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BPC’s Terry: Congress should continue to support critical energy research

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tracy Terry, director of the energy program at the Bipartisan Policy Center issued the following statement today on the release of President Trump’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2018:

“Research being done at the Department of Energy (DOE) has been a fundamental part of America’s economic success over the last few decades, including the recent surge in oil and natural gas production that has added more than $400 billion to our economy, supported millions of jobs and dramatically decreased our reliance on foreign sources of energy. The renewables energy industry has added roughly 300,000 new jobs over the last decade as one of the fastest growing sectors of our economy, driven in large part by the efforts of the world-class network of national labs that conducts much of DOE’s research.

Congressional support for energy research will be critical to creating jobs, ensuring low energy prices, and fostering energy security.

“Global demand for energy and the next generation of technologies that help deliver it is poised to create a multi-trillion-dollar economic opportunity over the next few decades. Understanding this, countries like China are making enormous investments to develop new technologies that will dominate the market for years to come. Given how critical the moment is for American innovators, we are disappointed to see the president’s budget request suggests drastic cuts to programs with strong track records in job creation, economic growth and energy security that are critical to capturing future opportunities.

“As Congress works to find ways to reinvigorate our economy, it is no surprise that bipartisan efforts to increase funding for key DOE offices and programs have garnered broad support. Last Congress, the Senate approved a bipartisan amendment by a vote of 85 to 12 to provide additional resources to the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) as part of the FY 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. The House passed a similar amendment by voice vote. Importantly, the final FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill included important increases to not just ARPA-E but other energy innovation programs. These programs have a clear and distinguished track record as some of the best investments Congress has made. 

Congressional support for energy research will be critical to creating jobs, ensuring low energy prices, and fostering energy security. We hope Congress will continue to appreciate the many benefits that investments in energy innovation provide the nation.”

KEYWORDS: 115TH CONGRESS, ARPA-E, CHINA, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, FY 2018, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, TRACY TERRY