House GOP Budget Cuts Could Force Brookhaven National Lab to Lay off 930 Scientists, Engineers, Technicians and Support Staff One Third of the Labs EmployeesHouse GOP Cuts Could Have Devastating Effect on Years-Long Projects That Are At Forefront of Scientific and Medical ResearchSchumer, Bishop: Brookhaven Is A Invaluable National Resource for Research and Technology and Jobs Juggernaut on Long Island

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (DNY) and U.S. Representative Tim Bishop (DNY) today blasted the GOPled House's continuing resolution budget proposal that could gut Brookhaven National Laboratory's (BNL) research and development and result in the potential loss of 930 employees, one third of the lab's population. It could also result in BNL shutting the doors on the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) and Realistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) machines, world class research facilities. If enacted, the House cuts could force Brookhaven to completely shut down many of its core research facilities that have kept the United States at the cutting edge of scientific and medical technology for over 60 years and attract hundreds of visiting scientists to Long Island each year, further stimulating the local economy. Schumer and Bishop said that these cuts would both damage Long Island's economy by needlessly cutting highskilled, goodpaying jobs on the Island and hurt US competitiveness by pulling the rug out from under a center of scientific research in this country.
"Enacting these cuts could decimate Brookhaven National Laboratory and wipe out some of the most innovative and groundbreaking medical and scientific research programs in the country," said Schumer. "Not only will these cuts result in monumental job losses, they will set us back a generation in advanced medical technology and harm our national reputation as a leader in medical and energy research. We will do everything in our power to ensure these cuts never see the light of day."
"These cuts will put nearly 1,000 Long Islanders out of work and rip out the beating heart of Suffolk County's hightech future," said Bishop.  "It is insane to think that destroying 1,000 goodpaying jobs and permanently damaging a worldclass research facility will improve Long Island's economy.  These cuts pull the plug on billions of dollars in federal investments and will chase scientists off Long Island with pink slips.  Beyond the immediate damage, the aftershocks will hurt local small businesses, destroying thousands of additional jobs."
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, that GOP budget proposal would mean that 930 goodpaying jobs would be terminated, in addition to robbing 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.
These proposed cuts would also force 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. Cuts to medical research at Brookhaven could include ending research into revolutionary technologies to fight tumors and ceasing xray research into molecules that will impact our understanding of diseases and our ability to develop corresponding drugs. Cuts to industrial research could include ending research in the microelectronics industry and research into alternative fuels that would reduce US dependence on foreign oil.
These drastic cuts would also set back future recruiting of PhD's that keep the United States competitive in scientific training. The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collidor (RHIC) alone has helped educate and train more than 200 PhD physicists in 10 years of operation. Terminating the operation of such leading U.S. research facilities will dry up the supply of PhD's and remove primary attractors of young people into science.  Moreover, major companies like IBM and universities like MIT and Stony Brook would lose their ability to continue conducting research on highend technologies in these fields, which could further induce job cuts and lost innovation in America.

A partial list of the projects that could be completely shut down by the cuts is below:
·         Closing of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS): These cuts would close 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 be 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 these cuts were enacted, RHIC would have 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: Cuts would end 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 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: Cuts could eliminate 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.
In their letter to the Chairmen of the House Budget and Appropriations Committees, Schumer and Bishop stated,
"Now more than ever we need to grow these innovative sectors and invest in work that will strengthen our global competitiveness. This House proposed CR simply fails to do that. We would urge you to reconsider these cuts and allow the men and women of Brookhaven Lab to continue their extraordinary research with the confidence in knowing their government is behind them."
A copy of their letter is below.
Dear Chairmen Ryan and Rogers,
We write to express our concern regarding the impact of the recently proposed House Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR). This proposal seeks to cut $1.1 billion from the DOE Office of Science, and $899 million from DOE's office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). This action would most likely force Brookhaven National Lab Brookhaven in New York to completely shut down core research facilities that have kept the United States at the cutting edge of scientific and medical technology for over 60 years.
Brookhaven National Lab is a internationally renowned laboratory that has hosted seven Nobel Prize winning discoveries and groundbreaking science and technological research. Brookhaven currently employs approximately 3,000 scientists, technicians, and support staff to do this research. Unfortunately, the House proposed CR threatens the important and innovative work of this lab. The reduction of this necessary funding through the proposed CR would require Brookhaven to potentially lay off in excess of 930 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support staff one third of the Lab's workforce. The proposed CR cuts would force Brookhaven to close its National Synchrotron Light Source facility, which would displace 330 workers and 2,200 visiting scientists. The cuts would also curtail the work of Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider facility which would displace over 300 more workers engaging in promising new research.
Now more than ever we need to grow these innovative sectors and make investments that will strengthen our global competitiveness. This House proposed CR simply fails to do that. We urge you to reconsider these cuts and allow the men and women of Brookhaven National Lab to continue their extraordinary research confident that their government is behind them. We look forward to receiving your response.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer                               U.S Representative Tim Bishop  

Previous Article Next Article