Durbin Meets with New Energy Secretary

FutureGen 2.0, Fermilab & Argonne National Labs top meeting agenda

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to discuss the Department of Energy's commitment to moving forward with FutureGen 2.0 in Meredosia, Illinois and the importance of continued federal funding for scientific research and development programs that support work at Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab.


Prior to being confirmed last month by a vote of 97 to 0 in the U.S. Senate, Moniz was the Director of the Energy Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He also previously served under President Bill Clinton in the Office of Science and Technology Policy and at Department of Energy as the Under Secretary of Energy.


“FutureGen 2.0 will bring new, good-paying construction jobs to Central Illinois and energy research to help answer some of the toughest questions we face when it comes to energy and the environment,” said Durbin.  “Secretary Moniz understands the importance of keeping this project – which is a cooperative effort between the private sector and the federal government – moving forward in Illinois.”


In February, the Department of Energy signed a cooperative agreement with the Future Gen Alliance allowing the project to proceed to Phase II.  The FutureGen Alliance is currently working to complete all the permitting, design, contracting and financing steps that are needed to begin construction on the project.


“Science labs like Fermilab and Argonne are the backbone of our nation’s scientific infrastructure and workforce,” said Durbin.  “I told Secretary Moniz today that I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate and the Illinois Congressional Delegation to maintain federal funding for the important work done at these laboratories.”


Argonne National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. It is also the nation's first national laboratory which houses basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology.  Argonne employs roughly 3,450 people, including scientists and engineers. 


Fermilab is the nation’s premier high-energy physics laboratory that employs over 1,700 people including physicists, engineers and computer professionals.  The laboratory leads U.S. research into the fundamental nature of matter and energy. Fermilab is a world-leading laboratory in the study of neutrinos and very rare processes using existing and upgraded facilities.