Federal Budget Cuts Threaten Illinois Research Labs

Over at Crain’s Blogs, Joe Cahill writes that the current Federal budget impasse imperils cutting-edge work at the Chicago area’s biggest scientific centers including Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory and NCSA in Champaign-Urbana.

Funding cuts to DOE’s basic science mission would be severe,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu warned earlier this month in a letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D.-Md., who leads the Senate Appropriations Committee. Mr. Chu said sequestration would squeeze research funding, delay construction projects and generally curtail operations at DOE facilities around the country, including the national laboratories. That would come on top of cuts Fermilab already has made as a result of President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2013 budget, which would reduce the lab’s funding by 8 percent. In response, the lab eliminated 49 jobs, or about 3 percent of its staff.

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