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Brookhaven lab wary of job loss

Doon Gibbs of Brookhaven lab

Doon Gibbs of Brookhaven lab

The deputy director of Brookhaven National Laboratory said Friday that the facility could lose as many as “several hundred jobs” if Republican-backed cuts to the federal budget are not restored by the conclusion of the current legislative session.

Doon Gibbs, in an interview after an hour-long gathering at the lab in Upton held to provide an update of the facility’s economic impact on Long Island and the state, said the cuts could come as a result of slashes House Republicans made last week to a continuing resolution for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Gibbs said he could not be entirely specific about how many of the lab’s approximately 3,000 jobs would be cut, or in what areas, if the Republican bill goes through.

“But potentially there would be the loss of several hundred jobs,” Gibbs said. He said job levels have been increasing modestly at the lab in the last few years as a result of federal funding for energy programs, homeland security projects and other types of scientific research.

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), who was at the gathering for the lab’s first-ever State of the Lab briefing on the facility’s economic impact, noted House Republicans slashed funding for renewable energy and other programs.

“This impact of this would be significant,” said Bishop, who proposed to wage a battle against the cuts. “This is a budget I find it impossible to support,” Bishop said.

The House appropriations committee, led by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky)., approved a resolution to cut federal spending by $4 billion and keep government funded through March 18. About $77 million would be cut from the Office of Science; $292 million from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs,and $41 million from science and technology research.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), said spending must be brought under control because of the mounting federal deficit.

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