The chairmen of three key House energy subcommittees yesterday called on Energy Secretary James Schlesinger to "rescind any directive" ordering cuts in Doe's Office of Consumer Affairs.
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich), chairman of the Commerce subcommittee on energy and power; Rep. Toby Moffit (D-Conn.) chairman of the Government Operations energy subcommittee, and Rep. Richard Ottinger, (D-N.Y) chairman of Science and Technology subcommittee, also asked Schlesinger "who in the DOE or in the Office of Management and Budget ordered staff position cuts that resulted in (the consumer office) being asked to absorb an 8-position cut."
The letter follows by one day the disclosure by DOE consumer office head Tina Hobson that her entire staff would quit rather than accept the cuts, which would trim her office by one-third. She contended in an interview with The Washington Post that the cuts were ordered by outgoing Deputy Secretary John O'leary as retailiation for the past internal disagreements.
The controversial Hobson has been an outspoken critic of the relationship DOE has maintained with consumers, alleging that the department has little or no credibility with the public because it refuses to give the public information about the energy situation.
She has also warned the oil industry publicly that it risks nationalization because it also refuses to supply the public with adequate information.
In their letter, the congressmen ask "that no effort be made to eliminate this office or to remove any person therein, including the director."