Energy Under Secretary for Science Ray Orbach touched on many subjects during his briefing last week to the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee. While most related to ITER and other fusion-related topics, he was emphatic on a central point pertaining to all projects under his watch: "The Office of Science will not have cost overruns."

23 Jul 2007

At 5:00 p.m. yesterday President-Elect Barack Obama announced that he will nominate Steven Chu, currently director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to be the next Secretary of Energy. In making this announcement, Obama said:

16 Dec 2008

“It has been an 'interesting' year for DOE HEP program" stated one of the exhibits that Dennis Kovar, Associate Director of Science for High Energy Physics showed to the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel at its November 13 meeting. Kovar presented a broad overview of DOE’s High Energy Physics Program, with many of his remarks focusing on the funding outlook.   Joseph Dehmer, Director of the National Science Foundation's Division of Physics, also addressed the advisory panel, updating them on several NSF projects.

20 Nov 2008

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) outlined his legislative intentions in a speech to the Senate before it recessed for the November election. The chairman described his committee's future agenda in areas such as new energy technologies, energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, and funding. Bingaman also described plans to solicit expert opinion in coming months on matters before the committee.

11 Nov 2008

The importance of basic research to advances in new energy technologies and other innovations was highlighted during a hearing of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee earlier this fall.  The news from this hearing was positive, but in some cases, guarded.  All agreed that the DOE Office of Science's Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program has strong and enthusiastic supporters in the academic and industrial sectors, and that the BES program has the world's best scientific user facilities.  But funding for research programs  and facilities falls short of what is needed, and the failure

5 Nov 2008

A press briefing last week in Washington stressed the important role that basic research will play in meeting the nation's future energy needs. The briefing was sponsored by The Science Coalition and the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation, and featured four academic, business, and research speakers.

A petition was also released at this briefing by the Energy Sciences Coalition calling on the next president to support higher funding basic energy research.

26 Sep 2008

The American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society were two of the more than seventy scientific organizations, businesses, and higher education organizations who signed a petition that is being delivered to both Presidential campaigns. "We call on the next President to work with Congress to develop, fund and implement a comprehensive, multi-agency, basic research strategy to address our nation’s energy crisis and future energy security," the petition states.

24 Sep 2008

Under Secretary for Science Raymond Orbach spoke in unambiguous terms at  recent meetings of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel and the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee.  Describing the FY 2008 budget outcome for the high energy physics program as a "slap across the face" for the field and for all of science, and telling the fusion committee that "we are really in trouble," Orbach warned that the large FY 2009 budget request for the Office of Science is a "sitting duck."               

26 Feb 2008

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and 34 Nobel Laureates have called for changes to be made in the House-passed climate change bill to increase funding for the development of new clean energy technologies. Holt raised his concerns during House consideration of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The Nobel Laureates discussed this same concern in a letter sent to President Obama last week.

22 Jul 2009

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Steven Chu's appearance before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee went well.  This hearing to consider Chu's nomination as the next Secretary of the Department of Energy demonstrated much interest in the nominee's view on the future of  nuclear and coal-fired electricity production, bioenergy and solar energy, global warming, and, in some cases, local concerns.

16 Jan 2009


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