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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McNERNEY. I rise in support of the Schiff amendment, which makes sure that we continue investing in quality energy research programs that will benefit the United States.

Energy innovation, research and development are essential for our country, especially if we truly want to move forward with reducing our energy dependence on fossil fuels. One important component of this goal is the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E. Since 2009, ARPA-E has funded over 275 potentially transformational energy technology projects. Many of the research projects are occurring in my own State of California.

These companies, national labs, and educational institutions are working on items that will greatly benefit the energy security of our country. Some projects include Distributed Power Flow Control Using Smart Wires for Energy Routing; Low-Cost Biological Catalyst to Enable Efficient CO

2 Capture; Large-Scale Energy Reductions Through Sensors, Feedback, and Information Technology; Highly Dispatchable and Distributed Demand Response for the Integration of Distributed Generation; and Carbon Nanotube Membranes for Energy-Efficient Carbon Sequestration.

Our Nation faces significant energy challenges in the years ahead, both from a production and reliability standpoint, but also from the effects of climate change. Climate change's effects include severe storms, sea level rise, and the extremely poor air quality that continually plagues California's Central Valley. We must become more energy efficient, reduce the release of CO

2 and other harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and improve our electric grid and its ability to meet peak demands. ARPA-E projects aim to solve these problems and at the same time will help reduce blackouts, reduce energy costs, and improve both environmental and public health.

ARPA-E initiatives help facilitate future private investments by helping companies reach their potential in the early stages. In fact, the American Energy Innovation Council, which consists of some of America's largest companies, like Lockheed Martin and Microsoft, has called for ARPA-E to be funded at 10 times the proposed level. Unfortunately, the bill today provides only $50 million for ARPA-E, which is $215 million less than what was enacted the last fiscal year and $329 million less than the President's request.

ARPA-E project successes have attracted more than $450 million in private investments. It's this return on investment that must be continued, not cut back. The Schiff amendment aims to correct this error in the underlying bill.

The only reason I can think of to reduce ARPA-E funding is to help prop up fossil fuel industries, and that's going to get us more global warming and cause us more problems. We need to reduce global warming. Global warming is a threat to our national security. We need to fight it. ARPA-E is going to give us the tools to do that.

So I encourage my colleagues to support this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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