WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), today held a hearing examining Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s vision for managing and executing the department’s missions in the 21st century. Members heard from the secretary on opportunities to update and align DOE’s missions and operations with the emerging energy, national security, environmental, and technological challenges confronting the nation.
“The secretary demonstrated he is willing to take action in the area of electricity market regulations. This is an area that the Energy Subcommittee is currently very engaged in, with seven hearings thus far under our belt,” said #SubEnergy Chairman Upton. “While I reserve judgement on the policy solutions, the fact that the secretary stepped in to this complicated debate reflects the current need to have a broader conversation about the functioning of the nation’s electricity markets.”
Secretary Perry echoed Chairman Upton’s remarks, stating, “This proposal is just a first step in seeking to ensure that we truly have an energy policy that first and foremost protects the interests of the American people. Following the recommendations of the Staff Report, the Department is continuing to study these issues and, if, necessary, will be prepared to make a series of additional recommendations to improve the reliability and resiliency of the grid.”
When discussing the committee’s Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act legislation, #SubEnvironment Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) asked Secretary Perry, “Are you encouraged by the language in the committee’s bill that will help the Department of Energy move forward in the interim and long-term solution to this problem?” Secretary Perry replied, “A 49-4 vote is a pretty clear message, sir.”
Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) asked Secretary Perry to outline the department’s plans to accelerate DOE’s environmental cleanup work. Secretary Perry responded, “Historically there have been some decisions made that were certainly not in the best interest of taxpayers. Not in the best interest of a timely cleanup… I’m confident that in some of these really big projects on the cleanup side, that we are making progress and as you rightfully stated, as we speed these processes up, we save substantial amounts of dollars going forward.”
“The energy threats today are not the same threats of the 1970s, but they remain significant. This committee will work in the coming months and through this Congress to ensure the department’s organization and missions are aligned with the energy security challenges of today,” concluded full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “I look forward to working closely with DOE and my colleagues as we ensure the agency is positioned appropriately for the energy security challenges that lie ahead.”
For more information on today’s hearing including a background memo, witness testimony, and an archived webcast, click HERE.