Secretary of Energy Hazel O’Leary has worked hard to open up the secret operations of the Energy Department. O’Leary exposed to the public until now secret information on human radiation experiments, stockpiles of plutonium and uranium and about forty years worth of pollution due to weapon’s development. Believing that companies get away with spending large amounts of money and polluting superfluously, O’Leary began inviting environmentalists and anti-nuclear activists to Energy Department meetings. O’Leary has also streamlined the department’s operating budget, lowering it from $19.3 billion and to $16.5 billion.
Commenting on reports that she engaged in excessive and expensive travel, O’Leary said, “There have got to be lots of people who resent me and resent the changes here. The attacks earlier on were on [senior aides] Ken Luongo and Dan Reicher. Then the attacks were on the Department of Energy. When we overcame those attacks, there wasn’t anybody left except me.” She also commented, “it amazes me that we got clipped on this stuff when the cost of the travel I’ve done equates to about the cost of the travel anyone else has done on trips of that size.”