H.R. 3650, the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009; H.R. 3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act; H.R.3598, the Energy and Water research Integration Act Markup
REPUBLICANS RAISE CONCERNS OVER ENERGY AND WATER RESEARCH INTEGRATION BILL
Washington D.C. – Today in a markup, Republicans on the Energy and Environment Subcommittee expressed several concerns over a bill intended to augment energy-related water issues in all research, development, and demonstration projects at the Department of Energy (DOE).
While supportive of the intent of H.R. 3598, the Energy and Water Research Integration Act, Republicans raised concerns regarding duplication of research, whether the bill contradicts precedent that gives the States control over allocation of surface water and groundwater, and how the bill will incorporate information from a water use and availability assessment that has yet to be completed.
Although the bill was approved today by voice vote, Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Inglis (R-SC) asked a number of questions and indicated that he would work to improve and clarify language in the bill as it moves forward. Inglis also offered, and then withdrew, an amendment that would have delayed the implementation of the bill until the findings of the water assessment are released and a water-energy research and development (R&D) strategy is formulated. “While I agree with the intent of the bill, I am concerned that this language only affirms existing DOE priorities and ignores the large role that water resource information should play,” Inglis said.
The Subcommittee also approved H.R. 3650, the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009 and H.R. 3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act. H.R. 3650 will advance efforts at the Federal level to reduce the negative impact that algal blooms have on the environment and promote a better understanding to help prevent their negative effects. H.R. 3585 aims to increase the strength of our domestic solar technology industry through a coordinated R&D program and public-private partnerships. It also requires industry, academia, and government researchers to develop a long-term roadmap that will advance our clean energy alternatives.
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) encouraged the Committee to make sure H.R. 3585 takes a technology neutral approach to solar R&D and raised concern over language in H.R. 3585 that might empower a newly established Solar Roadmap Committee to choose winners and losers. Rep. Bartlett offered an amendment to H.R. 3585 to extend the authorization for important solar energy research programs that were included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The amendment was approved by voice vote.