Rush Opening Statement to the Department of Energy Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Hearing
WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Ranking Democratic member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power participated in the Department of Energy (DOE) Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Budget hearing.
In Rush’s opening statement, he expressed appreciation for the DOE’s commitment to establishing the Minorities in Energy Initiative, but pointed to concerns regarding the amount of resources the agency is actually investing in the initiative, as evidenced by the DOE’s budget proposal.
Rush called for a separate hearing on increasing minority participation in the energy sector “in order to make up for the shortfall of workers who will be retiring and exiting the workforce, leaving behind a shortage of talented and skilled workers in their wake,” Rush stated. Rush deemed it necessary to increase minority participation and involvement within all sectors of the energy industry.
When questioning Secretary Moniz about the priorities highlighted in DOE’s FY15 budget request, Rush asked the following questions: (1) What is the amount allocated to the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, which is the agency primarily responsible for enacting the Minorities in Energy Initiative, both in terms of dollars and in terms of percentage?; (2) How many publicly funded national research labs are there and are any of these labs managed or operated by minority firms?; (3) Is there confidence from the DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, and any other programs the department operates to assist minorities, has the resources, including budget, staff, and authority, to effectively engage minority communities and help them access the enormous opportunities available within all of the different aspects of the energy sector?
In addition, to these inquiries Rush also indicated that he would submit a longer list of questions for the record and that he expected the agency to get back to him with answers in a prompt manner.
To view excerpts of the hearing view the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/u7rfh914slkjnyo/EP%20DOE%20Budget%204.3.14.wmv