National Laboratory Consolidation- I work for the Department of Energy. I have observed several instances where one laboratory is working on the same projects as other labs. I value diverse perspectives on problems and issues, but I see waste when the labs are not working in any type of strategic all encompassing direction with good fiscal and strategic management. CO2 sequestration is a one example of this miss-coordination opportunity. Several groups are working on the problem, many are coming up against the same failures, but the information is not being shared or coordinated. So we end up spending more money (lots of money) on re-researching problems that have researched.
Examples of laboratories that can be consolidated include the Office of Science and the National Energy Technology Laboratories. Virtually no coordination is occurring on programs that include Methane Hydrates, CO2 Sequestration, Materials Sciences (metals research), Fuel Cell technologies, and re-newable energy technologies. Several other laboratories exist in the Federal Government in agencies that include Department of Agriculture, DOD, Department of Transportation, and NASA. Many of the projects and programs embedded in these agencies are duplicating efforts. I would suggest that these labs are spending lots of money chasing the same problems, and coming to the same conclusions. If we could develop an overarching strategic program that monitored and measured the performance and outcomes of the labs, we might find not only huge savings of funds, but the ability to take the best and most promising technologies to ground in a shorter time.