Dr. Ray Orbach 
Undersecretary for Science at DOE, where he has directed the Office of Science since 2002

Mr. Dennis Spurgeon 
Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy at DOE

Mr. Alexander Karsner 
Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE

Mr. Kevin Kolevar 
Director of the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at DOE

Mr. Thomas D. Shope 
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy

Press Release


WASHINGTON, March 7, 2007 – At an Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing today examining the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) fiscal year 2008 (FY08) research and development (R&D) budget request, Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Inglis (R-SC) associated the budget request to a business investment in our Nation’s future.

“As we discuss the proposed R&D budget today, I think we all realize that we aren’t accountants sitting around just talking numbers -- we’re investors.” Inglis said. “The alternative fuel industry is a start-up business opportunity that promises huge payoffs for our nation’s security, environment, and our economy. We have the ability and opportunity to partner with this promising enterprise and lend federal resources to help establish the alternative energy industry.”

Inglis continued to say that more needs to be done, and as a Nation, we must continue to invest generously in order to reap the economic and environmental benefits. He said, “We haven’t yet reached a place of energy security, nor have we scratched the surface of what economic benefits will come from energy advancements, but we don’t have to look far to see great payoffs from today’s investments. For that reason, we must stay committed to providing our scientists, national labs, and other R&D programs with adequate funding to continue the progress already made, and ensure our nation’s energy security.”

As a passionate supporter of the great potential of hydrogen technology, Inglis expressed concern over the proposed funding for the President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. “I have specific concerns I will address regarding the future of the President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative,” he said. “For example, what exactly does the proposal mean when it says that the budget request ‘completes the President’s commitment of $1.2 billion over five years for this initiative?’ I hope that you agree with me that $1.2 billion is a good start and certainly not the end of our efforts.”

Also making an appearance at today’s Subcommittee hearing was Science and Technology Committee Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX) to voice his concern over the proposed elimination of his Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Research Fund, which was included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

In a question addressed to Mr. Thomas Shope, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at DOE, Hall maintained that “The program pays for itself through funding from royalty revenues that oil and gas companies pay to the Federal government.” He added, “The program doesn’t cost the government anything, it would provide access to known reserves that we just can’t get to, and it involves technologies developed in schools and Universities. It’s simply a win-win deal.”

Along with Mr. Shope, four other DOE officials testified today before the Subcommittee: Dr. Ray Orbach, Under Secretary for Science, DOE; Mr. Andrew Karsner, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE; Mr. Dennis Spurgeon, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, DOE; and Kevin Kolevar, Director, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.



Department of Energy Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2008

Hearing Charter