Page images
PDF
EPUB

fundamental change in the operations and methodology of the Department. And that is because the new national needs and the new challenges of the nineties demand a Department-wide redirection of resources and redefinition of purpose. Mr. Chairman, I welcome the opportunity to work with you

and the committee on this important undertaking and, if confirmed, I pledge to you hard work and a dedication to the purposes of this Department.

Thank you.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Curtis follows:) PREPARED STATEMENT OF CHARLES B. CURTIS, NOMINEE TO BE UNDER SECRETARY,

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am honored to appear before this Committee as the President's nominee to be Under Secretary of the Department of Energy. As this Committee knows, the Department of Energy is asked to contribute to the welfare of the nation by providing the scientific foundation, technology, policy and institutional leadership necessary to achieve efficiency in energy use, diversity in energy sources, a more productive and competitive economy, improved environmental quality and a secure national defense. This is a lofty and challenging mission and I am pleased to have the opportunity to share in its undertaking.

I pledge to you and to the public a straight forward commitment to work hard, to be open and honest and to accept responsibility for my actions. I share Secretary O'Leary's vision that the Department of Energy must be transformed to improve its overall effectiveness and to strengthen public trust in its stewardship responsibilities. I also share her commitment to total quality management and her dedication to excellence. I expect my performance to be measured by the results achieved. Effort and good intentions will not be enough. I and those members of the senior management already at the Department know full well that to serve the nation effectively we must bring about fundamental change in the operations and methodology of the Department. And that is because the new national needs and new challenges of the 90's demand a Department wide redirection of resources and a redefinition of purpose.

Although certain core responsibilities of the Department remain of those identified at its creation in 1977, the emphasis and mix of priorities has shifted in the post Cold War economy of the present decade. As Sieg Hecker, director of DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory succinctly observed: "With the collapse of the Soviet Union we may be the only military_superpower in the world, but we are by no means the only economic superpower.” This Department and its people and especially those scientists and engineers employed in our national laboratories who contributed so significantly to bringing about a peaceful conclusion to the Cold War are now asked to define how they might help solve the pressing problems of today— the need to improve environmental quality and to strengthen American competitive

If I am confirmed as Under Secretary of the Department, it will be my privilege to attempt to contribute to an answer to that important and immediate question.

I bring to the undertaking more than twenty years experience in energy and related matters. Although I hold a bachelor of science as well as a bachelor of arts and a law degree, my principal qualifications are tied to my experience in govern. ment. I have worked for the Executive Branch, the Congress and three independent agencies. I have prepared and defended budgets. I have served as the head of a federal agency—the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—that specialized in complexity. There I lead a transformation of operations and agency methodologies and helped manage a basic and far reaching change in agency culture. (and I am pleased to observe that due to the sustaining

contributions of my successors and the professional staff of the Commission, that agency's reputation for effectiveness and competence has continued to grow over the last dozen years.]

From all of this I have gained experience and a perspective of the potential and limits of government that I trust will serve me well in this new and challenging endeavor. Most of all I will attempt to bring to the responsibilities of Under Secretary a discipline of “common sense,” which I note Sam Rayburn once observed is all the sense a person needs to have.

As you know, the Under Secretary of the Department has oversight responsibilities for the Science and Technology and National Security related programs of the Department, for Environmental Management, and for the Industrial Competitive

ness.

as well.

ness initiative. These are each extraordinarily important undertakings. Before I conclude these“ remarks, therefore, it is perhaps appropriate for me to offer a few comments that state my orientation to this mission, particularly the science and technology responsibilities.

I have met with each of the Assistant Secretaries who have program responsibilities subject to the oversight of the Under Secretary. Their credentials were reviewed by this Committee and you gave them your unanimous approval. I am pleased to tell you that I believe your confidence in these individuals is well placed and will be amply demonstrated. Much good work is underway and progress has been made in each area.

I do not see it as my purpose or responsibility to micro manage these offices nor would I expect you to think it wise of me to attempt to do so. Rather I see, and I know the Secretary expects, my primary contribution to be one of matrix management—to crosscut individual department programs to foster greater-interaction and collaboration in meeting the Department's responsibilities.

In short, it will be my task to help the Department reach across organization boundaries, to start thinking like a Department not as individual program offices and to focus the Department's collective resources on getting the job done. That type of activity is very much needed, though especially hard to do at DOE, which has a long tradition of balkanized program offices and linear organizations. The need“ for better focus and programmatic integration is particularly, evident in the Department's science and technology program responsibilities

and the greatest potential for return on the investment of time and initiative in matrix management lies here

As this Committee is well aware, the Department has enormous technological capability. You have yourselves invested a great deal of time and labor in a bipartisan effort to begin to transfer usefully into the market place some of that great reservoir of scientific and technical capability by investing in dual use technology development and technology transfer initiatives. Your collaborative work with your colleagues on the Armed Services Committee is a classic example of the type of crosscutting integration of effort and purpose that the Department needs to bring to the work of its Defense and Energy Laboratories. Much progress has been made but more, much more, needs to be done to foster better co-planning of research across the department--and externally with industry and other agencies.

If confirmed as Under Secretary, it will be one of my primary responsibilities to see that meaningful and measurable progress is made in this area. As the President has observed "[tjechnology is . a powerful tool for making government more efficient and responsive, harmonizing our economic growth and environmental objectives and making more efficient use of our energy resources." 1 While technology may be the engine of economic growth, creating new jobs, building new industries and improving our standard of living, energy remains the life blood of our economy; its availability, costs and its use pace economic activity and define environmental quality. The Department's most enduring technology challenge is to find a safe and secure path for future generations that will allow society to meet both its economic goals and its environmental responsibilities. That challenge should be the organizing force of our crosscutting efforts. To be successful will require a strengthening of the U.S. science and technology base and more effective innovation. It will require program balance-a sustaining commitment to fundamental or basic research and a dedication to technology transfer. It will require partnerships with other federal agencies, industry, universities and state and local governments to get the job done. And it will require effective management and hard work.

I welcome the opportunity to work with you and the Committee in this important undertaking.

Senator FORD. Thank you very much, Mr. Curtis.

We have been honored by the presence of the Secretary of Energy. STATEMENT OF HON. HAZEL R. O'LEARY, SECRETARY,

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Secretary O'LEARY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I am very pleased to be here this morning to endorse an old colleague, a man whose wisdom and integrity is

1 Technology for Economic Growth: President's Progress Report, November 1993 Transmittal Letter of October 28, 1993.

Thank you.

unquestioned in this town and throughout the Nation and appreciated most by those who know him and have worked with him. It is, quite frankly, my honor and my privilege to have him as a part of my team, and I urge your early confirmation of this gentleman because he is sorely needed at the Department of Energy.

Senator FORD. Thank you very much, Madam Secretary.

I have met with both of the gentlemen privately in my office. I am satisfied with the answers they gave to me. Mr. Uram, I gave him some questions, and those questions and answers will be a part of the record, so I see no need to prolong the hearing this morning by reiterating those. "And so I will glad to yield to my friend and colleague, Senator Wallop.

Senator WALLOP. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And owing to the vote, I will be brief too and would ask that maybe we might be able to submit questions.

Senator FORD. I think that would be appropriate. And having dealt with both these gentlemen, they have responded very quickly.

Senator WALLOP. Mr. Curtis, the Department of Energy seems to be attempting to promote a policy of energy development, but the Bureau of Land Management seems to be doing everything in its power to deter it, moving towards a yet-to-be-defined policy of biodiversity ecosystem management rather than traditional land management, in the judgment of on-the-ground land managers.

And as a result the oil and gas industry, in my State in particular, has been told that in order to explore for and develop oil and gas on Federal lands their operations must be compatible with local ecosystems, a definition for which has yet to be delivered by the Department of the Interior. These demands are made even before the Agency has made any effort to look at site-specific requirements. I wonder how you respond to these inconsistencies and what, if anything, you sense that the Department of Energy may be able to do about it?

Mr. CURTIS. There are two aspects of your question that I would respond to, Senator. My experience over the last several years suggests to me that the need to accommodate our energy and economic goals with our environmental responsibilities is the most difficult and challenging task that we have as a society, in this generation and for future generations. What you have laid out is a classic circumstance where important Federal polices demand both environmental responsibility and the development of a vital resource for this country. How to accommodate those two important goals is a very serious public policy question.

I have to confess to you, I am not familiar with the requirements that you speak of being imposed on oil and gas development, so I cannot answer specifically whether those goals are being applied in a rational way.

Senator WALLOP. I understand that and would not have expected you to be able to answer it in detail. I bring it up because I think it is important.

Mr. CURTIS. Yes, sir.

Senator WALLOP. And I believe that the administration has to begin to argue internally about what I see as the ultimate arrogance of a Nation with resources denying them to themselves, itself, on environmental grounds, and putting offshore in other Third World countries the degradation that we know is going to be able to take place.

It does two things. It adds to our balance of payments deficit and it adds to the world's environmental problems, and we know for a fact that what we would be doing is endlessly more accountable than what is going to be taking place offshore. So we cost ourselves jobs, cost ourselves security, cost ourselves balance of payments, and we cost the world's environment at the same time. It seems to me that at some level in there we have to get into that argument.

Mr. CURTIS. Yes, sir, that is very troublesome. Let me make one comment, though. I think the oil and gas industry in this country is a vital industry, and maintaining its productive capability is a very important responsibility of our Government. And I think the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary have evidenced a strong dedication, through the Oil and Gas Initiative, to trying to deal with that problem. More needs to be done.

Senator WALLOP. I appreciate that. And nobody is asking-least of all me, who comes from a State with vast natural resources and vast natural diversity and beauty–nobody is asking for it to be done irresponsibly. But we have produced 5 billion barrels and we are still a destination of choice, and most of us live quite happily and healthily, more happily and healthily there than many other parts of America. We believe that it can be done responsibly, and would ask for the help of the Department in getting to that point.

And then lastly, as a representative of the major—the largest coal-producing State, and a number of us–Senator Ford hardly behind-it troubles me that there is no mention or support for coal as a vital energy source in the administration's energy policy. Can you explain why this is the case, when imports of other energy sources are on the rise?

Mr. CURTIS. I know Secretary O'Leary is dedicated to maintaining a diverse energy resource base for this country. The Department continues to invest very heavily in clean-coal technology, which is a key developmental element in our ability to continue to utilize coal as a contributor to our energy requirements. So I think the Department at least believes coal has a very important continuing role to play in our economy. Senator WALLOP. Thank you.

Mr. Chairman, I have had a visit from Mr. Uram and asked and received answers to a number of questions. I have got a couple that I will submit to him, but in the interests of time I will submit those in writing today.

Senator FORD. May I put the committee on notice, in order not to slow up the approval of these two nominees, that members should get their questions in by 6 today, if they could, so that we can present them to the nominees and get an answer. Senator Campbell. STATEMENT OF HON. BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, U.S.

SENATOR FROM COLORADO Senator CAMPBELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have to be over on the floor in about 10 minutes, so I will just say that I am happy to support both of these nominees, but would perhaps caution them that those of us in the West have been somewhat worried about some of the appointments. If you have been reading the clippings of some of the fights we have had already, you already know that. Because in some cases we feel that they have really been advocates for a certain agenda rather than objective administrators.

And I guess you both know, as I do, that oil and gas and coal in our part of the country is extremely important. It is one of the major cornerstones of our economy. And not only from the standpoint of taxes and jobs, but we—most of us in the West firmly feel that the more difficult it is to mine or drill, the more dependent we become on foreign resources and we end up fighting more wars like we did in Kuwait.

None of us advocate the destruction of the environment. I think all of us are very concerned about making sure we have proper reclamation and taking as good a care as we can of the environment, but there seems to be an agenda, at least on part of the appointees, that are going to put us at terrific risk, we think.

And I would just mention that to you so that you know that from my standpoint I look forward to working with both of you, and I am going to support both of you. But there may be a time when I feel that it is not in the best interests of this country, part of the agenda that we have seen, that we may be on the opposite side of the table. But that does not detract from that I think you are going to do a very good job.

Senator FORD. Thank you, Senator.
Senator Craig

Thank you.

a

STATEMENT OF HON. LARRY E. CRAIG, U.S. SENATOR FROM

IDAHO Senator CRAIG. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Both Mr. Curtis and Mr. Uram, I appreciate having you before the committee. I will be brief, but there are a couple of points I wanted to make.

First of all, Mr. Curtis, we are pleased to have you on board, and I am pleased to see the Secretary here this morning. Obviously, she needs all the help she can get, and I mean that in a positive way. She has got a big job to do, and with your background and experience I think you are going to be a tremendous resource for her.

One issue that I have talked to the chairman about and one that you may well, as Under Secretary, be facing—and it is one that I alerted the Secretary to early on in her tenure—was the issue of boron neutron capture therapy. That while the Department of Energy, prior to you all coming, demonstrated the same kind of opposition to it that is percolating out of the bureaucracy of DOE, there will be in the near future, I think, some very exciting opportunities to privatize that issue and to work with the private sector in facilitating a particular reactor in my State on the grounds of our National Laboratory, to allow a consortium relationship that really ought to go forward.

And I would hope that DOE does not oppose it, but works to help facilitate it. I say that whether it is me or my constituency. Senator Wallop had a constituent recently who found the need to try to go

« PreviousContinue »