ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2010 -- (House of Representatives - July 15, 2009)
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Mrs. BIGGERT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
I rise today in support of the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. I want to commend Chairman Pastor and Ranking Member Frelinghuysen and their subcommittee for putting together a balanced bill that clearly recognizes the importance of scientific research and energy security to our Nation's competitiveness.
There are several provisions of this bill I'm proud to support. Chief among those is the increase for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. I, along with 70 of my colleagues, asked appropriators for an increase consistent with the President's request to double the investment in the basic sciences within the next decade. The committee provided for $170 million more than the fiscal year 2009. This funding is critical to our basic research infrastructure and national laboratory work, like that of Argonne in my district.
The innovations and solutions that will enable us to overcome many of our greatest challenges from our economic crisis, environmental concerns, dependence on foreign energy, and escalating health care costs all start with basic research investments.
Economic experts have concluded that science-driven technology has accounted for more than 50 percent of the growth of the U.S. economy during the last half century.
In recent years, Congress has come to recognize that science will be the foundation to address those needs and keep America globally competitive. As evidenced by the American COMPETES Act in 2007, both Democrats and Republicans support efforts to increase basic research in the physical sciences to meet the needs of our growing population. I will insert a copy of our letter in the Record.
I support the underlying bill and appreciate the committee's efforts to carefully balance the needs of our energy future and scientific investments. However, I am particularly disappointed that the committee followed the President's budget request to slash Yucca Mountain funding and the failure to increase important loan guarantees to support a revitalized nuclear energy sector.
Illinois receives almost half of its electricity generation from nuclear power, followed by coal. If we are to work towards a low carbon economy, we cannot pick energy winners and losers to meet the growing energy needs of our population.
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