Selected Excerpts from the Prepared Statement of Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy-Designate, Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
[...]Dr. Chu's prepared remarks can be downloaded here. An archived video of the confirmation hearing can be viewed here.
The work of the National Nuclear Security Administration in maintaining our Nation’s nuclear defense and promoting nonproliferation throughout the world is critical to our national security. I take this responsibility extremely seriously, and I am committed to working with the President, the National Laboratories, other agencies, Congress and other organizations in the community to assure a safe and reliable nuclear stockpile and to address proliferation concerns as part of a long-run vision of a world without nuclear weapons.
The Department also has legal and moral obligations to clean up the wastes left over from 50 years of nuclear weapons production. I know that many of you represent states where the Department has not yet fulfilled these obligations. Cleanup of these materials is a complicated, expensive, long-term project, but I pledge to you to do my best to accelerate these efforts in order to protect human health and the environment, and to return contaminated lands to beneficial use.
As diverse as these missions and programs are, my efforts as Secretary will be unified by a common goal: improving management and program implementation. Simply put, if the Department is to meet the challenges ahead, it will have to run more efficiently and effectively. One of my first priorities will be to put a strong leadership and management team in place – one that shares not only my vision for the Department, but also my commitment to improving the way the Department does business.
I do not underestimate the difficulty of meeting these challenges. But I remain optimistic that we can meet them. I believe in the dynamism of our country and our economy. And as a scientist, I am ever-optimistic about our ability to expand the boundaries of what is possible.
If I am confirmed as Secretary of Energy I commit to you that I will provide strong, focused, energetic leadership for the many missions of this Department. In particular, I look forward to a close partnership with this Committee. In my role as Secretary, I look forward to a new chapter of collaboration with this committee and others in Congress as we embark on an ambitious, and urgent, mission to move to a sustainable, economically prosperous, and secure energy future. The challenges we face will require bipartisan cooperation and sustained effort. I know that President-elect Obama is committed to exactly this kind of effort. If confirmed as Secretary, I will do my utmost to serve him and our great nation to the best of my abilities.
[The first 15 minutes and 14 seconds is just a title screen. Fast forward to 15:14 to view the hearing.]