May 10, 2001
12:00 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - “This budget proposal is important – in light of the energy crisis we face – because the Department of Energy will play a significant role in managing this crisis. The reality is that to end this crisis we must develop a comprehensive national energy strategy that increases production, expands the use of alternative and renewable energies, and improves energy efficiency and conservation,” said Chairman Frank H. Murkowski today during a hearing to consider the Department of Energy’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2002. “The Energy budget request contains initiatives in each of these areas: production, alternative fuels and renewable energies, and energy efficiency. I’ve said this many times, we need a balanced comprehensive approach to meeting our energy needs. One that includes conservation and renewables,” Murkowski said. Several recent events in energy markets have called into question the future availability , cost, and reliability of our traditional fuels like crude oil, natural gas, coal, electricity and renewables. This has raised concerns about whether the U.S. can continue to rely on the reasonably priced fuels that have powered our economic growth in the face of significant increases in demand projected over the next 20 years. The Department’s FY 2002 budget focuses on energy programs that work to develop the next generation of tools for production. “Finally the budget includes an increase for the Office of Science , at $3.16 billion. It is interesting to note that the Department of Energy is the third largest government sponsor of basic research in the United States, after the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. The Department’s research has yielded several exciting findings in the past year, including the human genome, and climate modeling,” Murkowski said. The Department of Energy is the largest government supporter of the physical sciences, with responsibility for basic research in high-energy physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy science. Also supported by the Department is important research in the fields of biology, chemistry, and nuclear medicine. “I congratulate you on a responsible and modest budget proposal, something that is not always easy to do around here. I look forward to working with you to implement a balanced energy strategy that focuses on conservation as well as increasing our domestic supplies of energy,” said the Chairman. ###