The government is spending far too little money on energy research, putting at risk the long-term goals of reducing carbon emissions and alleviating energy poverty, some of the country’s top business leaders found in a new report.
The American Energy Innovation Council, a group of six executives that includes the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the General Electric chief Jeffrey R. Immelt, urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a strategic national priority.
The leaders pointed out that the United States had fallen behind a slew of other countries in the percentage of economic output being spent on energy research, among them China, Japan, France and South Korea. Their report urged leaders of both political parties to start increasing funds to ultimately triple today’s level of research spending, about $5 billion a year.
“Growing and consistent appropriations for energy innovation should be a top U.S. priority over the next decade,” the business leaders recommended in their report. “The budget numbers over the last five years are a major failure in U.S. energy policy.”