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Gen. James L. Jones & Trent Lott: Energy innovation critical to national security, too

The Hill

Friday, October 6, 2017

Energy innovation is also key to increasing the resilience of global energy infrastructure. It should not surprise anyone that Osama Bin Laden built a strategy around attacking energy infrastructure with the goal of disrupting the global economy.  

U.S. leadership in “hardening” our systems of energy production and transmission is critical to protect U.S. interests in an integrated global energy economy.

As the Pentagon motto goes, “A vision without resources is a hallucination.” Right now, we’re not investing enough in key energy research and development programs. In 2016, Department of Energy research funding comprised less than 3 percent of overall federal research and development. 

We must sustain and increase support for effective programs, like the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, known as ARPA-E, which the administration’s budget proposal would eliminate. Modeled on the highly successful Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ARPA-E is working to ensure that America stays at the forefront of global energy sciences.

American innovation has long been the key to our nation’s economic and military success. We urge bipartisan leadership on Capitol Hill in support of energy technology research and development as a key element in improving our national security.

Gen. James L. Jones, USMC (Ret.) is the president of Jones Group International and former co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Task Force on Defense Personnel. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), former U.S. senator, serves as a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.