Manchin: Basic Scientific Research Is Critical To Addressing America’s Most Pressing Challenges, Strengthening Competitive Advantages

Manchin, witnesses emphasize importance of interagency collaboration and coordination

August 5, 2021

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and its role in America’s research and development ecosystem. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Committee, highlighted efforts the U.S. Senate has recently taken to drive scientific innovation and stressed the need to continually invest in and support scientific research.

Chairman Manchin questioned the witnesses about the greatest need and opportunity for the Office of Science and how the $16.9 billion authorized in the U.S. Competition and Innovation Act for the research and development at National Labs would be used.

“We’re looking at numerous areas where investments could be made and have the most impact in innovation and they would include areas like quantum information science and microelectronics and systems biology, essentially across the whole range of these, what we consider to be critical and emerging technologies. These technologies will open the door to new businesses and there are significant research opportunities in these areas as well. We also need to invest in the scientific infrastructure to support those activities,” said Dr. J. Stephen Binkley, Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director at the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Chairman Manchin also highlighted the importance of investing in the infrastructure needs of the DOE and its laboratories in addition to research and development.

In commenting on the relationship between the various science and research agencies across the Federal Government, Chairman Manchin also emphasized that “collaboration is as vital to scientific pursuits as it is to legislative ones.”

“We want to make sure that it’s not redundant. We want to make sure that we’re not creating silos. We want to make sure that the money that the American people are investing, through our treasury, is going to get a return on that investment. That means basically getting the maximum use of what we already have,” said Chairman Manchin. 

The hearing featured witnesses from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and University of Wyoming. To read their testimony click here.

To watch the hearing in full, please click here.