Republicans and Democrats Praise DOE User Facilities

Statements from top Republican and Democratic members stressed the importance of the DOE user facilities.

ORNL_SNSAt the June 21 hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, strong support was demonstrated for the Department of Energy’s user facilities on both sides of the witness table and both ends of the dais. Republicans and Democrats were alike in their praise for the facilities, with the clearest policy differences between them centering on the federal government’s role in supporting applied research.

The subcommittee met for about ninety minutes, hearing from three senior user facility officials and two top officials from corporations. Similar to the day-to-day cooperative arrangements that the witnesses described at these facilities, there was little or no dissention among the witnesses, a somewhat uncommon occurrence.

A subcommittee briefing document explained that the DOE Office of Science requested $4.9 billion for FY 2013. Of that, 47 percent was for the “selection and management of research,” 38 percent for “operation of world-class, state-of-the-art scientific facilities,” and 14 percent for new facilities’ construction. The Office’s six programs support 31 user facilities, and it is estimated that 26,500 academic, national laboratory, industrial, and international researchers will use these facilities in FY 2013.

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Source: Richar M. Jones | FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News
Image: Oak Ridge National Laboratory