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Budget Compromise Spares Department of Energy Office of Science from for $1.1 Billion in House Proposed Cuts

Schumer, Bishop Aggressively Lobbied Against Draconian Cuts and Potential for Loss of Almost 1000 Jobs on the Island

Schumer, Bishop: This is a Win for Jobs, a Win for Science, and a Win for Long Islands Economy


U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (DNY) and U.S. Representative Tim Bishop (DNY) announced today that the budget compromise agreed to last week in Congress will save Brookhaven National Laboratory from draconian budget cuts that could have resulted in a loss of almost 1,000 jobs. The continuing funding resolution bill that passed the House last month would have cut $1.1 billion from the Department of Energy's Office of Science and resulted in Brookhaven Lab having to shutdown many of its core research facilities. The budget compromise reached late last week, would instead only cut $35 million from the Office of Science.


"This is a huge victory for Long Island that preserves the jobcreating, cuttingedge scientific work being done at Brookhaven National Lab," said Schumer. "We held the line of budget cuts that could have decimated Brookhaven National Lab and resulted in almost 1,000 jobs being lost. We can and should cut costs, but not at the expense of cutting jobs on Long Island or limiting our nation's ability to outinnovate our competitors."


"This was a fight about Long Island's future and that future is brighter because we have preserved 1,000 local jobs and cutting edge research," said Congressman Tim Bishop.  "Saving BNL from the budget axe not only preserves 1,000 Long Island jobs, it helps ensure that America will continue to drive innovation and reap the economic benefits of advanced research.  I agree with the need to cut spending and save taxpayer dollars, but we must also balance our priorities like the important research at BNL."


The Republican House has proposed billions of dollars in cuts to science and energy funds, including an estimated 30% funding cut for all Science facilities.  According to an impact analysis provided by the Lab at Schumer and Bishop's request, for Brookhaven National Laboratory, the GOP budget proposal would have meant that 930 goodpaying jobs would be terminated, and would have robbed Long Island of millions in economic output. In fiscal year 2009, total spending by the Lab and facility users and researchers generated approximately $647 million in economic output and supported 5,190 jobs on Long Island, as well as $704 million in economic output for New York States, supporting 5,400 jobs statewide.


The House cuts would also have forced Brookhaven to shutter or severely restrict many of its research facilities that keep the United States at the cutting edge of the latest medical and industrial research.


A partial list of the projects that would have been completely shut down by the House proposal were:


·          Closing of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS): The proposed House cuts would have closed the NSLS for the remainder of the fiscal year, displacing 330 employees and shuttering a facility in which the federal government has invested roughly $2.5 billion in capital and operations over the last 30 years. Industries that would have been affected include IBM, who is carrying out research on developing and characterizing new materials for the microelectronics industry, and the National Institute of Standards And Technology, whose scientists develop new materials for the microelectronics industry, such as materials for new gate dielectrics that enable higher speed and lower power consumption.


·          Closing of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collidor (RHIC): The federal government has invested approximately $3.5 billion in capital and operating finds in RHIC. If the House cuts were enacted, RHIC would have had to curtail operations immediately, which would lead to layoffs of 300 science and support personnel. This would mean that BEST Medical, a commercial partner that relies on the Lab's cutting edge research facility to develop the next generation of accelerators for treatment of tumors, would have to cease work. The US Healthcare system as a whole also relies on RHIC for the ancillary, lowcost production of radioisotopes, the cost of which would skyrocket if the healthcare system had to pay full recovery costs for accelerator operations. Dozens of prominent U.S. Universities including Stony Brook, MIT, Columbia and Yale also rely on RHIC for their research.


·          Cuts to Research into Alternative Fuels, Sustainable Energy: House proposed cuts would have ended development of nonfood plants as the only sustainable, renewable source of carbon for high value chemicals and materials including fuels, thereby extending US dependence on petroleum. The loss of basic and applied research for chemical conversions and the resulting loss in competitive position would have not only endanger existing American jobs in the chemical industry, but also damage US ability to take advantage of the economic opportunity emerging in sustainable chemical conversions for the energy sector via synthesis of fuels from abundant materials.


·          Cuts to research in life science and fundamental science: House proposed cuts could have eliminated between 150200 employees, potentially ending life sciences and environmental sciences research at the Lab. Efforts to probe the nature of matter at RHIC in the earliest moments of the universe, when many of Nature's most important properties were established, will be lost .