Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand, Bishop Announce: Budget Deal Saves Funding for Critical Brookhaven National Laboratory Programs; Proposed Cuts Would Have Halted National Lightsource 2 and Physics Lab Construction Projects

Dec 19, 2011

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, and Congressman Tim Bishop announced today that funding for key programs at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have been restored after significant cuts were identified in the proposed budget weeks ago. The budget bill provides $4.889 billion of funding for the Office of Science, which includes funding lines for major projects at Brookhaven National Lab. In conference, Schumer, Gillibrand, and Bishop were able to increase total funding levels for the Office of Science by roughly $46 million dollars and protect funding lines for BNL-specific projects. 

“Brookhaven National Lab is a jobs behemoth on Long Island, doing some of the most cutting edge scientific research in the world,” said Schumer. “By restoring these cuts and maintaining existing funding levels, the lab can continue to not only lead the world in research, but demonstrate how investments in science are investments in our economy and workforce, for the long-term”

“Brookhaven National Laboratory is not only a local asset for Long Island, creating thousands of high-tech jobs across the region and state, it is a facility that has made significant contributions to the world of science and technology,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The ideas and theories that are generated by the thousands of scientists and researchers that visit the lab can only be made a reality if they have the proper resources and facilities at their disposal.”

“Brookhaven National Lab is a vital jobs engine for Long Island, and the cutting-edge research performed there will ensure America reaps the economic benefits of future scientific breakthroughs,” said Congressman Bishop. “We all agree on the need to cut spending, but protecting the vital work at BNL from harsh budget cuts will save local jobs and help preserve America’s leadership in scientific innovation.”

The House version of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill would have cut funding for the ongoing construction of the National Synchroton Light Source II (NSLS-II) project by $10 million, delaying and increasing the overall cost of the project by almost $3 million. Schumer, Gillibrand, and Bishop were able to include a total of $151.4 million for NSLS II within the Basic Energy Sciences account. They were also able to include an additional $12 million for preliminary engineering and design of beamlines and other experimental tools. NSLS is a new state-of-the-art electron storage ring designed to deliver world-leading intensity and brightness. When completed, it will produce broad and practical impacts on a wide range of initiatives in nanotechnology, biomedicine, and clean and affordable energy. Currently, some 2200 university, industry, and government scientists – including scientists from IBM, ExxonMobil, GE, AT&T, and DOW Chemical – rely on the current NSLS to image and analyze the molecular structure of materials. 

The bill also includes full funding, at $15.5 million, for the construction to replace outdated lab and office space with a new facility for physics and chemistry through the Renovate Science Laboratories Phase II project and funding to the tune of $611.8 million for the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program, which funds research to develop biofuel alternatives to foreign oil, clean-up contaminated soil and water, and better understand Earth’s climate.

Brookhaven National Laboratory, established in 1947 and located in Upton, Long Island, is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates for the United States Department of Energy. Brookhaven’s staff of over 3,000 scientists, engineers and technicians specializes in nuclear physics research and has received an impressive six Nobel Prizes for their groundbreaking work. Brookhaven Lab’s programs include the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) designated to researching quark-gluon plasma, the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), National Synchotron Light Source II (NSLSII), and the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN).