Sen. Thune, especially in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, has advocated for the Homestake Mine facility in Lead, South Dakota, through every step of its development to becoming a hub for forward-looking science and discovery.
Highlights of Sen. Thune’s Commitment to the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF):
- Sen. Thune advocates for robust funding for SURF, which will co-host the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois:
- According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the total estimated project cost for the SURF facilities is $563 million, and $257 million for technical systems, which will have a significant economic impact in the region and is expected to garner continued international investment for the lab.
- Investment in the site will also benefit other leading research being housed at SURF, as well as create opportunities for regional schools and universities to partner with the lab to enhance student opportunities in STEM-based lessons.
- Sen. Thune’s amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act would establish a subcommittee under the existing National Science and Technology Council to coordinate federal efforts relating to high-energy physics research:
- The subcommittee’s goals would be to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. investment in high-energy physics and support a robust, internationally competitive U.S. high-energy physics program.
- This would include underground science and engineering research, and related physical infrastructure, including SURF and Fermilab.