FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

DOE Office of Science Update: Director, Senatorial Support, Appropriations Schedule, State Spending

Richard M. Jones
Number 74 - June 10, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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New Director of the Office of Science:

The nomination of William Brinkman to be the Director of the Office of Science was sent to the full Senate yesterday after being approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Brinkman appeared before the committee on June 2 with two other nominees. In his remarks, Brinkman described his research and management experience at Bell Laboratories, Sandia National Laboratory and at a research organization. He told the committee “Although the DOE has had many research successes and accomplishments, I believe that we can improve management, and the relationship between headquarters and the laboratories. If confirmed, I will strive to make the management as straightforward and effective as possible, recognizing the difficulty inherent in the unique, cutting edge projects that DOE takes on.” His testimony touched on basic research, science education, energy, nonproliferation, and nuclear security.

In response to the senators’ questions, Brinkman said both he and Secretary Steven Chu believe the Office of Science can make significant contributions in areas such as photovoltaics that can later be incorporated into DOE’s applied programs. Brinkman described the benefits of cooperation and competition among the national laboratories, said the U.S. international position in science “has waned a bit,” and spoke enthusiastically about the goal to double the Office of Science budget by 2016, saying there are many projects worthy of support.

Senators Supporting FY 2010 DOE Science Request:

Forty-two senators signed a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee in support of the FY 2010 DOE Office of Science request. This letter, organized by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was sent to Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Ranking Member Robert Bennett (R-UT) and states: “We are writing to express our support for President Obama's Fiscal Year 2010 request of at least $4.9 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Science,” and later continues, “We urge your continued support for the Office of Science so that we can maintain this critical investment in our nation's future.”

The following senators, listed alphabetically by state, signed this May 26 letter:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)
Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO)
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL)
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D)-NY
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI )

House Appropriations Schedule:

It was announced yesterday that the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee is scheduled to complete work on its version of the FY 2010 bill on June 25, with the bill to be considered on the House floor on July 15.

State Funding by the DOE Office of Science:

“Funding Innovations and New Discoveries” is a state-by-state guide prepared by the Office of Science providing funding information by states and institutions.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095