Washington, D.C. – Ahead of Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s testimony on the Department of Energy (DOE) budget in the Appropriations Committee today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet outlined the importance of increasing federal investment in clean energy innovation.
Bennet delivered remarks yesterday at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit, an annual conference and technology showcase that brings together experts to think about America's energy challenges in new and innovative ways. President Trump’s budget proposal would eliminate the ARPA-E program, which has a history of success in supporting early-stage clean energy innovation at universities and businesses in Colorado and across the country.
“Despite the administration’s budget, we’ve been assured from the Department of Energy that the Secretary fully supports this program,” Bennet said.
In his remarks, Bennet outlined three key efforts to develop the United States as a global energy leader: 1) increase—rather than decrease— investments in ARPA-E; 2) provide more reliable and predictable government funding over the long-term; and 3) work with innovators to convince policy makers of the benefits of investment.
“This month, there will be science fairs in schools across Colorado. If we do our job, we can ensure that, when those kids graduate from college, ARPA-E not only exists but continues to thrive,” Bennet said.
“I spent a few years in business before coming to the Senate, so I know the damage that uncertain funding can do to projects,” Bennet continued. “Our government should be making it easier for you to do your work, not harder. That’s why I’m serving on a bipartisan committee looking at how to restore a measure of sanity and predictability to our budgeting.”
“No matter what our political environment, the collective imagination of the American people is an awesome force,” Bennet concluded. “It gives me great confidence that we will find a way to innovate around our challenges; that we will unlock the promise of clean energy; and that?—?with your help?—?we will maintain America’s leadership at the frontier of human innovation.”
A copy of Bennet’s remarks as prepared for delivery is available HERE.