Dept. of Energy


Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month on DOE's national security programs. Committee chairman John Warner's (R-VA) opening comments set the tone for this uneventful hearing, Warner saying how pleased he was that President Bush selected Abraham for this position. "I hope that we can put that debate behind us," Warner then said when citing the establishment of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

23 Feb 2001

The budget for the DOE Office of Science has been essentially flat for a decade, a situation that its Director, Ray Orbach, states is causing "tremendous strain." His office is working with DOE advisory committees and professional societies on a strategic plan and a series of Occasional Papers which will identify "where scientific opportunities might lie."

8 Oct 2002

Now that Congress has returned from its recess, the appropriations committees will start putting together their funding bills for FY 2003. Among those bills of considerable interest to the physics community is the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill that funds the programs of the Department of Energy's Office of Science. The Bush Administration has requested increases in funding for physics research programs ranging from 1.7% to 6.5% for next year (see FYI #16).

8 Apr 2002

Earlier this week, Ray Orbach, the new director of the Department of Energy Office of Science, spent an hour outlining an optimistic future for the programs that he now oversees. This on-the-record discussion with a small group came a little more than two and one-half weeks after Orbach was sworn into office. Orbach is a theoretical physicist, and was chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, for ten years. He now oversees an annual budget of $3.3 billion.

5 Apr 2002

Comments on the new Department of Energy report, "Facilities for the Future of Science: A Twenty-Year Outlook,"have been positive. Selections from letters and statements follow:


20 Nov 2003

At a well-attended press conference and luncheon this Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham released the much anticipated report, "Facilities for the Future of Science: A Twenty-Year Outlook." The result of countless hours of discussions and meetings, and bearing the imprint of Office of Science Director Ray Orbach, the 45-page report charts future DOE science facility priorities. Future FYIs will be devoted to the content of the plan, the comments of a senior Department of Energy official, and initial reaction to the plan.

14 Nov 2003

Office of Science Director Ray Orbach offered candid remarks last week to the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee. Meeting in suburban Washington, this committee, chaired by John Hemminger, discussed the recent hydrogen energy workshop and facilities such as the Linac Coherent Light Source and the Spallation Neutron Source.

31 Oct 2003

The House Science Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources both held hearings last month on the management structure of the Department of Energy's national laboratories. Witnesses at both hearings agreed that the nature of the relationship between the management of the laboratories and the Department of Energy should be changed. The hearings were held, in part, in response to the Department of Energy announcement to open for competition the management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory.

4 Aug 2003

The parameters for FY 2004 funding for the Department of Energy's Office of Science are established. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have released their versions of the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill and the accompanying committee reports. The full House has passed its bill.

21 Jul 2003

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) has opened a series of hearings on the management of the Department of Energy's national laboratories. While somewhat reminiscent of the hearings held a few years ago on lab management, the June 24 hearing had none of the fireworks that marked earlier inquiries.

1 Jul 2003


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