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Budget Trends

Table 3 presents a summary of federal programs in environment and natural resources that fit the definition presented above. The information in the table is based on federal budget documents. The total shown on the table, $22.7 billion in FY 1995, is probably a low-end estimate of the government's total effort relating to the environment. Environmental R&D not included in the data set would add approximately $1 billion to this total (including DOD, the four civilian agencies omitted, and an estimate of environmental health research not covered in this analysis). The total shown represents a bit more than 10 percent of the federal government's total domestic discretionary spending.

Somewhat surprisingly, EPA shows up not at the top of the list but in second place among the agencies whose programs are identified in this table. Ranking first is the Department of Energy, mainly because of its Defense Environmental Restoration program (i.e., the nuclear materials and weapons facilities cleanup), which includes $4.855 billion in non-R&D activities and its nondefense Environmental Restoration and Waste Management program, funded at $723 million in FY 1995. Together, these efforts total $5.578 billion, nearly as much as the entire EPA budget. DOE also conducts a significant amount of environmental R&D, which, together with its other programs, including nuclear waste disposal and uranium enrichment decontamination, bring its total environmental portfolio to more than $7 billion.

Other major players among federal agencies include the Forest Service (within the Department of Agriculture); NASA, with life sciences research and Mission to Planet Earth; and NOAA, among whose programs and agencies are the National Weather Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Ocean Service, and a range of oceanic and atmospheric research programs. Also on the chart are the Departments of the Interior (with just over $1 billion in FY 1995), the National Science Foundation, and R&D conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers. The three-year trend in the bottom line of this table is essentially flat in current dollars, indicating a loss in constant dollars. And it does not take a clairvoyant to see that the trend over the next several years is likely to be even more negative.


Environmental R&D in Relation to Other Environmental Programs

As discussed in the previous section, the agencies with the largest environmental programs are DOE and EPA. In both of these agencies, environmental R&D is a relatively small part of overall spending for environmental programs. EPA's R&D represents a total of $600 million out of the agency's $5.7 billion budget, about 10.5 percent. DOE's environmental R&D, estimated at $580 million, constitutes only 8 percent of its $7.1 billion in environmental programs,

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