Chairwoman Johnson Opening Statement for Hearing on the Future of ARPA-E
(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy is holding a hearing titled, “The Future of ARPA-E.”
Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement for the record is below.
Good morning and welcome to our witnesses. Thank you, Chairman Lamb, for holding this timely hearing to review the impressive performance of ARPA-E to date and to explore new ways that this vital program may accelerate America’s transition to a clean energy future.
After about 12 years since this agency was first authorized by this Committee, and 10 years since it finally received funding thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, ARPA-E now plays a critical role in maintaining America’s economic competitiveness by advancing high-risk concepts that previously lacked federal or private sector support, but that could have significant impacts on the ways we produce and use energy.
Thus far, 71 ARPA-E projects have led to the formation of new companies; 109 have partnered with other government agencies for further development; and 136 have attracted over $2.6 billion in private sector follow-on funding.
This clear record of accomplishment is why I was proud to introduce the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act of 2017 in the last Congress, which had 39 cosponsors including 11 Republicans. That bill was endorsed by an incredibly broad coalition of stakeholders, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Council on Renewable Energy, the American Petroleum Institute, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Alliance to Save Energy, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Energy Sciences Coalition, just to name a few. And I think we can do even better this year.
I was also very proud to cosponsor the ARPA-E Act of 2018 introduced by then Vice-Chairman Lucas, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enable this agency to be as effective as it can be in achieving its mission.
Before I close, I’ll note that over the last few years this program has been the subject of several overwhelmingly positive assessments by widely respected, bipartisan and nonpartisan institutions like the National Academies, the American Energy Innovation Council, and most recently by Breakthrough Energy. And in Secretary Perry’s own address to the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit last March, he said, and I quote, “ARPA-E is one of the reasons DOE has had and is having such a profound impact on American lives.” I couldn’t have said this better myself. So I certainly hope that in its next budget request, this Administration will reconsider its previous, and fortunately doomed proposals to eliminate ARPA-E altogether.
Thank you again for holding this hearing, and I look forward to the dialogue with this excellent panel of witnesses on the future of ARPA-E.
I yield back.
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