The United States federal government serves a critical role in supporting innovation and advancing energy security through its investment in energy research. While we recognize the difficult choices that policymakers face in making investments, the current appropriations bill for the Department of Energy fails to position our nation for the innovations needed to tackle the range of energy issues we face. The proposed cuts to energy renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels and the elimination of ARPA-E are misguided. In particular, eliminating ARPA-E is shortsighted: a National Academies assessment in June 2017 noted that ARPA-E has effectively invested in much-needed, high-reward research where the private sector will not invest. ARPA-E has the potential to transform our energy future, a nd it should be restored. We urge members of the House Appropriations Committee to reverse these cuts and make critical investments in energy R&D and are hopeful that members of the Senate will fund these critical national priorities as they write their appropriations legislation. We stand ready to work with Congress on these issues going forward.
- Rush Holt, chief executive officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)