Alexander Says Record Funding For Most Important Federal Program That Supports ORNL

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

United States Senator Lamar Alexander Wednesday said the government funding bill increases funding for the most important federal program – the Office of Science – that supports work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the third consecutive year, and sets a new record funding level in a regular appropriations bill. The bill also includes significant funding increases in supercomputing and environmental cleanup in Oak Ridge. 

“The government funding bill includes record funding – in a regular appropriations bill - for the third consecutive year for the most important federal program that supports the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and demonstrates the importance that Congress attaches to the hard work of thousands of men and women who work in Oak Ridge and the importance of that to our national security and our high standard of living," said Senator Alexander. "Tennesseans know that innovative energy research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory means thousands of high-tech jobs for our state and higher family incomes. The funding in this legislation will help support Oak Ridge’s supercomputing facility, and Oak Ridge leads the world in some areas in that. Dozens of companies, from small business to Fortune 500 giants, have used supercomputers at Oak Ridge to remain competitive in the global market. Not only does supercomputing help scientists and companies, supercomputers at our national laboratories can be used by federal agencies to combat issues like waste, fraud, and abuse; finding terrorists and criminals; and helping the National Institutes of Health find cures and treatments for diseases. I’m glad we were able to provide a substantial amount of new funding for this effort.” 

The bill includes the following priorities for the federal program that supports ORNL: 

$6.26 billion for the Office of Science, which is $868 million more than last year and a 16 percent increase in the Office of Science’s funding level over last year. 

$810 million for Advanced Scientific Computing Research, which is an increase of $163 million over last year. 

Of this amount, $162.5 million is included for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, an increase of $52.5 million – or nearly 50 percent – above last year. 

Supercomputing is one of the most important programs at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and later this year the new Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge could be the fastest open source research computer in the world.   

Oak Ridge is also leading the way on the development of the next generation of supercomputers – known as “exascale.” 

The Exascale Computing Project will receive $205 million, which is an increase of $41 million over last year. Oak Ridge National Laboratory hosts the Exascale Computing Project Office. 

Senator Alexander said, “In addition, the bill includes new funding for advanced manufacturing, which is attracting companies to learn about ways to create new jobs. Last year, I had the opportunity to show Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, where we saw a collection of 3-D printers that companies to Oak Ridge and use to develop advanced manufacturing techniques. Industries are now 3-D printing everything from medical devices to epilepsy drugs, robotic arms to airplane parts, whole cars and buildings. This technology is already used by the automotive and aviation industries and has the potential to do much more. Government-sponsored 3-D printing research is beginning to transform the manufacturing sector in the same way that government-sponsored research played a large role, along with our free enterprise system, in the development of unconventional natural gas that has transformed the energy sector and will continue to shape America’s energy policy for decades.” 

The bill also includes: 

$305 million for advanced manufacturing, which is $47.5 million more than last year.   

For Oak Ridge, $20 million is included for the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.  

This funding will support the development of 3-D printing, low-cost carbon fiber, and other advanced manufacturing technologies.  

$14 million for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, which partners with the University of Tennessee. 

Senator Alexander said he has made a personal commitment to increase funding for cleanup of hazardous materials and facilities at Cold War-era sites in Oak Ridge. Senator Alexander went on to say, “This bill accelerates cleanup of hazardous materials and facilities at the East Tennessee Technology Park, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. The funding supports vital investments in a new mercury treatment facility – also known as Outfall 200 – which will help reduce the amount of mercury getting into Tennessee waterways to safe levels and make it possible for cleanup work at Y-12 to continue which supports thousands of jobs.” 

Senator Alexander spoke at the groundbreaking of the Outfall 200 mercury treatment facility in November. 

The bill includes the following funding for cleanup: 

$639 million for cleanup of Cold War sites in Oak Ridge, including the Outfall 200 mercury treatment facility. 

This is $141 million above last year's funding level and $125 million above the president's budget request.

Senator Alexander concluded: “I’m glad we have rejected the budget proposal and increased investment in ARPA-E.” 

Finally, the bill: 

Rejects the budget proposal to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy and provides $353 million to continue this agency’s research. 

ARPA-E was created by the 2007 America COMPETES Act that Senator Alexander helped write, and was signed into law by President Bush, to invest in high-impact energy technologies. 

To date, 136 ARPA-E project teams have attracted more than $2.6 billion from the private sector to bring their technologies to market and another 109 ARPA-E projects teams have partnered with government agencies to develop new technologies that will ultimately benefit taxpayers. 

Senator Alexander is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee which is responsible for recommending funding levels each year for the Department of Energy, including the Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration.




ALDI Brings New Jobs To Chattanooga With Hiring Event On Friday

ALDI will host a hiring event for its Chattanooga-area stores on  Friday . Known for offering market-leading wages and health insurance, ALDI is one of the fastest growing retailers in the U.S., creating new opportunities for people locally and nationwide. The event will be held from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Holiday Inn Express, 440 West Martin Luther King Boulevard. ALDI ... (click for more)

CO.LAB Accelerator Startups To Pitch Ideas At Demo Night

The startup teams of The Company Lab’s Summer 2018 accelerators will pitch their companies and display their products and services at CO.LAB Demo Night.   The event will take place July 26 from 6-9 p.m in the Waterhouse Pavilion at Miller Plaza. Food and beverages will be served. Entry is free and open to the public. Click here to register.   Demo Night marks ... (click for more)

Red Bank Approves Short Term Vacation Rental Ordinance On Final Reading

The Red Bank Commission passed an ordinance Tuesday night on second and final reading that regulates short term rentals within the city. "Our hands have been tied because of state law," said Mayor John Roberts. Many residents, both for and against allowing these rentals, have come to recent commission meetings appealing to the commissioners for their side of the issue, ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Bill Lee Is Great For Tennessee

I had the opportunity to meet Bill and Maria Lee at the grand opening of his Chattanooga Campaign HQ. He delivered, what was by most accounts, a showstopper speech at the Statesman’s dinner in Nashville the night before. He and Maria should have been worn out, but if they were, they really showed very little sign of it. His energy level, for a guy that couldn’t have gotten more ... (click for more)

A Successful East Ridge Bake Sale

Saturday's event at the Camp Jordan Pavilion was nothing more than extraordinary, if not history making.  Alongside the threatening eminent domain letters the citizens of East Ridge received, a Union was formed amongst the East Ridge Police Department.  Coming to City Council the night of April 26, I had only one thing I was focused on: eminent domain.  ... (click for more)