Bingaman, Murkowski Receive Recommendations

September 13, 2011
03:27 PM
Senate Energy Committee Welcomes New Study on Energy and Technology Policy
Conclusion: America Has a Great Deal To Gain From Smart, Ambitious Innovation Investments in the Energy Sector
In 2010, a group of influential business leaders came together to highlight the importance of innovating in energy, and to call for a more vigorous public and private sector commitment to energy technology policy.  The group, the American Energy Innovation Council (part of the Bipartisan Policy Center), includes Norm Augustine, Ursula Burns, John Doerr, Bill Gates, Charles O. Holliday, Jeff Immelt and Tim Salso.  Its mission is to foster strong economic growth, create jobs in new industries and re-establish America’s energy technology leadership through robust public investments in the development of clean energy technologies.
Today, the Senate Energy Committee’s leaders -- Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Ranking Republican Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) -- hosted these business leaders at a special briefing for U.S. Senators.  The presentation focused on a new report the American Energy Innovation Council is releasing today.  That report, Catalyzing American Ingenuity,” builds on the group’s previous work, highlights the need for an active government role in energy innovation, recommends ways to improve the effectiveness of government innovation programs and highlights options to pay for energy innovation investments.
Sen. Bingaman:  “This distinguished panel of proven innovators made a compelling case that we are seriously under-investing in energy.  As Bill Gates and Norm Augustine pointed out, every significant industry in the U.S. has relied on the government to drive early technology innovation.  I’m happy to have their support for creating a Clean Energy Deployment Administration, which will address many of the shortcomings in DOE’s current loan guarantee program.  The Energy Committee recently reported legislation (S.1510) to accomplish this end.  I also support their call for increased investment in ARPA-E and better government-wide energy policy planning.  I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on moving these proposals forward.”
Sen. Murkowski:  “The new report by the American Energy Innovation Council is a welcome addition to the recommendations we've received to improve our nation's energy policy. I look forward to reviewing its recommendations in full, but from today's briefing alone I believe it represents a thoughtful, pragmatic and much-needed vision for a bipartisan approach to our future efforts in this area.

The federal government can and should play a role in the research and development of new energy technologies. Given our tremendous budgetary challenges, however, we can’t simply expect taxpayers to accept more spending for these efforts. The best path forward is to use the revenues from production of the energy we depend on today to offset the costs of developing the next generation of energy technologies.”
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