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May 8, 1998
82 Congresspersons Sign Fusion Support Letter
Eighty-Two members of the U. S. House of Representatives signed a letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee chairman Joseph McDade urging him to "provide (the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences) a minimum of $250 million for this important program in FY 1999." This compares to this year's budget of $232 million and the President's FY 1999 request level of $228 million. The letter states, "Fusion research is unique in its status as both a basic science program and an energy research program and it deserves to be adequately supported as an important part of our nation's research and development portfolio."
The letter was initiated as a bi-partisan effort of Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Tim Roemer (D-IN). Bartlett and Roemer will be recipients of Fusion Power Associates' Public Service Award, as will be Representative Rodney Freylinhuysen (R-NJ) a staunch fusion supporter on the House Appropriations Committee. The awards will be presented at Fusion Power Associates annual meeting and symposium, June 3, in Washington, DC.
The complete text and names of the signers follows:
April 28, 1998
The Honorable Joseph M. McDade
Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
H-218 Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman McDade:
We are writing in support of the Department of Energy's Fusion Energy Sciences program and to request that your Subcommittee provide a minimum of $250 million for this important program in FY 1999.
As is described in the September 30, 1997 report of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), "The objective of DOE's fusion energy sciences program is to develop the scientific and technological basis for fusion as a long-term energy option for the United States and the world. The fusion R&D program is strongly centered in basic research and supports the important field of plasma science. Results and techniques from fusion plasma science have had fundamental and pervasive impact in many other scientific fields, and they have made substantial contributions to industry and manufacturing."
This past year has seen landmark results and progress in fusion research around the world. This progress comes at a time when there is renewed interest in the U.S. in both research and development in general and in the need to develop alternative energy sources. While fusion energy is a long-term prospect, it represents what may eventually become a technological development of extraordinary economic and environmental importance.
Despite its importance and the substantial progress being made, the fusion program is currently laboring under a significant funding shortfall as is evidenced by the lack of adequate funding for new and innovative fusion approaches, significant under utilization of existing experimental facilities, insufficient dollars for basic plasma and fusion theory and science, and inadequate funding for work with our international partners. As the PCAST and other recent studies have concluded, adequate funding for this program requires at least $250 million instead of the current $230 million level.
Fusion research is unique in its status as both a basic science program and an energy research program and it deserves to be adequately supported as an important part of out nation's research and development portfolio. While not addressing every shortfall in fusion research funding, the PCAST recommended funding for fusion energy research is an acceptable compromise between program needs and the real fiscal constraints facing the federal government and we urge your support for it.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Bud Cramer AL Xavier Becerra CA Howard Berman CA Brian Bilbray CA George Brown CA Ken Calvert CA Tom Campbell CA Lois Capps CA Gary Condit CA Chris Cox CA Duke Cunningham CA Juilian Dixon CA Calvin Dooley CA David Dreier CA Anna Eshoo CA Bob Filner CA Elton Gallegly CA Jane Harman CA Duncan Hunter CA Jay Kim CA Tom Lantos CA Barbara Lee CA Zoe Lofgren CA Matthew Martinez CA Buck McKeon CA Frank Riggs CA James Rogan CA Lucille Roybal-Allard CA Loretta Sanchez CA Brad Sherman CA Ellen Tauscher CA Esteban Torres CA Diana DeGette CO Scott McInnis CO Charlie Norwood GA Ray LaHood IL Tim Roemer IN William Delahunt MA Barney Frank MA Joe Kennedy MA Marty Meehan MA Richard Neal MA John Olver MA John Tierney MA Roscoe Bartlett MD Bob Ehrlich MD Stenny Hoyer MD Connie Morella MD Vern Ehlers MI Robert Andrews NJ Bob Franks NJ Rodney Frelinghuysen NJ Robert Menendez NJ Frank Pallone NJ Michael Pappas NJ William Pascrell NJ Donald Payne NJ Steven Rothman NJ Marge Roukema NJ Jim Saxton NJ Christopher Smith NJ Gary Ackerman NY Sherrod Boehlert NY Eliot Engel NY Maurice Hinchey NY Edophos Towns NY Michael Doyle PA Jon Fox PA James Greenwood PA Paul McHale PA Curt Weldon PA John Spratt SC John Duncan TN Bart Gordon TN Lloyd Doggett TX Ralph Hall TX Eddie Bernice Johnson TX Nick Lampson TX Pete Sessions TX Tom Davis VA Owen Pickett VA Scott Klug WI