Department of Energy EPSCoR Program

DOE EPSCoR

FY16 EnactedFY17 EnactedFY18 EnactedFY19 Budget RequestFY19 Coalition GoalFY19 HouseFY19 Senate
$15.0m$15.0m$20.0m$7.7m$20.0m$20.0m$20.0m

OBJECTIVE: Continue to grow the DOE EPSCoR program in order to increase participation by eligible states

BACKGROUND

DOE EPSCoR, first authorized in Section 2203 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (PL 102-486), consists of three grant programs: 

  1. Implementation Grants are three year awards of up to $2,500,000, with possible extension for an additional three years. The purpose is to build capacity in areas of interest to DOE, including advanced scientific computing, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental programs, fusion energy, high energy physics and nuclear physics. 
  2. Laboratory Partnership Grants provide $200,000 per year for up to three years to allow EPSCoR researchers to work closely with the DOE national laboratories.
  3. Office of Science Early Career Awards are limited to applications received from academic institutions in EPSCoR jurisdictions to the DOE Office of Science Early Career Award program. 

NATIONAL BENEFITS

Students and research faculty in EPSCoR states have significant contributions to make to the nation’s “all of the above” approach to energy. Additional funding for the DOE EPSCoR program would allow for increased participation by EPSCoR-eligible jurisdictions in DOE research efforts and support higher federal investments in the physical sciences, engineering, and basic research in locations throughout the United States that continue to receive significantly less support from DOE’s Office of Science. A strong DOE EPSCoR program will help attract the best minds to our states, develop far-reaching technological innovations at institutions of higher education, and spin off new industries.

Specific research areas of interest to DOE EPSCoR include but are not limited to the following national energy priorities: materials science and engineering, chemical science, biological and environmental science, geosciences, high energy and nuclear physics, fusion energy science, advance computer science, fossil energy science, energy efficiency and renewable energy science, climate change, genomics, life sciences, and science education.

REGIONAL BENEFITS

  • EPSCoR states represent 11 of the top 20 energy producing states representing about 42.5 percent of the United States’ total energy production
  • EPSCoR states represent 7 of the top 10 states in crude oil production
  • EPSCoR states represent 6 of the top 10 states in natural gas marketed production
  • EPSCoR states represent 5 of the top 10 states in coal production
  • EPSCoR states represent 9 of the top 10 states with the lowest total carbon dioxide emissions
  • EPSCoR states represent 12 of the top 15 energy consuming states per capita

Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency

FY2019 DOE Federal Reserach Highlights

The  House  and  Senate  have  both  approved  the  FY2019  Energy  &  Water  Development Appropriations  Act  as  part  of  a  “minibus”  spending  bill  in  June.  Negotiators  will  begin working out the differences between the two minibus spending bills.

  • Both versions of the Energy & Water Development spending bill provide $20 million for DOE EPSCoR. Additionally, both chambers included report language directing the program office to resume Implementation Grant solicitations.
  • Both versions of the Energy & Water Development spending bill provide about $6.6 billion for the DOE Office of Science. This is $390 million above the FY2018 enacted level and $1.26 billion above the budget request.
  • House  appropriators  also  approved  increases  for  both  fossil  and  nuclear  energy  research  and development programs of at least eight percent while the SAC provide about level funding for those accounts. The Trump Administration had requested large decreases for these programs.
  • Both chambers also approved substantial funding for DOE’s new cybersecurity office.
  • The  House  approved $243  million  in  reductions  to  Energy Efficiency  and  Renewable Energy. This is 10 percent below current year spending but not close to the near 70 percent cut sought by  the  Trump  Administration. 
  • The  HAC  also  recommended  reductions  to  the  Advanced Research  Projects  Agency-Energy  (ARPA-E)  by  eight  percent,  but  does  not  eliminate  the program as the Administration requested. The SAC provides ARPA-E with a near $20 million increase over current year funding and includes report language supporting the program
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