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Department of Energy Budget Continues Down Wrong Path

February 6, 2007

For Immediate Release

(Washington, DC)  The priorities set forth in the fiscal year 2008 budget for the Department of Energy show an agency with a mindset stuck in the cold war.  The budget proposes to build a new nuclear weapons complex and continues to promote reliance on polluting fuel sources.  This budget is flawed, and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) calls on the Congress to reject these proposals.

The U.S. and the rest of the world are at a crossroads when it comes to a new energy future and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  This administration should be utilizing the Department of Energy to develop and promote clean, renewable energy; yet, this budget continues to fund fossil fuel and nuclear energy at very high levels, while only maintaining spending levels for efficiency, conservation and renewable energy sources.  Investing in non-polluting sources of energy is the best way to achieve energy independence and to begin reducing the many health problems associated with the emissions from fossil fuels and the threats posed by nuclear waste.

In addition, millions of new dollars would be spent to move forward with Complex 2030, the administration’s effort to reconstruct the nuclear weapons complex in order to meet Cold War era production levels.  These costs would escalate rapidly in future years and would leave the U.S. with significant environment and health challenges.

“It is disappointing to see these budget priorities given the real threats this country faces.  We cannot continue our dependence on polluting fossil fuels and nuclear power is prohibitively expensive and dangerous,” said Michael McCally, MD, PhD, executive director for PSR.  “It is time for a Manhattan Project that focuses on the clean, renewable energy necessary to reduce harmful pollutants and to slow, stop and reverse global warming.

Furthermore, given the U.S. commitment to non-proliferation, treaty restraints and knowledge that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is reliable and in surplus, there is no reason for the president to be moving the nation toward another Cold War.  The funding levels for new nuclear weapons in this budget are disgraceful.  The program is unnecessary, unjustified and unaffordable.  Congress should end funding for all new nuclear weapons program and move the U.S. toward further reduction of nuclear weapons.”

Physicians for Social Responsibility, guided by the expertise and values of medicine and public health, was founded in 1961 and remains committed to protecting human life from the gravest threats to health and survival.  For more information contact Will Callaway at 202-667-4260 or wcallaway@psr.org.

...continued

Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Proposals
National Nuclear Security Administration

(all dollar figures presented in millions)

 

FY06 actual

FY07 requested

FY08 requested

Weapons Program Total

6,355.03

6,407.89

6,511.31

 

 

 

 

Directed Stockpile Work 

1,372.33

1,410.27

1,447.24

       Reliable Replacement
       Warhead

24.75

27.71

88.77

       Life Extension Programs 

317.73

312.66

238.69

       Stockpile Systems

300.72

325.55

346.72

       Dismantlement

59.40

75.00

52.25

       Stockpile Services

669.73

669.35

720.81

Science Campaigns

276.67

263.76

237.08

       Test Readiness

19.80

14.76

0.0

Engineering Campaigns

247.91

160.92

152.75

Inertial Confinement Campaign

543.58

451.19

412.26

       National Ignition Facility
       Const.

140.49

111.42

10.14

       NIF Assembly & Installation

101.31

143.44

136.91

Adv. Simulation & Computing

599.77

617.96

585.74

Pu Pit Manf. & Cert. Campaign

238.66

237.60

281.23

       Consolidated Plutonium
       Center

0.0

0.0

24.91

Readiness Campaign

216.57

205.97

161.17

The funding expectations for the 'outyears' beyond FY08 for the reliable replacement warhead (RRW) are:

FY09 =  99.79
FY10 = 109.24
FY11 = 167.36
FY12 = 179.93

There also is a Department of Defense request for $30 million for RRW in FY08 and $50 million in FY09. This is part of the Navy budget.  These levels would bring the total RRW budget to $118.8 million in FY08 and $149.8 million in FY09.

Energy Supply and Conservation

 

FY06 actual

FY07 requested

FY08 requested

Efficiency and renewable
energy

1,717

1,192

1,236

Nuclear research and
development

427

428

802

Fossil research and
development

587

848

568

(with other transfers, total request for fossil energy
in FY08 reaches $863 million) 

Click here to read the Green Budget for Fiscal Year 2008, which provides a more detailed look at national funding priorities for the protection of public health and the environment.

The FY08 Green Budget was prepared by the following groups: Alaska Wilderness League; American Lands Alliance; American Rivers; Center for Biological Diversity; Clean Water Action; Defenders of Wildlife; Endagered Species Coalition; Friends of the Earth; Natural Resources Defense Council; National Audubon Society; National Environmental Trust; National Parks Conservation Association; National Wildlife Federation; Oceana; The Ocean Conservancy; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Public Citizen; Union of Concerned Scientists; U.S. Public Interest Research Group; The Wilderness Society; World Wildlife Fund.

 

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