Eastern Idaho Community Leaders Return from DC Advocacy Trip

Idaho Falls, ID. - Five eastern Idaho community leaders, including Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman, traveled to Washington, D.C., during the week of March 12 to meet with Idaho’s Congressional delegation and senior Department of Energy staff members. 

In addition to Mayor Fuhriman, the east Idaho delegation consisted of Lane Allgood, executive director of the Partnership for Science and Technology; Robb Chiles, president of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce; Linda Martin, CEO of Grow Idaho Falls; and Tim Solomon, executive director of the Regional Development Alliance.

Priorities of the meetings were to establish relationships with key DOE decision makers and voice support for continued work at Idaho National Laboratory, the Idaho Cleanup Project, and the Advanced Waste Mixed Treatment Project.

“Our key message to both our congressional delegation and the DOE senior staff was that we are proud to host the Idaho National Laboratory in our community, and we look forward to continuing to support the lab in its ongoing and future missions as well as completing the safe environmental cleanup of the our site,” said Mayor Fuhriman. “In turn, the message we received from them, was that community involvement in DOE’s decision making process is more important now than it’s ever been. Our advocacy was well received and viewed as critical to the continued work at the INL site, especially during these challenging budget times.”

The budget was discussed in nearly every meeting. It was clear that the FY13 budget, as it stands, could have impacts to all INL contractors and could mean leaner times ahead. The delegation expressed its’ concerns and encouraged Congressional and DOE leaders to find a way to increase the Nuclear Energy budget next year and beyond.

A highlight of the trip was meeting with Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Dr. Pete Lyons. During the meeting, Dr. Lyons accepted the 2011 Partnership for Science and Technology National Nuclear Energy Advocate Award, on behalf of the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy. Allgood presented the award, which PST gives annually to individuals or organizations for noteworthy achievements in nuclear energy. 

PST selected the Office of Nuclear Energy to receive the award for its support to the Japanese people following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor crisis in March 2011, including the rapid, effective utilization of its diverse resources and capabilities and those of DOE and the national laboratories.

The eastern Idaho delegation met with the following individuals and organizations:

Office of Nuclear Energy: Dr. Pete Lyons, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy; Dennis Miotla, Acting Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Facility Operations; Elizabeth Ramsay, Policy Advisor, Office of Nuclear Energy

National Nuclear Security Administration:Thomas D’Agostino, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security & Administrator; Dave Huizenga, Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management; Christine Gibbs, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; Colin Jones, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Environmental Management

Office of Environmental Management:Alice Williams, Associate Principal Assistant Secretary for DOE Office of Environmental Management; Colin Jones, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Environmental Management

Blue Ribbon Commission:Tim Frazier, Senior Technical Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Nuclear Energy; Matthew Milazzo, Deputy Staff Director of the Blue Ribbon Commission

DOE Office of Technology Transfer:Karina Edmonds, Technology Transfer Coordinator

AREVA: Sam Shakir, general Manager Strategic Enrichment Programs; Mike French, Senior Policy Advisor; George Harper, Vice-president of Engineering

Babcock & Wilcox: Jeffrey Carter, Vice President; Wade Heck, Manager, Government Operations Team

Energy Communities Alliance: Seth Kirshenberg, Director; Allison Doman, Deputy Director

Nuclear Energy Institute: Marshall Cohen, Director of Legislative Programs

Office of U.S. Senator Risch: Senator James Risch;John Sandy, Chief of Staff; Brianne Miller, Legislative Assistant

Office of U.S. Senator Mike Crapo Senator Mike Crapo;Patrick Holman, Congressional Fellow

Office of U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson: Chad Boyer, ANS Congressional Fellow

Posted on March 22, 2012 .