On Wednesday, April 2, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz outlined a range of budget request priorities, including plans for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced research.
Chairmen Rogers and Simpson, Ranking Members Lowey and Kaptur, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Budget Request for fiscal year (FY) 2015. This is my first time appearing before this Committee since I joined the Department of Energy last May, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss how the budget request advances our clean energy, science, nuclear security, and nuclear waste cleanup goals to carry out the President’s priorities.
The President has made clear that the Department of Energy has significant responsibilities for advancing the nation’s prosperity and security through its mission. In particular, I would like to highlight three critical mission areas of the Department.
As the President said in the State of the Union address, “the all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades.” This strategy is driving economic growth and creating jobs, while lowering our carbon emissions. We are producing more natural gas in the United States than ever before. And for the first time in twenty years, we are producing more oil at home than we import from the rest of the world. We have also made remarkable progress in clean and renewable energy. In the last five years, we have more than doubled the amount of electricity we generate from wind and solar. At the same time, we are making the investments that will enable coal and nuclear power to be competitive in a clean energy economy, and aggressively advancing efficiency for its economic and environmental benefits.
In June 2013, the President launched the Climate Action Plan. Under this plan, the Department is working to reduce the serious threat of climate change and, with a heightened focus on resilience, preparing American communities for the impacts of a changing climate that are already being felt.
Just over a week ago at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the President reiterated his commitment to nuclear nonproliferation and security, calling on the global community to decrease the number of nuclear weapons, control and eliminate nuclear weapon-usable materials, and build a sustainable and secure nuclear energy industry. All of these areas are central to the Department of Energy’s mission: maintaining a strong and credible strategic deterrent, working to secure and eliminate vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, and advancing safe nuclear power technology for the decades ahead.
Both of these mission areas – clean energy and nuclear security – depend on sustaining America’s research and development (R&D) leadership. The Department of Energy, to a large extent through our seventeen national laboratories, plays a key role in our nation’s respective advantage in the physical sciences.
Finally, the President’s Management Agenda includes an emphasis on Federal agencies’ effective and efficient execution of their missions for the American people.