Department of Energy – No Restraint for NNSA

Rolling Analysis, FY21 Budget Department of Energy – No Restraint for NNSA

Energy & Natural Resources,  | Analysis
Feb 10, 2020  | 2 min read | Print Article

According to summary tables released in advance of the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget proposal, the administration will be requesting a total of $35.4 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE). That’s simultaneously less than what Congress appropriated to DOE for FY 2020 and significantly more than the Trump Administration’s past budget proposals. Of the total requested, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is, once again, lavished with funding in comparison to other DOE programs.

In the FY2020 Omnibus passed in December, Congress allotted $38.6 billion for all DOE accounts, an incredible eight percent increase from the previous year, and 41 percent jump from five years prior. At the $35.4 billion, the administration’s FY 2021 proposal is a $3.2 billion cut from current levels. There are certainly plenty of areas worthy of the axe (looking at you, fossil fuel, nuclear, and biofuel subsidies). But the administration seems to have found fewer of them than past years. This year’s DOE request is 12 percent more than last year, and 27 percent more than the administration’s first budget for FY 2018.

Finding where the administration is choosing to cut back will have to wait until the full budget justification is released. We can be sure, however, it’s not in the NNSA’s account. For FY 2021, DOE is requesting $19.8 billion for the sub-agency. That would bump up the NNSA’s budget by roughly 20 percent compared to both last year’s requested level and enacted level. Keep in mind, the $16.7 billion Congress approved for FY 2020 was already a nearly 50 percent increase from NNSA’s budget in FY 2015.

Stay tuned for more details on DOE’s overall budget, and why the Trump Administration wants to be $6 billion more on the NNSA than they did three years ago.

Department of Energy Funding – FY 2012-2021
($, Billions)
Fiscal Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
NNSA
Request 11.8 11.5 11.7 11.7 12.6 12.9 13.9 15.1 16.5 19.8
Enacted/Actual 11.0 10.6 11.2 11.4 12.5 12.9 14.7 15.2 16.7
Non-NNSA
Request 17.8 15.6 16.8 16.3 17.4 19.6 14.1 15.5 15.2 15.6
Enacted/Actual 15.3 14.6 16.0 16.0 17.1 17.8 19.8 20.5 21.9
DOE Total
Request 29.5 27.2 28.4 27.9 29.9 32.5 27.9 30.1 31.7 35.4
Enacted/Actual 26.3 25.1 27.2 27.4 29.6 30.7 34.5 35.7 38.6
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