Dept. of Energy

First Hearing on DOE Office of Energy Research Budget Request It has been a little over a month since the Clinton Administration sent Congress its FY 1998 budget request. A hearing last week of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee provides a first indication - mostly favorable, with some notable exceptions - of likely congressional reaction to the DOE Office of Energy Research budget request.

10 Mar 1997

Physics-Related Programs This FYI briefly summarizes the following FY 1998 physics-related budget requests of the Department of Energy: Basic Energy Sciences, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics. All quotations are from DOE's "Budget Highlights and Performance Plan." Note that dollar figures in this series of FYIs are not adjusted for inflation.

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES:

DOE requests an increase of $22.5 million, or 3.5% to $672.2 million. Identified as "Highlights of Program Changes" are the following:

21 Feb 1997

It was no doubt a long day for Department of Energy Secretary-Designate Federico Pena. Nevertheless, at the conclusion of his four-hour confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on January 30, Pena must have felt optimistic that there were no apparent "show stoppers" to his move to DOE.

5 Feb 1997

On December 16, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson met for the first time with his Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). In welcoming Richardson, SEAB Chair Walter Massey of Morehouse College cited some of the Secretary's priorities for DOE: protecting national security, advancing the frontiers of science and technology, helping to solve the problems of global climate change, and promoting electricity deregulation, a balanced energy portfolio, and safe, efficient clean-up of DOE sites.

30 Dec 1998

A perennial subject for congressional hearings is national laboratory management reform. Congress is as fond of holding hearings on this topic as the Department of Energy is of studying laboratory management, or having others do so. This fall was no exception, with a late September joint hearing by two House science subcommittees on lab reform.

17 Nov 1998

An all-day meeting of the DOE Laboratory Operations Board (LOB) last Wednesday offered a good overview of some programs and major concerns facing DOE and its national laboratories. While there was little discussion about the Office of Energy Research, there was much conversation about the quality of DOE's research, and real concern about the ability of DOE to fill and retain technical manager positions. About the last issue, one board member warned that "the department will go brain dead" in five years unless DOE addresses this problem.

15 Sep 1998

On his second day at DOE, new Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced that a major subcontractor has been selected to design and build the Department's Spallation Neutron Source (SNS). The facility, which is expected to cost a total of $1.3 billion and take approximately seven years to construct, "will provide researchers the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world," Richardson said. "Their work could lead to advances ranging from improved medical implants to lubricants and stronger, lighter materials for tomorrow's more efficient automobiles."

2 Sep 1998

Yesterday, on his first day in the job, new Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson met with DOE employees to discuss his thoughts on, and priorities for, the Department. As he begins his tenure at DOE, Richardson has been asked by President Clinton to continue to serve as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations into September, when nominee Richard Holbrooke will hopefully be confirmed to the U.N. position.

25 Aug 1998

On June 4 the Senate Appropriations Committee approved, by 27-0, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill for FY 1999, which funds the civilian R&D programs within the Department of Energy. The House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its funding bill tomorrow.

9 Jun 1998

"There is never a perfect time for a decision like this, but I believe that after five and a half years as a member of the Clinton cabinet, the time is now."-- DOE Secretary Federico Pena

DOE Secretary Pena will leave the Department of Energy on June 30. In a hastily called news conference yesterday, Pena announced his resignation "for personal and family reasons," saying that he and his wife "have three wonderful children, and it is now time for us to focus on their futures."

7 Apr 1998

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