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Obama touring Argonne Lab: Tells pool, "don't break anything"

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below, the national pool report on President Barack Obama touring Argonne Lab before his energy speech....

Inside the laboratory, President Obama was led on a tour of different research stations.

At the first one, a thermal test chamber, Mr. Obama talked to Henning Lohse-Busch, a research engineer.

Mr. Lohse-Busch told POTUS that they can turn the heat in the room way up or way down in order to test the different temperature levels on the impact on the cars and their fuel efficiency. There was a Chevy Volt in the room at the moment.
POTUS told him not to turn the temperature up in the room right now because he didn't bring his coat.

He then was taken into another room where he said hello to the pool and said, "Are you guys behaving yourself?...don't break anything... this is control central here..."
He was shown a monitor for the thermal test center that tracked fuel efficiency and the scientists told him to run a test himself

While doing it, he joked about "Jeff" who was the driver in the Chevy Volt he was tracking.
"What's Jeff doing?" Mr. Obama asked. "He doesn't have to steer..."
One scientist responded: I think Jeff's practiced though...He's spun wheels going nowhere for 10 years now."

At another station, he talked to Dr. Steve Ciatti, an engine combustion specialist, who told him how they were testing combinations of how different fuel combinations burn.
Matthew Howard, a spokesman for the laboratory, said 70 percent of the lab's $794 million budget is funded through the Department of Energy and the rest is funded by a combination of different government agencies.
The new $200 million renewable energy trust the president wants Congress to pass would would be a "great boon to the national lab system," he said.
Howard also talked about the sequester's impact on the lab. He said it faces a 5 percent cut to funding but has not experienced significant impacts to date. Those could come if the sequester stretches on with no resolution.
"Our main concern is that sequester will hurt us in the long term," he said. "It will really devastate American science while the rest of this world is racing forward, we will be frozen...excitement about the new projects will be cut off."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 15, 2013 1:17 PM.

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