Today, U.S. Representatives Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL) and Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Science, Space, and Technology Energy Subcommittee sent a bipartisan invitation to Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to visit their respective congressional districts. The visit will include seeing first-hand the cutting-edge energy research in both locations, as well as the energy development resulting from that research. This invitation follows an appearance by Secretary Moniz at a hearing of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee on June 18.
Rep. Swalwell said:
"The Bay Area, and in particular the national laboratories in my congressional district, are leading the way in renewable energy research, and I hope to have the opportunity to show Secretary Moniz their impressive energy technologies that will help us achieve our mutual goal of clean, American-made energy to tackle climate change. For example, the National Ignition Facility at the Livermore Lab is well on its way to reaching ignition, which has the potential to provide us with clean, almost limitless energy, but this goal won't be realized if the Administration's proposed funding cuts close the lab. Likewise, I look forward to strengthening my own understanding of our country's energy needs and sources by visiting Chairman Lummis' district in Wyoming. I appreciate Chairman Lummis's partnership on the Energy Subcommittee as we explore our shared objective of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and creating a more sustainable future."
Rep. Lummis stated:
"The Department of Energy (DOE) wields an incredible amount of power over the development of resources in Wyoming. My Chairmanship of the energy subcommittee and the appointment of Ernest Moniz as Secretary presents a unique opportunity to reset DOE's relationship with Wyoming. Before Secretary Moniz is faced with decisions that affect real Wyoming families, I'd like to help him gain perspective on what DOE's decisions mean for uranium and coal markets. I hope he and Ranking Member Swalwell can meet and hear from the men and women of Wyoming who daily work to power America and whose work can either be helped or hindered by the DOE. Ranking Member Swalwell and I have built a good working relationship on this subcommittee. That relationship can only be strengthened by a similar commitment to understand the needs and interests of each other's districts. I am very pleased to join with Mr. Swalwell in issuing this invitation to Secretary Moniz. I hope the Secretary will quickly accept this invitation to visit Wyoming and California with us."
The text of the letter is below:
The Honorable Ernest Moniz
United States Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585
Dear Secretary Moniz:
We are writing to follow-up on your appearance before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on Tuesday, June 18, and to reiterate our invitation to visit our congressional districts.
As the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy, we were particularly appreciative of your making time to testify so quickly after being sworn in as Secretary of Energy. It presented an opportunity for the Members of the Science Committee to discuss the critical energy issues facing our nation.
We also want to take this opportunity to formally ask you to join us this year in our respective congressional districts to see first-hand the cutting-edge research and important work regarding energy that is occurring in both places.
Wyoming is the second highest energy producing state in the nation, and is far and away the highest energy exporting state. While much of Wyoming's energy production falls within the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, there are a great many issues over which the Department of Energy (DOE) has control. Chairman Lummis spoke of uranium and the DOE's uranium stockpile during the hearing. Wyoming also supplies 40% of the nation's coal resource, and boasts the top wind resource in the country. DOE's coal R&D program, fossil loan guarantees, and renewable energy efforts are all of great interest to the state. A visit to Wyoming would lend much needed context to the important decisions you will make regarding these vital sources of energy.
The Fifteenth Congressional District of California, which includes much of the East Bay, is home to a great deal of existing work on renewable energy. Most significantly, the Fifteenth District includes two premier national laboratories, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia. Each lab has unique projects designed to help us address energy needs now and in the future.
In particular, Lawrence Livermore contains the National Ignition Facility (NIF). NIF has the dual purpose of researching nuclear fusion, which has the potential for clean, almost limitless energy, and allowing us to maintain the safety and security of our nuclear stockpile without requiring nuclear testing. The President requested funding for NIF be drastically reduced. During the hearing, Ranking Member Swalwell outlined his and NIF's concern that this cut could result in its closure. It is important for you to see first-hand the exciting and ground-breaking work that NIF is doing so you can properly understand its important role in our national defense and energy future.
We look forward to working with you to schedule your visits this year and to address the energy challenges we face as a country. To coordinate scheduling, please contact Christie Clark with Chairman Lummis at 307-772-2595, and Karly Noblitt with Ranking Member Swalwell at 202-225-5065.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Cynthia M. Lummis Eric Swalwell
Chairman Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Energy Subcommittee on Energy
House Committee on Science, Space, House Committee on Science, Space,
and Technology and Technology