Alexander: Congress on Track for Fourth Year of Record Funding Supporting Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Posted on August 27, 2018

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OAK RIDGE, August 27, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Congress is on track to provide the fourth consecutive year of record funding for the Office of Science – the most important Department of Energy program that supports work at our 17 national laboratories, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory – and supercomputing.

“Congress is on track to provide the fourth consecutive year of record funding for the Office of Science, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest science and energy national laboratory. Earlier this year, Energy Secretary Perry traveled to Oak Ridge, where he announced that the United States will regain the number one position in the world in supercomputing, which we compete for every year with China and Japan,” Alexander said. “This is the result of not one year of funding, but of ten years of bipartisan effort through three different administrations, Democratic and Republican, to try to make sure America is first in supercomputing in the world. We continued to support supercomputing in our bill this year, and we’re on track to pass the bill before the fiscal year begins on October 1. I’m glad to be in Oak Ridge today and see firsthand the world’s fastest computer, which is one of the many reasons why continuing this funding is so important.”

Alexander is chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. The Senate passed Alexander’s Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill on June 25. In addition to record funding for the Office of Science, the bill also provides funding to modernize nuclear weapons facilities at the Y-12 National Security Complex, and accelerate cleanup of hazardous materials and facilities at the East Tennessee Technology Park, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12.

Alexander was in Oak Ridge today and toured the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex with U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Chuck Fleischmann.

“Over the last 75 years, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory has proven its scientific brainpower, energy research and technological capabilities are among the best in the world, and Tennesseans know that research at Oak Ridge means thousands of high-tech jobs for our state and higher family incomes. According to the East Tennessee Economic Council, in 2017, the Department of Energy supported 34,360 jobs in 50 of Tennessee’s 95 counties and added $3.4 billion to the state’s economy,” Alexander concluded. “I’ve told President Trump and the Office of Management and Budget that science, research and innovation is what made America first, and I recommend to President Trump that he add science, research and innovation to his ‘America First’ agenda. This will bring even more good-paying jobs to the Tennessee Valley.”

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