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How DOE Decides Who Gets The SSC

WASHlNGTON—In less than six weeks, energy Secretary John Herrington will announce where he plans to build the $5.4 billion Superconducting Supercollider Will the decision be remembered as another flagrant example of pork-barrell science ? Or will the secretary actually manage to avoid politics and make his decision on technical and scientiftc merits. Most observers feel that the Department of Energy must avoid even the appearance of political patronage if it wants its decision to be ac

Jeffrey Mervis

WASHlNGTON—In less than six weeks, energy Secretary John Herrington will announce where he plans to build the $5.4 billion Superconducting Supercollider Will the decision be remembered as another flagrant example of pork-barrell science ? Or will the secretary actually manage to avoid politics and make his decision on technical and scientiftc merits.

Most observers feel that the Department of Energy must avoid even the appearance of political patronage if it wants its decision to be acceptable to Congress. “[Energy John] Herrington doesn’t want to make a decision that is controversial,” says Peter Sloan. a Washington lobbyist hired by Arizona to handle congressional relations. “He wants the selection process to be completely above suspicion so that it doesn’t become a political issue." Adds Ed Forgotson, a Washington lobbyist for North Carolina, "any whiff of politics will quse queer the deal, and he knows it.,"

So how will Herrington arrive at his...

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