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AFS urges Congress to restore metalcasting research funds.

As a member of the Cast Metals Coalition, AFS is working to secure additional metalcasting research funding in Congress for the Metalcasting Industries of the Future (IOF) program. Managed by the U.S. Dept. of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the program is a public-private partnership that cost shares pre-competitive energy efficiency research designed to make revolutionary improvements in metalcasting processes.

In February, the Bush Administration reduced its request for Metalcasting IOF funding from the enacted level of $4.1 million in FY2004 to $2 million in FY2005. The program received $5.3 million in FY2003. To persuade Congress to restore the cuts to metalcasting research, AFS members lobbied their representatives and senators.

The message delivered was that a restoration of metalcasting funding to at least $4.1 million is vital for the current and future status of the program. If the proposed cuts are implemented by Congress, many existing research projects would shut down, and no new research would be undertaken in the coming year. In addition, there also would be a strong possibility that DOE would interpret the cuts as a sign that lawmakers no longer support metalcasting research and would steer the program toward elimination.

As a sign of the strong, bipartisan support for metalcasting research in Congress, AFS members successfully obtained the signatures of 18 representatives and 12 senators on letters to the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittees, which decide on funding levels for the Metalcasting IOF program and look to such letters for an indication of the level of support a program has among lawmakers.

The House Appropriations Committee approved the Interior subcommittee's funding recommendation of $4.1 million for FY05. By the time of publication, the Senate Interior Subcommittee had yet to take action on its annual funding bill.
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Title Annotation:Washington Alert; American Foundry Society
Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Previous Article:AFS expresses concerns over talks with China on market economy status.
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