September 27, 2007

CRAPO DISCUSSES IDAHO NATIONAL LAB WITH LOCAL MAYORS AND LEADERS

Is working aggressively with Senate leadership, appropriators on INL

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo told mayors and regional economic leaders from eastern Idaho today he is aggressively working to strengthen and increase missions at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Crapo told the Idahoans he is working with Senate leadership and appropriators to increase and strengthen the work at the Lab, and he discussed both D.C.-based and Idaho-based strategies to expand the Lab's core missions. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Crapo helps draft the spending blueprints that govern the total amount of money available for fiscal year appropriation of federal funding for agencies and their spending programs.

"The uncertainty about fossil fuels means nuclear power will continue to be at the forefront of research and a main focus of our national energy policy," Crapo said. "The lead national laboratory conducting that research is the Idaho National Laboratory. We are working cooperatively to ensure Idaho will remain in a national leadership role regarding nuclear research, which will continue to foster employment and expanded missions for the site."

The Idaho group, including mayors Jared Fuhriman of Idaho Falls, Mike Virtue of Blackfoot and Shawn Larsen of Rexburg, met with Crapo to discuss future planning for INL, including the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and the Next Generation Nuclear Power (NGNP) Initiatives. Discussions are ongoing about expanding the NGNP initiative to include research on other alternative fuels in addition to nuclear power.

"The research and the reputation of the Idaho National Lab is growing, and today was a good opportunity to share my discussions with fellow Senators and the Bush Administration regarding funding for existing and future missions of the lab," Crapo added. "The fact that Idaho is in the leadership role regarding nuclear research and that the Idaho delegation will remain vigilant over budgetary decisions bodes well for future missions. I have spoken directly with Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and a number of senators in leadership, as well as on the Budget, Energy, and Appropriations committees, about strengthening and increasing missions at the Idaho National Lab."

Mayor Shawn Larsen said, "We appreciate Senator Crapo's support for eastern Idaho, and especially for the INL. It has a major impact on our economy and we appreciate his leadership in the Senate concerning future missions and funding for the Site."

Others at today's meeting in Crapo's D.C. office included: Lane Allgood, Executive Director of the Partnership of Science and Technology; Lee Radford and Tami Sherwood of Grow Idaho Falls; Tim Solomon, Executive Director of the Regional Development Alliance and Brian Underwood, President of the Pocatello City Council.