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Witness Panel 1
The Honorable Edward SproatDirector, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste ManagementDepartment of Energy
STATEMENT OF EDWARD F. SPROAT III
NOMINEE FOR THE POSITION OF
DIRECTOR – OFFICE OF CIVILIAN RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANGEMENT
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
UNITED STATES SENATE
NOVEMBER 10, 2005
Mr. Chairman, Senator Bingaman, and Members of the Committee, I am sincerely honored to appear before you today as the President’s nominee to serve as the Director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management at the Department of Energy. I am fully aware of the challenges that face the person who holds this position regarding the disposition of the Nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high level radioactive waste, and I am deeply appreciative of the President’s and Secretary Bodman’s confidence in my abilities to meet those challenges.
I would like to introduce my wife Heidi Sproat who likes to describe herself as a native Californian transplanted by marriage. She has been a true friend and companion in our 26 years of marriage and deserves my endless devotion and thanks for running our family while I was in South Africa. Also with us are our three children: Kristen who is a third class midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, Eric who is a junior at Conestoga High School, and Keith who is a freshman at Malvern Preparatory School. Heidi and I are very proud of all three of them.
I am a Registered Professional Engineer who has worked in the nuclear energy industry for most of my career. Early in my career, I was in charge of the design and licensing of the electrical systems for the Limerick Generating Station which gave me the opportunity to develop the design, the licensing strategy and the documents required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to gain an Operating License for that nuclear plant.
In the early 1990’s, I led a major quality-focused culture change initiative across Philadelphia Electric Company as we prepared for deregulation that resulted in significant improvements in company performance and culture. I also held the positions of Director of Engineering and Director of Maintenance at Limerick, gaining significant experience in nuclear operations and leading technical organizations to high levels of performance.
In the late 1990’s, as the Director of Engineering for PECO Nuclear, I was the Design Authority for our fleet of nuclear plants and was involved in a number of interactions with the NRC on multi-discipline design issues. As Director of Strategic Programs, one of my responsibilities was managing the preparation of the license renewal application for our Peach Bottom nuclear plant, which was one of the first to receive its renewed Operating License from the NRC. I was also tasked by our Chief Executive Officer to try to reach a settlement with the Department of Energy regarding the spent fuel standard contract for our Peach Bottom plant. I was the lead PECO Energy negotiator in that effort which eventually resulted in the first settlement between the Department and a nuclear utility.
In 2000, as a Vice President of Exelon Generation, I represented Exelon on the Board of Directors of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Pty. Limited (PBMR). This company, located in the Republic of South Africa, is currently developing a modular high temperature gas reactor for electricity generation. In 2001, Exelon was asked by the Board of PBMR to allow me to become the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for one year. I assumed that position in January 2002 and held it until December of that year when I retired from Exelon. As COO, I led the organization in finalizing a preliminary design for the standard PBMR power plant along with completing credible cost estimates, project schedules and a business case for project launch that has been accepted by the South African government. Since that time, I have been working with the former Chief Executive Officer of Exelon to lead a consortium to design and build the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP).
Senators, I strongly share the belief of President Bush and Secretary Bodman that nuclear energy must be a part of the energy mix for this country in the future. It is the only near-term source of carbon emission-free base load electricity that is available to us. This country’s ability to continue to use and expand the utilization of this resource in order to enhance our energy security is directly dependent upon establishing and safely operating a national spent fuel repository as authorized and directed by Congress. That is why I have expressed interest in this position and I hope to have the opportunity to help the Department of Energy carry out that directive.
If confirmed, I would work with my Administration colleagues, the Congress, and other stakeholders to address the challenging issues that confront us with respect to spent nuclear fuel and high level radioactive waste. Among them are the repository design and license application, the transportation plan, the skills and competencies of the OCRWM organization, and the accumulating potential government liability associated with the unmet contractual obligations to move spent fuel. Although these issues are difficult, I believe it is critically important to our Nation’s energy security that we successfully address them.
If confirmed, I would approach the duties of my position with six values that I believe must be held by any person involved with nuclear power: Safety, Integrity, Quality, Accountability, Teamwork, and Continuous Improvement. If confirmed, I will reinforce these values both within the OCRWM organization and its contractors.
Regarding the upcoming licensing activities for the project, Congress has made it clear that the stakeholders are to have every opportunity to participate in a transparent process. The people who are going to be affected by this project both within the State of Nevada and along the transportation routes have every right to expect that they will get a chance to participate, learn, understand and influence how the spent fuel transportation and disposal system is going to work and impact them. My commitment to this Committee and to those stakeholders is that if confirmed, I will ensure that the OCRWM organization and its contractors fully embrace the NRC process that allows participation of the stakeholders in the licensing process and will be open to their good faith participation and feedback.
I am truly honored to have been nominated by the President for this position. I also recognize that success in this position will only be possible by close collaboration and cooperation with Congress and the States. If confirmed, I pledge to this Committee that I will keep you apprised of what is going on with this project and will welcome your ideas and feedback.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today, and I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
Jeffrey D. JarrettDepartment of Energy
Statement of Jeffrey D. Jarrett
Nominee for the position of Assistant Secretary, Fossil Energy
Department of Energy
Before the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
United States Senate
November 10, 2005
Mr. Chairman, Senator Bingaman, and members of the Committee, it is a great honor to appear before you today as the President’s nominee for the position of Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, for the Department of Energy. As you know I was before this Committee in December of 2001 when my nomination to my current position as the Director of the Office of Surface Mining was pending, and it is a pleasure to be back before you. President Bush has paid me the highest compliment by nominating me for this position and I very much appreciate Secretary Bodman recommending me to the President.
I also want to thank my family. My parents, Leslie and Agatha, were a formidable team and two of the hardest working, most honest people I have ever known. They never procrastinated, and they never shirked responsibility. They set an incredible example for me. Both of my parents served during World War II: my father as a marine in the South Pacific, and my mother as a naval officer. I have always tried to make them as proud of me as I am of them. My children, Sarah, age 19, and Tyler, age 11, are the pride of my life. Sarah has become an incredible young adult, and Tyler is the responsible “man of the house” when I am away on business. They are both extremely helpful members of the family, and that is a tremendous help to me. My hope for the kind of world I want them to live in motivates me as a public servant. My wife, Janet Goodwin, is my most trusted friend and adviser. I can always count on her to be pointedly honest when necessary, but most of all, I can always count on her. I want to thank all of them for the support, encouragement and love they have always shown to me.
My career began over thirty years ago in the coal industry. While a very young man, in my 20’s, I was made an environmental manager, and during my 13 year tenure in industry, became a general manager and then an executive. I was involved in almost every aspect of the coal mining business, learning about what it takes to manage a large organization, make payroll, comply with complicated and sometimes even conflicting government regulations, plan for the future by securing coal reserves and contracts, and still make a profit. Throughout these early years of my career I was substantially involved in state and national industry associations to keep abreast of emerging issues and to provide corporate perspective and input into public policy decisions. During this time I learned how critically important it is for industry to be able to rely on public policies that are clear, reasonable, and durable in making strategic business decisions.
It was my in-depth understanding of the industry and the specific interface of business and government that I brought to my next career as a public servant. For seven years I was the Deputy Assistant Director of Program Operations with the Office of Surface Mining, U.S. Dept. of the Interior. In that capacity I was primarily responsible for working with and conducting oversight of the eastern states in implementing the mandates of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. In that position I tried to minimize the ambiguities in government regulation that I knew were plaguing both industry and state regulatory agencies.
For the next six years I was a senior public policy decision maker for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, first as the Director of District Mining Operations, then as Deputy Secretary for Mineral Resources Management. By this time in my career I was ready for the leadership role in the mineral extraction programs in a state with a large industry. It was also my first significant exposure to other industries in addition to the coal industry, including the oil and gas industry, the insurance industry and the explosives industry. It was a great opportunity to make a real difference, and I think I did. For example, during my tenure I was able to implement a new surface coal mine bonding program that provides the highest level of assurance that adequate funds will be available to complete reclamation plans on future forfeited sites, and established the first comprehensive program in the nation to provide the financial resources for the perpetual treatment of acid mine drainage on sites where operators default on their obligations to treat water. A significant point is that the program was implemented with the complete support of all stakeholders including industry and the state legislature. That support was the direct result of our willingness to involve the stakeholders in the development of the program, and to address their legitimate concerns.
In 2002 I left the state leadership role and, after being considered by this Committee and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, I began my service as the Director of the Office of Surface Mining (OSM), Department of the Interior. These have been some of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding years of my career. During the past few years OSM, a relatively young agency, has achieved the highest level of stability it has ever enjoyed, and has achieved respect with states, industry, and a large segment of the environmental community. I have learned what it takes to work within the Administration, the Office of Management and Budget and Congress to advance important public policy issues.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I bring a unique perspective earned and learned over a career of involvement with energy and environmental issues because of my years as a coal industry executive and as a state and Federal public policy decision maker. But I also bring a more important perspective gained from the length of time I have been involved in energy and environmental issues: three decades. As much as I have always tried to bring certainty to the programs I managed, things do change. The nature of environmental concerns and the energy industry have changed, the technology has changed, the science we all rely upon has gotten better, and most important the concerns of the citizens we have a duty to protect have changed, and will continue to change. In a world of new information and shifting viewpoints, the person who is fortunate enough to lead the Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy program must be a good listener – someone who listens to the concerns and viewpoints of all stakeholders. I am a good listener, and I understand the challenge of finding common ground and common interests upon which to build solutions to the daunting problems we face together regarding this nation’s energy security. Communication – the listening side every bit as much as the talking side – is the key to understanding the complicated issues this nation faces.
I have been very fortunate to have opportunities which became excellent learning experiences. I learned first-hand the need for our government to be effective and responsive to the legitimate needs of citizens and the business community. I learned first-hand the need for our government to make wise policy decisions to meet changing world conditions. I learned that decisions by government agencies must not be made in a vacuum without real-world considerations. I learned the value of early involvement of all stakeholders in the decision making process. And I have learned that our country needs and expects public servants who will work with integrity and in the public interest.
During the past few weeks I have been able to meet with several members of this Committee and staff and hear some of your concerns and issues. I have also learned much about the activities of the Fossil Energy Program within the Department of Energy. From what I’ve seen so far, it is clear that there is critically important work being done in the Department by extremely talented engineers, scientists and other staff. The research, development, demonstration and deployment activities being carried out are critically important to the nation’s energy future. And they are not, nor should they be pursued in a vacuum. Technology cannot be deployed unless cross-cutting issues are understood and also addressed.
But of course DOE is not just research; it is charged with the responsibility of assuring coordinated and effective administration of Federal policy and programs. Critical to advancing energy policy that is reasonable, achievable and durable are the budget choices we make today regarding research, development and demonstration, because those decisions will significantly affect our energy choices of the future. Budget choices are always difficult because Federal dollars are a finite resource and there is certainly not unanimous agreement among all stakeholders about how those dollars should be spent. But decisions must be made and it is the responsibility of the Federal government to make them. If I am confirmed, you have my promise that I will work within the Administration, with this Committee and with the Appropriations Committees so that we can together make the wisest spending choices.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I sat before you four years ago and made a promise that if confirmed as Director of the Office of Surface Mining I would work in a bipartisan way with both houses of Congress and with all stakeholders. For four years I have worked hard to live up to that commitment and have been rewarded with tremendous cooperation and great partnerships that have allowed OSM to be successful. Today I repeat that promise if I am confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy.
Thank you for the opportunity to make this statement.