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September 22, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Urges DOE Secretary Brouillette to Make Public the Findings of the Interconnections Seam Study

(Washington, DC) – Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) sent a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Brouillette requesting the agency release the findings of the multi-laboratory research effort called the Interconnections Seam Study. DOE initiated the Seam Study in 2016 to model how a more-connected national grid could support grid stability, efficient resource distribution, and lower power prices for consumers. In the letter, the Chairwoman noted that DOE’s reported efforts to suppress the Seam Study would be a violation of the Department’s Scientific Integrity Policy.

“I urge the Department to release this study as soon as possible,” Chairwoman Johnson said in the letter. “The United States is facing devastating unemployment levels due to COVID-19, and the energy sector has been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn. The Interconnection Seam Study, when released, will help set the table for major investments in high-voltage transmission lines that will not only lower electricity bills, but create thousands of high-paying construction and engineering jobs in the process. American workers and energy consumers cannot afford to wait.”

The Chairwoman continued, “National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) must also be permitted to re-post the preliminary study’s findings and presentations on its website immediately. The Department’s efforts to suppress this study as reported in the media suggest a number of violations of your own Scientific Integrity Policy. The policy clearly states DOE employees and contractors are allowed to speak freely in scientific forums and contribute to public articles about their research, and that DOE officials must not suppress scientific or technological findings.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.