Barrasso Opposes Nominee for Energy Department Inspector General

Press Release – Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) announced he will oppose Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General nominee Susan Beard until DOE complies with federal law.
In a letter to Beard, Barrasso outlined his concerns with the DOE’s ongoing violations of the miscellaneous receipts statute. This law was enacted to ensure that the executive branch does not circumvent Congress’ constitutional power of the purse.  
For years, DOE has used its excess uranium to pay contractors to decommission DOE’s gaseous diffusion plant in Piketon, Ohio. More recently, DOE has also used excess uranium to pay contractors to downblend its excess supplies of highly enriched uranium.
At the request of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has evaluated the legality of DOE’s transactions involving its excess uranium. In 2006 and 2011, GAO found that DOE was in violation of the miscellaneous receipts statute. DOE has rejected GAO’s findings.
Since 2004, Ms. Beard has served as the department’s assistant general counsel for General Law, which has the responsibility to ensure that DOE complies with the miscellaneous receipts statute. During her tenure, DOE has transferred about $2 billion of excess uranium in violation of this law. Beard’s recent testimony indicates that she helped establish the key precedents for these ongoing violations.
“While I fully support filling the position of Inspector General at DOE, questions about DOE’s compliance with the miscellaneous receipts statute must not go unresolved. I, therefore, ask you again to provide a practical and credible way to resolve this dispute. If you are unwilling or unable to do so, I would respectfully ask that you withdraw your name from consideration,” wrote Barrasso.