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, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee about the Administration’s budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for Fiscal Year 2023. During the hearing, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Committee, highlighted the need for the U.S. to take steps to strengthen our energy and national security and eliminate our reliance on resources from hostile nations like Russia.
“The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is severe. Putin has used energy as a weapon to leverage power over European democracy, and intends to do the same globally, using Russia’s abundant energy resources. So far, the U.S. has taken significant steps to counter Putin’s aggression, including banning the import of Russian oil, petroleum products, LNG, and coal, while also authorizing additional LNG export capacity. These are critical moves to stop funding Putin’s brutal war on the Ukrainian people - but there is more we can and must do. In a time when maintaining and strengthening our energy security is top of mind, I look forward to hearing more about how the Administration’s budget request will help us achieve that goal,” Chairman Manchin said.
Chairman Manchin questioned Secretary Granholm about how DOE’s proposed budget reflects new priorities and funding provided by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“You are undertaking the largest reorganization since DOE’s inception at the same time that you’re managing DOE’s largest influx of funding. Can you help us understand why organizational changes were necessary, and did it have any impact on the budget increase?” asked Chairman Manchin.
“DOE has historically been a place for research, development and some small demonstration. What the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law does is it completes that spectrum and allows us to deploy and do large scale demonstrations in technologies that the research and development side has been working on. It basically takes DOE from the lab to the street. So what we want to do is to make sure this budget really causes the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment to be effective. You know that the infrastructure law funding, the $62 billion, is over 5 years so we are making sure in the DOE budget on research and development that we’re able to complement it… We have to make sure it is implemented well, and so we’ve identified positions that we must beef up on inside DOE, [including by hiring experts] with the skill sets necessary to implement and oversee the funding that will be competitively bid out and worked through the private sector,” said Secretary Granholm.
Chairman Manchin also questioned Secretary Granholm on the importance of continued U.S. financial support for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or “ITER,” the world’s first large-scale fusion reactor currently under construction in southern France. The Chairman then questioned the Secretary on whether the budget request includes funding to help make the nation’s energy infrastructure hydrogen-ready, which will help us reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing reliability and energy security as this clean fuel become more available. Finally, the Chairman pressed the Secretary on whether the Administration was coordinating with U.S. allies and trading partners to align U.S. LNG export capacity with their import needs and capabilities while providing sufficient long-term certainty for increased LNG exports.
To read Secretary Granholm’s testimony, please click here.
To watch the hearing in full, please click here.