Note: This story was updated at 9:20 a.m. May 25.
Citing a section of federal law, readers have asked whether the U.S. Department of Energy can legally stop operating the American Museum of Science and Energy on South Tulane Avenue and move its public education and outreach missions over to renovated space at Main Street Oak Ridge.
On Wednesday, federal officials said the law does not affect the current plan. That plan includes transferring the AMSE property to the City of Oak Ridge and then to a private developer, and moving DOE’s public outreach and education missions from the museum property to Main Street Oak Ridge.
At issue is an appendix in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001, which is also known as Public Law 106-554 and approved on December 21, 2000.
In that law, there are sections related to AMSE in Appendix D, Title IV, Sections 401-404 (a bit before the halfway point of the document if you’re looking for them in the PDF).
Among other things, the sections say that AMSE—The Museum—is designated as the “American Museum of Science of Energy,” and it “shall be the official museum of science and energy of the United States.”
Also, the sections say the term “Museum” means the museum operated by the Secretary of Energy and located at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge. That’s where AMSE is now. [Read more…]