WASHINGTON, D.C.—On September 12, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), the Chairman of the Senate Energy Subcommittee, convened a hearing on the Department of Energy Laboratory system. Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) applauds the Chairman’s initiative on this important issue, particularly as Congress debates tax reform.
“The U.S. has been the leader in R&D for years but China is close at our heels in research spending,” Chairman Gardner explained. “How we choose to invest in our national labs and support the scientists within them is critical going forward.”
Colorado is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is part of the system. It has a distinguished track record in advancing responsible energy solutions and driving innovation that will be a difference maker in securing our nation’s energy future. Like the other 16 labs in the system, it is also a critical source of economic growth, with a total economic impact of more than $870 million nationally, including $701 million to Colorado.
The Subcommittee heard testimonies from Dr. Brian Anderson, Director of the West Virginia University Energy Institute, Dr. Paul Kearns, Interim Laboratory Director at Argonne National Laboratory, Ms. Anuja Ratnayake, Director of Emerging Technology Strategy at Duke Energy, and Dr. Bill Tumas, Associate Laboratory Director for Materials and Chemical Science and Technology at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory I, all of whom extolled the Department of Energy Laboratory system’s performance.
This hearing was an important first step to ensuring that record continues. As part of the appropriations process, Congress is considering how it will fund U.S. energy innovation—the research that takes place in the labs is essential to developing the next generation energy technology and ensuring our nation has the energy resources it needs. CRES encourages Senator Gardner to continue leading on this issue and asks all lawmakers to make sure our nation’s cutting-edge science and technology is well-funded.