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Grumet: Proposed R&D Cuts Threaten Public-Private Collaboration

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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Washington, D.C.– Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet issued the following statement today after the release of President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint:

“Today’s release of the president’s budget blueprint marks the next step in an ongoing discussion about our nation’s need to balance fiscal responsibility with critical programs that underpin our national and economic security. As our leaders work to establish priorities in a constrained federal budget, it is important to remember that we cannot ensure our economic vitality by undercutting the federal research programs that have inspired and sustained America’s economic dominance since World War II.

“A critical source of our nation’s current economic strength and national security is leadership in energy production. Global energy is already a $6 trillion market and demand is poised to grow by as much as 48 percent by 2040. Competing in this global market demands efficient and effective collaboration between the private and public sectors. The substantial reductions proposed in federal R&D would fracture this critical partnership.

“Research conducted at the Department of Energy has driven our newfound energy abundance, supporting millions of jobs and adding billions of dollars to our economy every year. Models for federal research programs like the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E, deliver significant economic returns to all Americans by ensuring we stay at the cutting edge of the technologies that will shape the global energy economy over the next decades.

“ARPA-E’s success has been defined by bold goals, a fiercely competitive selection process, and a commitment to end projects that aren’t meeting aggressive milestones. Already 74 of ARPA-E’s earliest projects have demonstrated commercial viability, attracting more than $1.8 billion in follow on funding from the private sector and creating 56 new U.S. companies. ARPA-E’s success has attracted broad bipartisan support. In the 2017 budget, 70 senators—44 Democrats and 26 Republicans—voted for an amendment offered by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) to increase funding for ARPA-E, and the House passed a similar amendment offered by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) by voice vote.

“Our nation’s budget crisis is very real. The Congress and White House must demand necessary reform and continual improvement by building on efforts, like ARPA-E, that are essential to U.S competitiveness and enjoy broad bipartisan support.”