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Mr. President, this bill, The First Annual Authorization Bill for the new
Energy Research and Development Administration, known as ERDA, is an
important bill because it shapes the Budgetary Commitment of the one federal
agency charged with developing strategy because research and development is
critical to national energy independence. The success of ERDA in large part
will determine how well we solve our energy problems.
The funds prided in this bill will be directed toward a wide
variety of civilian RND programs including a coal and oil shell, solar and
giothermo conversation and basic research, fusion power and nuclear fission,
waste management and operational safety. Funds also will be directed for
certain military programs including nuclear reactors for naval vessel,
weapons, technology and material security.
For fiscal 1976 this bill as represented authorizes $5- billion this is
$800-million in budget authority, and $500- million in outlays above the
amount requested by the Administration. How, then, does this stack-up
against the budget targets set by Congress last June when passing our budget
resolution. In the national defense function, this bill authorizes
$40-million in additional budget authority a sum consistent with the
congressional budget target. In the general science, space and technology
function, this bill authorizes $44- million in additional budget authority.
Because, the budget target in this function was identical to the
Administration's request, this add on exceeds the target though by a
relatively small amount. In the natural resource, environment and energy
function, this bill adds $560-million in budget authority and $300-million in
outlays to the Administration's original request for ERDA.
All though, these are large sums of money they do not by themselves
breach the budgetary target set for this function. This is so because in
adopting a congressional budget target for natural resources, environment and
energy, the Congress wisely, in my opinion, allotted an additional $2-billion
in budget authority and $3-billion in outlays above the President's request.
In recognition that additional money would be needed largely for energy
program. The increase authorized by this bill falls within this
congressionally approved target. In deed, if appropriated, the increase
would use up a significant portion of the additional funds. I intend to vote
for this bill. It represents an energy plan in which, if funded will start
us on the way to the various energy sources available to us. I wish to note
toward properly using, however, that this bill as reported does not
incorporate the recent plan for energy policy.

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