We must manage all of the lands to reduce the risk and intensity of these fires.
  • We cannot allow frivolous appeals and lawsuits to delay and stop needed forest health projects. I am happy to see the President’s Budget request includes a proposal to bring the Forest Service’s Administrative Appeals Regulations in line with the rest of the Federal Government.

Office of Surface Mining

The OSM budget request provides for an overall increase of $1.8 million. The increase addresses uncontrollable costs and $374,000 for IT Security. The only new initiative is to propose a reauthorization of the Abandon Mine Reclamation Fund which expires September 30, 2004.

Abandon Mine Reclamation Fund

  • The request states the administration will be proposing to Congress the reauthorization of the Abandon Mine Reclamation Fund scheduled to expire September 30, 2004 (No funding requested).

Information Management

  • Increase for IT security (+374,000).

Combined Benefit Fund Transfer

  • A portion of the AML Fund interest is transferred each year to the United Mine Workers Combined Benefit Fund (CBF). The proposed transfer is $55 million for FY 2004.

FY 2004 PRESIDENT’S BUDGET
OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING HIGHLIGHTS

Summary Table (in Millions of Dollars)
Program FY 2002 Actual FY 2003 (Request) FY 2004 (Request) Change (+/-)
Regulation & Technology $102.8 $105.4 $106.8 +$1.4
AML Fund $203.4 $174 $174.4 +$.4
Total $253.4 $264.5 $264.5 +$1.8
AML Fund Transfer-CBF 90.3 56.1 55

Highlights of Budget Changes

  • $1.4 million increase for uncontrollables
  • $374,000 increase for IT Security

U.S. Geological Survey

The USGS budget request provides for an overall increase of $28.2 million. The major initiatives include, modifying Mapping Program and Geologic Assessments, increase for Water Resources Assessments; for initiating new Biological Research and Science Support needs.

Mapping Program

  • $8.8 million over-all decrease in Mapping; increase for Geospatial One-Stop grant program (+$1.5 million) and for America View program. (+$3 million) This increase is off-set by reductions for data collection and IT investments (-$13.3 million).

Geologic Assessments

  • $3.1 million over-all decrease in Geologic Assessments: increase for Geologic landscape assessments (+$6.2 million) off-set by reductions for hazard assessments and lower priority mineral resource programs.

Water Resource Assessments

  • $22.3 million increase for 1) Water Quality Assessments (+$6.3 million); Toxic Substance Hydrology program (+$11 million); National Streamflow Information Program (+$2.1 million); National Water Information program (+$1.8 million).

Biological Research

  • $8.4 million increase to study invasive species and chronic wasting disease.

Science Support

  • $5.4 million increase to develop enterprise geographic information system and conversion of radio equipment to narrowband.
  • $4 million increase for Facilities.

FY 2004 PRESIDENT’S BUDGET
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Summary Table (in Millions of Dollars)
Program FY 2002 (Actual) FY 2003 (Request) FY2004 (Request) Change (+/-)
Mapping $133.1 $129.3 $120.5 -$8.8
Geologic Assessments $232.6 $224.7 $221.6 -$3.1
Water Res. Investigations $206.4 $177.8 $200.1 +$22.3
Biological Research
$166.2 $160.5 $168.9 +$8.4
Science Support $86.2 $86.1 $91.5 +$5.4
Facilities $89.4 $89 $93 +$4
Total 913.9 867.4 895.6 +$28.2

Highlights of Budget Changes

  • $8.8 million decrease in Mapping
  • $3.1 million decrease in Geologic Assessments
  • $22.3 million increase for Water Resource Investigations
  • $8.4 million increase for Biological Research
  • $5.4 million increase for Science support
  • $4 million increase for Facilities

Minerals Management Service

The MMS budget request provides for an overall increase of $1 million. OCS rental revenues permit MMS to use receipts to partially fund agency programs. FY2004 MMS budget request reflects $100.2 million from receipts. There are several program areas with increases that are largely off-set by decreases due to organizational streamlining, reductions in IT investments and the completion of one time project work. The major initiatives include, Gulf of Mexico energy development, enhancements to the Royalty -in-Kind systems; improving minerals revenue managemenrt systems; IT security and Oil Spill Research.

Gulf of Mexico Energy Development

  • Increases for expanding Gulf of Mexico off shore oil and gas activity. (+$1.95 million).
  • Increases for OCS Methane Hydrates research (+$300,000).

Royalty-in-Kind Systems

  • Increase for operational support and enhancements to Royalty-in-Kind systems ($1 million)
  • Increase for Minerals Revenue Management Systems ($2 million).

Information Management

  • Increase for multi-year e-Government initiative ($2.9 million) and IT security (+645,000).

Oil Spill Research

  • Increase to begin a four year phased replacement of equipment at the National Oil Spill Response Test Facility (+$1 million).

FY 2004 PRESIDENT’S BUDGET
MINERAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

Summary Table (in Millions of Dollars)
Program FY 2002 (Actual) FY 2003 (Request) FY2004 (Request) Change (+/-)
Appropriation $150.6 $164.2 $164.2 +$0
Offsetting Collections $102.7 $100.2 $100.2 +$0
Total for Royalty & Offshore Mgt $253.4 $264.5 $264.5 +$0
Oil Spill Research $6.1 $6.1 $7.1 +$1
Total 259.5 270.6 271.6 +$1

Highlights of Budget Changes

  • $2 million increase for new Gulf of Mexico oil and gas activity.
  • $300,000 increase for OCS Methane Hydrates Research.
  • $1 million increase for improving Royalty-in Kind systems.
  • $2 million increase for Minerals Revenue Management Systems.
  • $2.9 million for e-Government Initiative.
  • $645,000 increase for IT Security.
  • $1 million increase for Oil Spill Research.

National Park Service

The NPS budget request provides for an overall increase of $8.3 million. The major initiatives include, supporting the President’s commitment to manage the Maintenance Backlog, and an increase for Park Operations.

Maintenance Backlog

  • $8.2 million over-all increase in funding to address the maintenance backlog. This includes work on two key projects critical to managing the backlog: expansion of the NPS facility management software system and comprehensive condition assessments to collect detailed information on constructed assets and facilities.

Park Operations

  • $47.3 million over-all increase in park operations: This includes $2.5 million for additional visitor and resource protection at seven border parks. This increase is offset by a decrease in Land Acquisition and State Assistance (-$47.4 million).

FY 2004 PRESIDENT’S BUDGET
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

Summary Table (in Millions of Dollars)
Program FY 2002 (Actual) FY 2003 (Request) FY2004 (Request) Change (+/-)
Park Operations $1,534.9 $1,584.6 $1,631.9 +$47.3
US Park Police $68.0 $78.5 $78.9 +$0.4
Recreation & Preservation $13.2 $46.8 $47.9 +$1.1
Urban Park & Recreation $30.0 $0.3 $0.3 $0.0
Historic Preservation $74.5 $67.0 $67.0 $0.0
Construction & Maintenance $368.5 $320.4 $327.3 +$6.9
Land Acquisition $274.7 $286.1 $238.5 $-47.4
LWCF Authority $-30.0 $-30.0 $-30.0 $0.0
Total $2,333.8 $2,353.7 $2,361.8 $8.3

Highlights of Budget Changes

  • $47.3 million increase for Park Operations
  • $0.4 million increase for Park Police
  • $1.1 million increase for Recreation and Preservation
  • $6.9 million increase for Construction and Maintenance
  • $47.4 million decrease for Land Acquisition