April 27, 2001

Energy secretary speaks out against racial profiling

"Through the committed and dedicated efforts of its employees, the Department of Energy plays a critical role in securing America’s economic and national security. Many individuals of diverse backgrounds devote their careers and lives to contribute to the success of our department.

I am proud of the Department of Energy and its people. Thus, I am extremely concerned that allegations of racial profiling and discrimination have continued to surface, because these issues deal with fundamental fairness and affect the morale of our workforce.

Treating people differently and adversely, whether they are Department of Energy employees or the public, is wrong when it is based — either solely or in part — on race, ethnicity, and national origin. It is my firm commitment and policy for both federal and contractor employees that any practice of racial profiling be eliminated and prevented from occurring in the department. Where legal violations are present, they will be dealt with seriously and aggressively. Furthermore, poor management practices are unacceptable even if they may meet minimum legal requirements. Managers throughout the Department of Energy are responsible for creating and maintaining a respectful and productive work environment free of profiling, discrimination and fear.

I ask all of you to contribute toward the full realization of our ability to work together — as I know we can — to make opportunities equally available to everyone."