DOE Budget Cuts Proposed for FY20

On March 11, 2019, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for the U.S. Government in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The proposal would reduce funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) by $3.8 billion or 10.8 percent compared to FY2019 levels.

The budget proposal calls for a refocusing of DOE’s research agenda to prioritize “early-stage research and development (R&D) of energy technologies.” It includes “$5.5 billion for the Office of Science to continue its mission to focus on early-stage research” and perform other functions (e.g., operating the national laboratories). This is, however, $1.085 billion or 16.5 percent lower than FY2019 levels.

The budget proposal would also substantially reduce or eliminate funding for a number of other DOE research offices. Most notably, under the proposal, DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) would be eliminated to “enable[] the Department to efficiently direct scarce resources as part of an integrated national energy strategy.”


On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed H.R. 1865 -- the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 -- into law. The Act provides $7 billion in funding for DOE's Office of Science in FY2020, an increase of $415 million over FY2019 levels. According to a Congressional summary of the Act, the increase is intended to, among other things, support "research into the next generation of clean energy sources." To further support clean energy research, Congress also increased funding for DOE's ARPA-E program to a record $425 million, thus rejecting the Trump administration's proposal to eliminate the program.