250 General Science, Space & Technology:Reduce High Energy Physics Program Funding

Savings in Millions of Dollars
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023
  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2016-2020
  • 2016-2025


Savings are expressed as budget authority and were calculated by comparing current spending levels to estimated levels had FY 2008 spending increased only for inflation. The FY 2008 spending level of $701.5 million is found on page 16 of Nicolas Loris, “Department of Energy Budget Cuts: Time to End the Hidden Green Stimulus,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2668, March 26, 2012. The FY 2014 funding level of $797.5 million can be found on page 120 of House of Representatives, 113th Congress, 2nd Session, “Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2015” Estimated spending for 2014, if held constant at the 2008 spending level (plus CPI inflation as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), would have been $788 million, as compared to the enacted level of $797 million. The $9 million difference between the two spending levels was increased at the same rate as discretionary spending in the CBO’s most recent August 2014 baseline discretionary spending projections.


Technical Notes on Scoring

CBO Baseline

Unless otherwise noted, calculations for savings for each recommendation relies on the most recent Congressional Budget Office baseline, as found in “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024,” published August 27, 2014, has been used.

Savings “Totals”

While totals for the five and 10 year savings are provided by section and for the complete set of recommendations, there are two reasons they should not be viewed as representing total savings for The Budget Book.

First, as noted in the introduction, The Heritage Foundation would recommend that the savings realized in the Function 050 Defense section would stay within the Department of Defense to strengthen the nation’s defense capabilities.

Second, the numbers cannot be deemed to represent the realized savings if every single recommendation were adopted because policy changes made in one program can impact spending levels in other programs.  Thus, the numbers in the table do not reflect any potential interactions between the various policy changes affecting spending or savings.


Heritage Recommendation:

Reduce funding for the High Energy Physics (HEP) program. This proposal saves $10 million in 2016, and $102 million over 10 years.


Bring back that loving feeling & Reduce HEP funding to save $102 million over 10 years

The HEP program has the mission of uncovering “how our universe works at its most fundamental level.” In effect, HEP exists to explore how space, matter, time, and energy interact with one another. Financial support from the HEP goes to 10 national laboratories and more than 100 public and private universities to study proton-accelerator-based physics, electron-accelerator-based physics, non-accelerator physics, theoretical physics, and advanced-technology research and development.

Understanding these issues is an area of research that the private sector would likely not undertake, so it is an appropriate endeavor for America’s research labs and universities—but it is certainly not a critical function of government, especially considering America’s fiscal situation. HEP is an area in which universities would strive to be the best and attract young talent and private funding.

Bring back that loving feeling & Reduce HEP funding to save $102 million over 10 years

Contributing Expert

Nicolas (Nick) Loris, an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

See publications by Nicolas Loris

Nicolas (Nick) LorisHerbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow

Heritage Experts

Jack Spencer oversees Heritage Foundation research on a wide range of domestic economic issues as director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Those topics include federal spending, taxes, energy and environment, regulation and retirement savings.

See publications by Jack Spencer

Jack SpencerVice President for the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity

Katie Tubb is a Research Associate and Coordinator in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

See publications by Katie Tubb

Katie TubbResearch Associate and Coordinator

Additional Reading