Senate Energy Chair Visits ORNL
New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman and Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker spent a day in Oak Ridge learning how ORNL will play a leading role in a number of energy-related projects. The three senators, accompanied by ORNL Director, Thom Mason, toured the Spallation Neutron Source, the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, and the National Center for Computational Sciences.
Mason noted that each of the visiting senators plays an important role in our nation's energy future.
Alexander, who hosted Bingaman at his nearby cabin in the Smoky Mountains, noted in a press conference that the New Mexico senator is very important to the people in East Tennessee. "He's chairman of the senate committee that has jurisdiction over the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the facilities in Oak Ridge and of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park," Alexander said. He added that Bingaman is in a position to influence "the future of Oak Ridge and our competitive position in the country." Alexander also noted that Corker is a member of Bingaman's committee.
Corker said that Bingaman "has an understanding of issues surrounding energy." In recalling a recent visit to Sandia National Laboratories in Bingaman's home state of New Mexico, Corker noted that Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a number of partnerships with the New Mexico laboratory.
For his part, Bingaman said that he and Corker have spent considerable time deaing with the issues shared among ORNL and the Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. Bingaman noted that it's a particularly exciting time for people involved with national laboratories because "the country is as aware today of our challenges, economically and technologically, as it has ever been." He emphasized that the nation's national laboratories are a substantial part of the solution to these challenges.
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