Democratic News

Yesterday, in a major policy address on energy, President Bush talked about harnessing the power of technology to wean the United States from its dependence on pricey foreign oil and help meet the soaring global energy demands in fast-growing economies like China and India.  “Technology … is this nation’s ticket to energy independence,” the President said.  (It would not be surprising if the President mentions this again tonight in his press conference.)


Sen. Jeff Bingaman agrees with the President that technology is key to a long-term energy plan, and that scientific and technological innovation are vital to shaping a more secure future for ourselves and future generations of Americans.  Regrettably, the reality of the President’s proposed budget to spur innovation in the energy sector does not square with his rhetoric of yesterday: it includes a cut in funding for science and technology research at the Department of Energy.  Unless this money is restored, the pace of discovery and progress will be slowed and America’s position as the world high-tech leader will be threatened.


Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bingaman (D-NM) and 66 other senators have written to the chair and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water – Sens. Pete Domenici and Harry Reid – in support of a boost in FY06 funding for DOE’s Office of Science.  The letter, and a fact sheet, is attached.


Americans have come to rely on science and technology and take it for granted in our everyday lives.  But the marvels of today are really the fruits of research seeds planted years ago.  The very fact that these advances required decades of investment stands as a warning against complacency in our future investment strategy.


Even as we marvel at the golden eggs, we must not forget the nutritional needs of the goose. 


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Bill Wicker

Democratic Communications Director

Senate Energy & Natural Resources