Reading Room

Senator Feinstein Slams DOE Nuke Budget at Hearing

On April 9th there was a Department of Energy Budget Hearing before the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, which is chaired by California Senator Dianne Feinstein. She made an opening statement that reflects her (and our) disappointment with the Agency's nuclear priorities. Here is an excerpt:

"What is disappointing is that we had a discussion about priorities before the budget submission and you assured me that the fiscal year 2015 budget would be more balanced than prior years with a shift toward addressing the highest national security threats to this country."

"Instead, the budget request proposes an increase of $533 million, or 7%, for nuclear weapons-the largest single increase in the Department's budget-and an increase of $282 million, or 26%, for naval reactors. It looks like the Department of Defense dictated your budget again this year."

"In contrast, nonproliferation would see a cut of $400 million, or 20%, which would be the largest single decrease in the Department's budget, and a decrease of $209 million, or 4%, for environmental clean-up activities related to past nuclear weapons production and nuclear energy research."

"What I see are additional cuts to well-managed programs that have made this country safer from nuclear terrorism at the expense of increased funding for poorly managed nuclear weapons programs."

"Slashing programs that prevent nuclear terrorism and protect the health and safety of communities from the effects of nuclear weapons production is a major concern and I hope you are prepared with a good explanation."

If you would like to email her your appreciation for making such a strong opening statement at this important hearing, click here.