Department of Energy
• eliminate the U.S. Department of Energy; • transfer the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which is responsible for managing the DOE's nuclear-industrial complex, to the Department of Defense; • renegotiate the DOE's nuclear weapons cleanup programs to reflect prioritization of containment and neutralization of risk rather than removal and return of sites to pristine conditions and transfer cleanup responsibilities to the NNSA; • privatize all laboratories, except two of the three weapons laboratories, managed by the DOE; • eliminate all research and development programs overseen by the DOE or, failing that, transfer those programs to the National Science Foundation where they would compete with nonenergy research for financial support; • sell the assets held by the power marketing administrations to the highest bidders; • sell the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; and • spin off the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Energy Information Administration, and the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (which is responsible for regulating the long-term disposal of high-level nuclear waste) as independent agencies within the executive branch.
The Department of Energy is a large department by any measure. It has roughly 20,000 employees and a budget of $17.3 billion per year. Approximately 150,000 workers are employed at the DOE's national laboratories, cleanup sites, and other facilities. Notwithstanding its name, the DOE's primary role is that of caretaker of America's nuclear-industrial
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Publication information: Book title: Cato Handbook for Congress:Policy Recommendations for the 106th Congress. Contributors: Edward H. Crane - Editor, David Boaz - Editor. Publisher: Cato Institute. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 153.
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