STATEMENTSUPPORTING CONFIRMATION OF DR. TARA O'TOOLE
FOR ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF ENERGY < p>
DR. JOHN H. GIBBONS
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES
September 15, 1993
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am very pleased to appearbefore you today to voice the Administration's strong support for thenomination of Dr. Tara O'Toole to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health.
The job of overseeing environment, health, and safety issues within theDepartment of Energy is a critical post -- particularly so as the scope of theclean up of the nuclear weapons complex has b ecome clear. Dr. O'Toole is anoutstanding scientist and skilled policy analyst who is extraordinarily wellqualified to take on this challenging job. Her academic credentials, herexperience, and her expertise all demonstrate that she is the right pers on atthe right time. There is no question that her confirmation as AssistantSecretary of Energy would be in the national interest.
Much of the knowledge we have today about the clean up and the thre at itposes in terms of public health risks is due to studies in which Dr. O'Tooleplayed a major role. For instance, Dr. O'Toole was the Principle Analyst andcontributing author of a major study completed in 1991 by the Office ofTechnology Assessment on the environmental and health risks posed by theoperation and cleanup of DOE's nuclear weapons complex. More recently, she wasthe Project Director for a study conducted by the Office of TechnologyAssessment on health and safety issues for workers in volved in nuclear weaponscomplex cleanup operations. She is clearly a leading expert in this field. Ido not believe that there is anyone more qualified for this demandingjob.
In addition to reiterating the Administration's su pport for Dr. O'Toole'snomination, I would like to add my own personal endorsement. That endorsementis the strongest possible, and it is based on my own direct experience ofhaving Dr. O'Toole as a member of my staff while I was Director of the Office of Technology Assessment. I know Dr. O'Toole, I know her capabilities, and Ihave witnessed her work first-hand. I respect her intellect and knowledge. AtOTA, she was a tough manager, but still universally popular among the staff.Above all, she was a n excellent scientist, a skilled policy analyst, and afair-minded individual. I am completely confident that Dr. O'Toole would be anasset to the Department of Energy.
There is no doubt in my mind