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Copyright 2000 Federal News Service, Inc.  
Federal News Service

March 2, 2000, Thursday


LENGTH: 3765 words


 Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify on the Department's budget request for FY 2001.

In the past year, a top priority of mine has been to improve the way DOE manages its people, its resources, and its programs. My senior managers and I have given management inefficiencies our closest attention and, I'm proud to report, we have achieved some excellent results--and we expect more. We listened to Congress, we studied DOE's business operations, we designed needed management reforms and we put them into action.

First, we changed the way headquarters and the field interrelate. We instituted a Field Management Council to bring coherence and weigh competing demands for requirements on the field, and assigned Lead Principal Secretarial Officers (LPSOs) responsibility for specific sites within the complex. We hired new managers at almost all our sites throughout the complex. Second, we increased the accountability of our top managers. We are depending more upon "line management," have empowered our program office assistant secretaries, and are holding them accountable for their specific areas of responsibility.

Third, working with the Congress, we regained control of assigning M&O contract employees to the Washington area. We restructured assignment procedures for these employees in Washington, required specifically defined tasks from them, and ordered closure of most M&O Washington offices reimbursed by DOE.

Fourth, working with the Congress, we are applying sound business principles to management of our construction and environmental remediation projects. We established and staffed the Office of Engineering and Construction Management to make major fundamental changes in our project management procedures, principles, and practices.Fifth, we initiated several immediate actions to correct security and counterintelligence problems within the Department that had existed for years, but had not received the appropriate level of attention. We have made substantial progress on an extensive program of security and counterintelligence improvements, including:

-- creating the Office of Security and Emergency Operations, consolidating the security functions throughout the Department; -- instituting a bottom-up internal security review; and, -- creating the Office of Independent Oversight and Performance Assurance, which independently oversees security, cyber security, and emergency management within the Department and reports directly to me.

And sixth, we have continued and expanded on our workforce initiatives. In 1995, the Department began a comprehensive effort to downsize its operations. The goal was to accomplish a 25 percent reduction in federal staffing by the end of FY 2001. The Department met that goal in January 1999 -- almost two years ahead of schedule -- and is still below that level. Contractor employment has also come down significantly and as of the end of 1999, it is 31 percent lower than in 1992.

Last year I launched the "Workforce for the 21st Century" Initiative to build a talented and diverse workforce to strengthen our technical and management capabilities and address new challenges. Workforce 21 addresses workforce readiness issues exacerbated by the downsizing of the federal government: significant skills gaps within the scientific and technical areas, and a workforce nearing retirement eligibility. Only 11 percent of the Department's workforce is under the age of 35 and only 8 percent of the technical workforce is under 35. For the first time in four years, under Workforce 21, the Department has been able to target hiring of key technical personnel and strengthen recruitment and internship programs to create a pipeline of employees ready to enter the DOE workforce at the entry and mid-level jobs.

Increasingly, we are competing with private industry to recruit and retain the highly skilled personnel required to deliver our missions. The growing skills gap has been recognized by the General Accounting Office, the Office of Inspector General, and the Defense Authorizing Committees. To address part of the scientific skills gap, I am proposing a Scientific Recruitment and Retention Initiative in this budget which totals $10.0 million.

We also have an opportunity and responsibility to address the longstanding underrepresentation of women and minorities in senior management and technical positions. I have initiated an extensive review of workforce management practices to identify barriers that hinder the promotion of a more representative workforce. The review resulted in a Department-wide strategic plan called "Achieving and Promoting a Workforce that Looks Like America: A Companion to Workforce 21." This plan establishes accountability and tracking systems, now in place, to build a representative workforce and instill workforcemanagement systems that foster equal opportunity in hiring, promotion, and training practices. I have also established a task force against racial profiling and emphasized the need to promote more partnerships with minority educational institutions.

We will continue to improve the Department's internal management capabilities to realize the full potential which our workforce and facilities hold for America. We've made progress in many areas, but we're far from finished. This budget will help us to go farther. It is a forward-looking request emphasizing investments for the future.

Mission Oriented

During this management process, the Department has continued successfully to carry out its critical missions. For example, in science, Department-funded researchers received 43 of the 100 awards given in 1999 by R&D Magazine for outstanding technology developments with commercial potential. This is the largest number ever won by any public or private entity in the history of the awards.

In national security, the Departments of Energy and Defense certified for the third consecutive year that the safety, security and reliability of our nation's nuclear weapons stockpile could be assured without nuclear testing. And we are well on our way to our fourth certification. We also completed important agreements with Russia to promote nonproliferation.

In energy resources, we proposed legislation to restructure the electricity industry, to give consumers choices, and save them $20 billion a year on their power bills. We hope Congress will act on it this year. We promoted new technologies for clean and renewable energy. We worked with utilities and the oil and gas industry to make systems Y2K compliant, and on January 1st, the lights stayed on.

For the environment, after years of delays and excuses, we opened the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, the nation's first nuclear waste repository. We formed partnerships with governors to clean up and close former nuclear weapons production sites, and set aside over three hundred thousand acres as wildlife preserves in Washington, Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, and New Mexico.

Strength Through Science

We've given this budget the theme Strength Through Science. Science is the focus because scientific research, both basic and applied, is integral to achieving our programmatic objectives in each of our mission areas. This is as true for our national security mission-which ensures that the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile remains safe, secure, and reliable, and counters the spread of weapons of mass destruction--as it is for our energy mission--to achieve continued reductions in the economic and environmental costs of producing andusing energy resources. It is also true for our environmental mission to clean up the nuclear and toxic waste that is the legacy of the Cold War.

Many of the technologies that are fueling today's economy, such as the Internet, build upon government investments in the 1960's and 1970's- including the Office of Science's "Esnet." The Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies have been the sponsor of sciencedriven growth through the combined efforts of the national laboratories, 70 Nobel Laureates associated with the Department, and thousands of outstanding university- and industry-based researchers nationwide.

This Department is among the top federal research and development funding agencies, regardless of the criterion used. We are first in scientific facilities and rank third in basic research after the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The Department of Energy is, at its heart, a science agency; in fact, 40 percent of our FY 2001 budget qualifies as R&D expenditures. We will spend a total of $7 billion on R&D in FY 2000 and plan to spend $7.65 billion in FY 2001, an increase of 8 percent.

Department of Energy FY 2001 Budget Request

The Department of Energy's FY 2001 budget request is $18.9 billion. This is $1.6 billion over this year's appropriation, a nine percent increase. Our budget is organized into four business lines; some highlights of each of these are described briefly below.

Energy Resources: $2.2 billion (an increase of $176 million, or 8 percent) to provide energy options for a stronger America. These investments will enhance U.S. energy security by providing more economical and environmentally desirable ways to use and produce energy. DOE continues to support a balanced portfolio of energy for America's future, and research and development (R&D) to enable a cleaner energy future. This request emphasizes energy infrastructure reliability, scientific carbon management and R&D, international energy R&D partnerships, and bio-energy/bio-power technologies.

The request features several cross-cutting initiatives involving the energy technology research offices (Fossil, Nuclear, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Science) that will ensure energy security through new economically and environmentally desirable means of using and producing energy. The Climate Change Technology Initiative and the International Clean Energy Initiative will identify and develop pre- commercial energy technologies and potential markets for their use. The latter effort builds on the conclusions of a recent report by the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) that identifies the need to bridge the gap between development and deployment of new technologies.

The Electric Grid Reliability Initiative will develop policies and technologies to enhance the security of our electricity supplies. The Carbon Sequestration Initiative follows a technology roadmap to accelerate R&D to mitigate the impacts of carbon emissions.The Enhanced Ultra Clean Transportation Fuels Initiative targets government and industry resources to develop a portfolio of advanced petroleum-based highway transportation fuels and fuels utilization technologies that are responsive to near-and mid-term environmental, regulatory and technical challenges.

Finally, the Bioenergy/Bioproducts Initiative will fund research to help make biomass a viable competitor as an energy source or chemical feedstock.

The Fossil Energy Research and Development program level of $385 million includes funding for the up-graded National Energy Technology Laboratory for fossil fuels research. This budget continues investments in advanced technological concepts and development of highly efficient power generation and fuel producing technologies that together could reduce, or perhaps nearly eliminate, carbon emissions from fossil fuel facilities. The centerpieces of this research include the Vision 21 energy plant of the future and carbon sequestration.

The proposed deferral of $221 million in the Clean Coal Technology program reflects schedule delays from the rescheduling of project activities and not a reduction in the level of support for this important program.

Funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy includes support for research to assist in the development of more efficient homes and buildings, wind energy, geothermal, photovoltaics, and bioenergy and biopower projects. Research will continue in the on- going Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), which is developing the prototype advanced technology vehicle in conjunction with the automotive industry.

The Weatherization Assistance Program, which reduces heating and cooling bills for lowincome residents, has an increased budget request for FY 2001 to weatherize approximately 77,000 homes. In addition, the Administration is requesting $19 million for this program in the FY 2000 Supplemental Appropriations package to cover 9500 more homes.

This Office also funds the Federal Energy Management Program, which helps federal agencies identify, finance and implement energy efficiency improvements for their facilities. The Federal Government spends $8 billion each year on energy for its own facilities and operations, and this program saves money for taxpayers by reducing that spending.

The budget for the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology_ has an increase of $21 million to support such important activities as nuclear energy research and development (including the expanded Nuclear Energy Research Initiative) and managing the inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride. The Department is also proceeding with the project to design and build facilities to convert this inventory to a more stable form, and in a manner that fully protects workers and the environment.This office also conducts a program to produce and distribute isotopes necessary for medical, industrial and research purposes, including the Advanced Nuclear Medicine Initiative.

The Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) sell electricity primarily generated by hydropower projects located at federal dams. First preference for the sale of power is given to public bodies and cooperatives. Revenues from selling the power and transmission services of the three PMAs are used to repay the U.S. Treasury for annual operation and maintenance costs, repay the capital investments with interest, and assist capital repayment of other features of certain projects. However the PMAs also buy and sell, as a simple pass through, purchase power and wheeling. This budget assumes that in FY 2001 the PMAs will use offsetting collections from the sale of electricity to finance purchase power and wheeling expenses previously funded by direct appropriations. Purchase power and wheeling activities financed through this method will be phased out in annual decrements by the end of FY 2004.

Science: $3.2 billion (an increase of $33 7 million, or 12 percent) to strengthen our science programs and provide the knowledge base for future innovation, thereby improving America's long-term position in an increasingly competitive world economy. We continue to promote a strong national scientific infrastructure and provide the technical foundations for our applied missions The FY 2001 budget includes initiatives to advance ongoing work at the frontiers of nanoscience, scientific computing, microbial genomics, robotics, bioengineering, and it will allow us to increase the use of our scientific facilities.

The budget calls for $182 million for Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) to increase computer modeling and simulation research and development.

Microbial genomics, an outgrowth of the Department's pioneering work in the Human Genome Program, is expanding efforts in microbial cell research. This research, which involves the study of organisms that have survived and thrived in an extreme and inhospitable environment, could hold the key to advance energy production and use, environmental cleanup, medicine, and agricultural and industrial processing.

Nanotechnology, or research and development into extreme miniaturized technologies, is funded at $91 million.

This work gives researchers the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level and could spark further development of supercomputers that fit in the palm of the hand, or tiny devices to fight disease or heal injuries from inside our bodies.

Also included in this year's science budget is $281 million for the Spallation Neutron Source and $247 million for fusion.

Environmental Quality: $6.8 billion (an increase of $511 million, or 8 percent) to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans. Within this business line, the Environmental Management budget of $6.3 billion supports proposals to continue our efforts to meet cleanup obligations to communities throughout the country. This amount is required to ensure that each cleanup site meets safety and legal requirements, supports accelerated cleanup and site closure, and maintains others critical environmental priorities. It will allow the Department to continue to implement the agreement I reached last year with the Governors of Colorado, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington on a Statement of Principles laying the foundation for a cooperative working relationship between DOE and the states with DOE cleanup sites.

The request features new initiatives to accelerate cleanup and protect health and safety at Gaseous Diffusion Plants (GDPs) in Portsmouth, Ohio, and Paducah, Kentucky. Last summer, after reports of alleged health and environmental problems surfaced at Paducah, I announced a strategy tO investigate, identify and remedy any past or remaining health, safety and environmental problems at these plants. I appointed an investigation team that made recommendations which resulted in a request for funding to achieve health surveillance, safety assessments, and environmental remediation goals within a rapid timeframe. The Administration also has submitted a $26 million FY 2000 Supplemental Budget Request to Congress to address additional concerns. This supplemental request and the FY 2001 budget will significantly increase funding for the two GDP sites.

The FY 2001 budget request also provides funding, subject to new legislative authority, to initiate cleanup of uranium mill tailings in Moab, Utah, to restore lands at the gateways of some of our most spectacular national parks. We also continue the Privatization Initiative and request an increase to support the Tank Waste Remediation System..

The Environment, Safety and Health budget provides an increase of $38 million, to $166 million, to make health and safety programs a key priority of the entire department. This includes $17 million for the Energy Employee Compensation Initiative.

The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management program is funded at $437 million to support determination of the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a permanent repository for nuclear waste. An increase of $77 million for Yucca Mountain design and engineering works allows DOE to maintain the schedule of work included in the Viability Assessment. The work performed in FY 2001 will end the site characterization phase of this project and support completion of the scientific and technical requirements necessary to determine whether the site is suitable for development as a geologic repository.

National Security: $6.6 billion (an increase of $502 million, or 8 percent) to promote peace and address the next generation of national security threats. The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2000 created a semi-autonomous agency within the Department, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). These national security program increases are necesssary to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of America's nuclear weapons stockpile, reduce nuclear proliferation threats world-wide, and protect against the threat of weapons of mass destruction. A total of $6.2 billion-up $432 million from thefunding level for these programs in FY 2000-is requested for departmental programs that are consolidated into the NNSA (Defense Programs, Nonproliferation and National Security, Fissile Materials Disposition, and Naval Reactors). The Albuquerque and Nevada Field Operations offices also are under the jurisdiction of the NNSA.

The Defense Programs budget is $4.6 billion, an increase of $273 million over FY 2000, to strengthen the stockpile stewardship program, maintain a skilled workforce, and develop and implement tools required to ensure the safety and reliability of America's nuclear deterrent without nuclear weapons testing. In addition, we have requested $55 million in supplemental FY 2000 funding for DOE's weapons production facilities and to meet DOE/DOD weapons refurbishment deadlines.

The request for the Office of Naval Reactors funds its mission to provide the Navy with safe, long-lived nuclear propulsion plants and to ensure their reliable operation, in keeping with the Nation's defense requirements. The program's responsibility extends from technology development through reactor operations to, ultimately, reactor plant disposal.

The Nonproliferation and National Security budget includes a new $100 million Nonproliferation Program for Russia that, for the first time, proposes a U.S.-Russian moratorium on increasing the stockpile of separated plutonium. Other parts of this program expand work already underway with our Russian counterparts (e.g., Material Protection, Control and Accounting) and add entirely new categories such as Russian Navy nuclear sites. This year's budget also includes increased funding for the Russian Nuclear Cities project which helps to engage Russian nuclear scientists and engineers in peaceful projects at their institutions.

The budget also requests $223 million for the Office of Fissile Materials Disposition for continuing the path forward to store and dispose of U. S. weapons usable fissile materials.

The remaining national security budget request includes department- wide offices of the Secretary of Energy that are not part of the NNSA. The most significant increase is for the Office of Security and Emergency Operations, with a program level of $340 million. The increase of $48 million is mainly for additional cyber-security activities and personnel.


Our FY 2001 budget is a strong statement reflecting this Administration's commitments to the American people. It is a request that emphasizes out strength in science and enables us to effectively deliver our missions.

I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman and other members of the Committee, to meet our responsibilities to the American people.


LOAD-DATE: March 7, 2000

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