Energy Issues

OCG-93-13TR: Published: Dec 1, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO summarized information on federal energy and science issues facing Congress and the new administration.

GAO noted that: (1) the United States depends upon petroleum and other fossil fuels for 85 percent of its general energy consumption and 70 percent of its energy production; (2) petroleum's low price discouraged development of alternative fuels, limited efforts to conserve energy, and increased U.S. dependence on foreign oil sources; (3) additional market incentives such as new regulatory and tax policies are needed to make energy prices better reflect societal costs; (4) in response to changing world events and safety problems within the nuclear weapons complex, DOE has shifted its mission from nuclear weapons production to environmental restoration and waste management; (5) DOE laboratories must focus their mission away from basic nuclear research and toward improving economic competitiveness, environmental clean-up management, and developing U.S. infrastructure; (6) the DOE planned waste disposal repository is seriously behind schedule, over budget, and has not resolved technical, logistical, and environmental impact issues; and (7) DOE, in conjunction with other agencies, needs to address nuclear facility safety and nonproliferation concerns in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

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