President Clinton has kicked off his plan for the US economy with a $16.3 billion package of supplemental spending for fiscal year 1993, and the House Appropriations Committee has begun hearings on Clinton's program. Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary appeared at a standing-room-only hearing of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee on February 24, to testify on DOE initiatives in the plan.
The U.S. Senate approved yesterday the nomination of Hazel R. O'Leary as the new Secretary of Energy. This vote came just two days after O'Leary appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
O'Leary, 55, has been executive vice president for corporate affairs at the Minnesota-based Northern States Power Company. During the Carter Administration she worked in a senior position at the Federal Energy Administration.
"When I assumed responsibility as Secretary of Energy four years ago, the Department was a rudderless ship." - DOE Secretary Admiral James Watkins
So began the 48-page 1993 "Posture Statement" distributed at the January 8 meeting of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. The statement and meeting discussion summarized DOE's accomplishments, and yet unresolved issues.
On January 6, the Department of Energy and the Russian Federation Ministry of Atomic Energy signed an agreement to collaborate on the Superconducting Super Collider. According to Secretary of Energy Admiral James Watkins, the Russians will help with the "design, engineering and production of two of the project's booster accelerators."
At noon yesterday, President Clinton announced $10.6 billion in proposed cuts in the Department of Energy's budget over the next five years. It could have been worse: there has been considerable speculation in Washington over the last few days that the administration might have recommended DOE's termination.
As reported in FYI #104, House science committee members Rick Boucher (D-Virginia), Sherwood Boehlert (R-New York), and chairman George Brown (D-California), have introduced a bill, H.R. 4684, to authorize the Department of Energy's high energy and nuclear physics programs.
With passage by the Senate on June 30, the fiscal year 1995 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill has cleared both chambers of Congress. A conference will now be scheduled to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill.