Washington, D.C.– The American Energy Innovation Council commends passage of an amendment by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to increase funding for the Office of Science by $2.7 billion through fiscal year 2020. Brad Townsend, associate director for energy innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center and AEIC staff lead, made the following statement:
“As the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) explained in its 2015 report, Restoring American Energy Innovation Leadership: Report Card, Challenges, and Opportunities, America’s competitive advantage is built on innovation, particularly in energy. Basic research conducted at the Department of Energy over the last several decades has benefitted our energy security, economic prosperity and environment in profound ways. Research and development breakthroughs that have significantly contributed to tight oil and shale gas production, renewable energy and energy efficiency demonstrate the value of smart federal investments in energy research and development.
“We strongly believe that Congress should support America’s competitive advantage in energy technology. If we are to modernize our energy systems and seize global market share in the most pervasive technology sector in the world, we must fund energy research and development at a level more commensurate with the scale of national priorities at stake. It is for that reason that we applaud the passage of an amendment by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to increase funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science by 5 percent, annual real growth (i.e. above inflation) over the next five years. Making sure that foundational investments in America’s energy future keep pace with our competitors around the globe is a bipartisan issue and we commend Congress for supporting American entrepreneurs.
“The underlying bill authored by Sens. Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) includes legislation sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to increase the authorization for the Office of Science by 4 percent through 2020. AEIC thanks the senators for their leadership on this critical issue.”