Norm Augustine and Chad Holliday in The Hill: Investing in America’s next energy boom

While few outside the industry realize it, the energy boom America enjoys today would not be nearly as robust without substantial investments in energy research and development made by presidents and members of Congress of both parties over the past four decades. These basic science and technology advances, together with private sector innovations and commercialization, helped spawn dozens of technologies, fundamentally transforming America’s oil and gas production, renewable energy, energy efficiency and much else.

Horizontal drilling and advanced seismology, catalyzed by industry visionaries like George Mitchell using government R&D breakthroughs, helped make the shale oil and gas bonanza possible, precipitating the current drop in global oil prices among other economic benefits. Aeroderivative natural gas turbines, which came from military R&D investments in jet engines, have enabled electric utilities to utilize new natural gas supplies more efficiently to increase system reliability and lower costs.

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