The President’s FY2018 Budget Request for the Department of Energy


The President's fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request, Budget of the U.S. Government: A New Foundation for American Greatness, includes $28.0 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), $2.7 billion (8.8%) less than the FY2017 enacted appropriations of $30.7 billion (see P.L. 115-31 and Division D Explanatory Statement). While this request would reduce the total budget for DOE, it would increase overall funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and increase funding for cleanup programs within the Office of Environmental Management. The request would reduce funding for the Offices of Science, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Nuclear Energy (NE), Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), and Fossil Energy (including the Fossil Energy Research and Development [R&D] program). It would reduce funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to wind down operations in FY2018 for cessation of its functions in FY2019, and would eliminate funding for two programs within EERE—the Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program—and two programs within the Loan Program Office—Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program (Title XVII Loan Program) and Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program in FY2018. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Department of Energy Budget Comparison

Source: FY2018 request from DOE, FY2018 Congressional Budget Request: Budget in Brief (May 2017); FY2017 and FY2016 enacted from P.L. 115-31 Division D Explanatory Statement.

Notes: "Other" refers to programs and funding not within the specified categories. "Energy" refers to the Offices of EERE, NE, OE, and Fossil Energy (FE), which includes Fossil Energy R&D. "Science" refers to the Office of Science.

Comparison with FY2016 and FY2017 Enacted Appropriations

Proposed changes to the DOE budget are illustrated in Figure 1, which compares FY2016 and FY2017 enacted levels to the FY2018 request. The FY2018 request for NNSA is $13.9 billion (an 8% increase over FY2017 enacted). Among other increases, the budget request would provide $120 million to restart licensing activities for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and to initiate an interim nuclear waste storage program. The Environmental Management budget request of $6.5 billion is an increase of $88 million (1% over FY2017). This request also would eliminate funding for the defense contribution to the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination & Decommissioning Fund, for which Congress appropriated $563 million in FY2017.

The Office of Science would be reduced by $919 million (17%) to $4.5 billion from the enacted FY2017 level of $5.4 billion. According to the request, funding would focus on the core mission of conducting cutting-edge, early-stage research.

The budget request would provide $1.9 billion for energy programs as defined in Table 1. These energy programs received $4.2 billion in FY2017. The FY2018 request is a $2.3 billion (54%) decrease. The request decreases funding broadly across energy programs. Funding for two programs within EERE would be eliminated: the Weatherization Assistance Program and the State Energy Program.

The request would terminate funding for the ARPA-E while providing $20 million for federal staff support and reallocating $45 million in prior-year balances to oversee existing awards to completion. Funding would also be eliminated under the request for the Title XVII Loan Program, and the ATVM Loan Program.

Table 1 shows a summary of changes included in the request compared to the FY2016 and FY2017 enacted appropriations.

Table 1. FY2018 Request for Selected DOE Offices and Programs

(Dollars in Millions)


FY2016 Enacted

FY2017 Enacted

FY2018 Request

Requested Change from FY2017













Environmental Management






Nuclear Waste Disposal






Office of Science






Energy Programs






Weatherization Assistance Program






State Energy Program












ATVM Loan Program






Title XVII Loan Program






Source: DOE, FY2018 Congressional Budget Request: Budget in Brief (May 2017); P.L. 115-31 Division D Explanatory Statement.

Notes: Parentheses ( ) indicate negative numbers. Energy Programs refers to the Offices of EERE, NE, and OE, and FE, which includes Fossil Energy R&D.

Potential Issues

The President's FY2018 request would reduce funding for energy programs within the DOE. Under the request, EERE would receive funding at approximately 30% of the FY2017 enacted level. The budget request for energy programs would provide funding for approximately 290 fewer full time equivalent federal employees than FY2016 enacted levels. Congress may consider the extent that the Administration's priorities as described in the FY2018 request align with congressional priorities for the DOE.

The budget request proposes to eliminate funding for the Title XVII Loan Program and ATVM Loan Program. According to the request, the existing loan portfolio would continue to be managed, and unobligated balances and offsetting fees collected from borrowers would support the administrative functions of the programs. The budget request states its expectation that operations will wind down in FY2018 and any remaining monitoring and closeout functions would be transferred to another office in FY2019.

The FY2018 budget request states that ARPA-E staff will be supported to administer remaining funds for existing projects. ARPA-E obligates the entire amount of funding for multiyear projects in the year of the award. Projects awarded in FY2016 are funded in their entirety with FY2016 funds. Project funds are often spent over a multiyear period. The budget request states its expectation to shut down the office in FY2019.

For additional information, see CRS Report R44465, Energy and Water Development: FY2017 Appropriations.