ALERT: Support Investment in Office of Science

(Posted 4-26-10)

This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's member societies.


*** Support Investment in DOE-OS in Senate Appropriations ***
Each year during the appropriations process, members of Congress may circulate "Dear Colleague" letters, obtain signatures and submit these letters to an appropriations subcommittee in support of a specific program or project.  These letters allow members of Congress to demonstrate their support for a program. A large number of signatures indicate strong support for the program discussed in the letter.  Currently, Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Lamar Alexander  (R-TN) are collecting signatures for a Dear Colleague letter that requests a total budget for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE-OS) in fiscal year 2011 of $5.121  billion, which is the same as the President’s budget request. The letter will be sent to the subcommittee on Science, Justice and Commerce of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has jurisdiction over the DOE-OS.

Please contact your Senators today by phone or email and ask him/her to sign onto the Bingaman-Alexander DOE-OS Dear Colleague letter if you would like to express support for DOE-OS. This is great opportunity to communicate with your Senators and it will only take a few minutes. The deadline for sign-on is May 7.

The staff contacts for signing onto the letter are Jonathan Epstein in Senator Bingaman’s office (202-224-5521) and  Adam Rondinone in Senator Alexander’s office (202-224-4944). Your Senator’s staffer might appreciate the name of the staff contact or may ask you (though this is not crucial if you do not have it handy).

*** How to reach your Senator ***
To determine who your Senator is, go to and find your senator by state. This link can also take you directly to the senator's web page that has full contact information.

1. Call your Senator's Washington, DC office.
You may obtain the phone number from their official website (via or you may call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121 202-224-3121) and ask to be connected to Senator [name] office. NOTE: You must know the name of your Senator before calling the switchboard; they will not be able to tell you who your member of Congress is. 
Ask to speak to the legislative assistant responsible for DOE-OS.  When connected: Encourage the staffer to have Senator [name] sign the Bingaman-Alexander DOE-OS Dear Colleague letter.  Be prepared to mention how important DOE-OS funding is to your research, academic department/institution, and/or your community.  Legislative staff  are busy, so you may be asked if you would like to leave a voice mail - you do.  Simply convey the same information you would have if you could speak to the staffer in person, but be sure to leave your contact information.

2. E-Mail or Fax your Senator
Your Senator’s e-mail address and fax number are available on their website at

Tips for an effective e-mail or fax message:
-Be sure that the subject line in your e-mail is clear: Please sign the Bingaman-Alexander DOE-OS Dear Colleague, or Request Senator [name] support federal investments in DOE-OS.

-Be sure that you include your contact information at the top of the e-mail/letter; this must include your name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address. NOTE: many offices will discard correspondence that does not include contact information, or that comes from outside of their state.

-In the opening paragraph of your message, clearly state that you are writing to ask that your Senator sign the Bingaman-Alexander DOE-OS Dear Colleague letter.  Tell them that the letter requests that Congress provide the DOE-OS with $5.121 billion in FY 2011 funding.

-Briefly explain why DOE-OS funding for basic research is important to you and/or your institution (e.g., only source of funding for your area of research, helps support undergraduate/graduate student research experience, leads to innovation, or other reasons).

You can also find more information on the DOE-OS budget at the Government Affairs website at

Senators Bingaman and Alexander anticipate collecting signatures until about May 7, 2010, so please contact your Senator as soon as possible.

Please send an e-mail to AGI’s Government Affairs Program to let us know about your communication.

Many thanks for taking the time to be an active citizen-scientist.

Alert prepared by Linda Rowan, AGI Director of Government Affairs

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.

Posted April 26, 2010