Letter to Senate Energy Committee Leadership

Senator Manchin
Chairman Ranking Member
Senate Energy Committee
Washington, DC 20515

Senator Barrasso
Senate Energy Committee
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso,

We write today as co-chairs of the American Energy Innovation Council in support of inclusion of major
clean energy demonstration projects in energy infrastructure legislation as part of bipartisan
infrastructure package.

The American Energy Innovation Council is composed of leading business executives and policy experts with long experience in private and public sector innovation. Our mission is to foster strong economic growth, create jobs in new industries, and reestablish America’s energy technology and decarbonization leadership through robust public and private investments in the development of world-changing energy technologies.

We believe these issues are at a critical juncture, politically, in terms of improving U.S. competitiveness, and in developing critical clean energy technologies. We view reaching a bipartisan infrastructure and energy agreement as extremely important and encourage these negotiations and the creation of detailed legislation based on them. In this context, we believe that investments in clean energy demonstration and related projects are crucial to the development, commercialization, and deployment of cutting-edge technologies domestically and for export, as part of broader U.S. economic revitalization.

The United States is in a global clean energy technology race with our competitors and needs a galvanizing clean energy innovation agenda that helps technologies develop toward market application. We are convinced that well-targeted public investments and well-designed public policies for the full innovation lifecycle are needed to scale the next generation of advanced energy technologies. Our 2020 report, “Supporting the Full Innovation Lifecycle,” includes recommendations for using demonstration and pilot projects as part of an effort to bring key technologies closer to commercial viability. We are pleased by the inclusion of key demonstration project support in the recent Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee energy infrastructure legislative proposal, especially those regarding Energy Storage, Advanced Nuclear, Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, and Carbon Removal technologies. We strongly urge that these projects be considered as part of the broader bipartisan infrastructure legislation.

Based on our research, we conclude such demonstration projects can increase the speed of the innovation cycle, helping more quickly determine which technologies are commercially viable while lowering long-term costs. Such technologies may also allow the repurposing of current infrastructure, including pipelines. We also support the inclusion of loan guarantee programs by the Department of Energy, as part of a full range of energy innovation support.

Innovation has been at the heart of America’s economic strength. Our combination of entrepreneurial spirit and a world-class research ecosystem has produced new technologies and important competitive advantages that continue to create jobs, enhance our security, improve the lives of Americans every day, and provide cleaner energy.

Other nations, including China, have announced large investments to meet the clean energy demands of the coming century and seek to lock in strategic advantages that will be difficult to overcome. Ensuring America stays at the forefront of global energy technology development is both an economic and security imperative. Decisions about federal investments in energy innovation that are made today will set the stage for years to come.

We believe inclusion of key clean energy demonstration projects in an energy infrastructure bill is vital to both helping American industry compete in the fiercely competitive global marketplace, and in bringing clean technology to American consumers to lower costs and improve public health. We urge you to consider these demonstration projects in energy infrastructure legislation this year.

Sincerely,

Norman Augustine
AEIC Co-Chair

Charles Holliday
AEIC Co-Chair