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Mr. Chairman, I know you and your Subcommittee have concerns about the
SSC cost estimates. The Department of Energy is expected to soon announce a
higher cost estimate that the $5.9 billion figure that has been associated
with the 1986 project design. This does not, in any way, mean a cost overrun.
It will simply be the first true cost estimate for the project as it is proposed to be built. About half of the expected increase is due to design
changes made necessary by the incorporation of technical information about the
operations of accelerators that was not available at the time the conceptual
design was prepared. The other half of the expected increase comes from
revising the technical and economic assumptions that were used in the earlier
estimate to provide a greater degree of accuracy. The revised cost estimate for the project is expected between $7.2 and $8.0 billion. The funding
request is for $318 million with $129 million for construction.
We spend approximately $2 million a minute at the Federal level. So, if
we fund the SSC at $318 million, we are funding at the rate of just two hours
of the Federal budget. This is a small price to pay for a project that is as
important as the SSC.
Since the emergence of high energy physics as a separate field of re
search, the United States has led the world. However, I am concerned about
losing our preeminence in high energy physics to Europe.
The Center for
European Research-Nuclear (CERN) has just begun operating an electron
collider, and in the next few years will be operating a proton collider. By
building the SSC, the United States will maintain its leading position in this
crucial field of basic research.
Understanding the nature of the world around us will provide research
advances of literally cosmic proportions. Funding the Super Collider allows the United States to remain in the forefront of basic science technology for
many years to come.
Since 1975, American scientists have won half of all
Nobel Prizes in physics; however, Europeans have won the last eight.
a clear indication we are losing our leadership position in high energy
physics. If we ultimately lose our leadership position in high energy
physics, we will lose our leading edge in world economics.
Many exciting developments are happening with regard to the SSC.
Second Annual International Symposium on the SSC was recently held in Miami,
Florida with over 700 attendees. They came from over 35 states and 12 foreign
countries. Industry groups and universities from almost every state in the
union were also there.
At this conference Deputy Secretary Henson Moore released the footprint for the final ring location and asked Texas National
Research Laboratory Commission (TNRLC), Chairman Mort Myerson, "to start
buying the land."
A detailed study has been carried out to give an accurate
picture of the underground structure at the site and that, in turn, has
enabled us to determine the optimum placement of the collider ring, or
The U.S. Department of Labor has also released the results of the
Davis-Bacon wage survey establishing the prevailing wage rates to be paid in
building construction jobs for the SSC site. More than 6,000 contractors and
subcontractors were invited to participate in the wage survey, encompassing
over 3,000 building projects. The Department of Labor collected wage payment
data from several thousand contractors and subcontractors representing 17,588
workers in 81 crafts.
Also, The American Physical Society, recently passed a resolution by the
Executive Committee of The Division of Particles and fields in support of the
In summary, the Resolution states that the SSC will be a world class
scientific laboratory and will deepen our understanding of the basic laws of
The Executive Committee also strongly supports the President's budget
request for FY '91 of $318 million, and finally, the Resolution states that
the Society supports the passage of H.R. 4380, the SSC authorization bill, and
the expeditious construction of the SSC.
Although the exact applications which will flow from the construction and
operation of the SSC cannot be predicted with absolute certainty, past
investments in basic research have been repaid 100 times over.
States has always been a nation that looks towards the future; whether
technically in this century, or whether geographically in 1800's westward expansion, or whether in our democracy with expansion of freedom around the
To quote a Nobel Prize winner from the University of Chicago, James W.
Cronin: "The spirit of a nation and the pride of its people can only be enhanced when science, including the exploration of our planet, solar system,
galaxy, and universe is among its highest priorities."
The SSC should be amongst our highest priorities. I urge this Subcommittee to fully support this essential project.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to be here today.
Senator FORD. Thank you very much, Congressman. It is normally as a courtesy we do not ask questions, but I am going to break that courtesy this morning, if I may, with you.
Mr. BARTON. Yes, sir.
Senator FORD. In order to get a couple of points on the record, they will not be tough questions.
Mr. BARTON. Remember I am an Aggie, now. So, you pointed that out.
Senator FORD. I understand, but you have not been kicked by a Kentucky mule yet. [Laughter.]
I understand that in some quarters there is concern about Texas contribution to the project. Let me ask you this question, is Texas offering $1 billion plus the necessary land? Or is the value of the land part of the $1 billion? Can you clarify that for us?
Mr. BARTON. I would be very happy to, Mr. Chairman.
As you know, when the six states were in the competition to be selected as the site of the SSC, part of the proposal was that every state had to provide the land free of charge to the Department of Energy-every State. And every State made that promise.
One state on top of that promised more-Texas promised the land plus $1 billion. Now, I would point out that when Texas was designated as the site in November 1988, the plan at that time was to begin land acquisition in April 1989.
The original land acquisition plan was supposed to be completed this month. Because of a lot of very relevant reasons, land acquisition is not going to actually begin until May or June of this year. But in spite of that delay the State of Texas said, we will furnish the land free of charge, and we will also provide an additional $1 billion. You know, Texas has always honored its commitments. It will honor that commitment.
Senator FORD. When will Texas enter into a written arrangement with DOE to govern this contribution?
Mr. BARTON. Mr. Chairman, I am not technically qualified to answer that question. I am sure Dr. Decker, or Dr. Schwitters could do so. I do know they are having consultations right now. And it is my understanding that those negotiations will result in some sort of a formal agreement later this summer.
Senator FORD. Are you confident that the management structure can keep the project under control?
Mr. BARTON. To be honest, Mr. Chairman, in the past year-and-ahalf, I have had some concerns about that. I have spoken with Secretary Watkins, Deputy Secretary Henson Moore, Dr. Schwitters, the head of the laboratory, and Dr. Allan Bromley, the President's scientific advisor, about some of those issues.
I have great confidence in the personnel that are in place. I think some of the terms of the authorization bill that is under consideration in the House should alleviate some of those problems. The Department of Energy and University Research Associates have come a long way in the last year to put in place a good management system.
Senator FORD. Did I understand that you think Congressman Roe's bill will be passed by the House?
Mr. BARTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTON. That is correct-Federal.
Senator FORD. The federal share will be $5 billion. If I felt you right and the statement of our chairman, we are very concerned about broadening out foreign participation. We would like to keep this an American project?
Mr. BARTON. That is the entire subject of the international plan. It is something that needs to be fleshed out this year in the Senate and the House. There is great concern, as Senator Johnston indicated, in the American industrial community that the manufacturing technology, not necessarily will be given away, but that the American corporations will not have an opportunity to develop it or to use it.
There is a provision in the House authorization bill that requires 50 percent American participation in every aspect of the project. The administration has expressed some concerns with that. But I would support that. I think that, while I do not think we can make every aspect of the project 100 percent American, I do think that there should be an American or United States participation in every aspect of the project.
Senator FORD. Fine, thank you, Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Joe, for a good presentation. I would just say that to me, it does not pass muster to say, American participation. On the high technology things, the things that are worth doing, that are really valuable, we have to learn to do them, and do them here, not send that out of the country.
I mean, if somebody wants to give us some money, so that they can send some scientists over to look at quarks and leptons and all that-great. But do not try to come in and get the cream of the technology here by agreeing to build half the magnets or something. I mean, the way to get this thing in political trouble, I think, is to give away the good technology, and I hope we do not do that.
Mr. BARTON. I have no argument with that, Senator. As you know, if we cap federal expenditures at $5 billion, and the State of Texas puts up $1 billion plus the land, that is $6 billion. We expect the latest cost estimate, the engineering estimate to come in between $7.2 billion and $7.8 billion.
So that is going to be made up with foreign participation or some sort of creative private financing in this country. And as you know, in some aspects, our international allies are ahead of us. The Italians built the magnets that are now at CERN. The Japanese have some technology in terms of magnet fabrication that they consider to be the best in the world.
So in some of these areas, American companies can actually benefit by joint ventures. And, you know, it is in my opinion, as long as we mandate, require at least a 50 participation by an American company, that in some ways will be the best of both worlds.
The CHAIRMAN. They may have better R&D in some respects. The Italians are right up in the state of the art. But in manufacturing technology, if we do it here, then we learn the manufacturing technology
Mr. BARTON. I understand.