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June 11, 2020

Energy Subcommittee Chairwoman Fletcher Holds Bipartisan Teleconference on DOE Support of Manufacturing During the COVID-19 Crisis

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy held a bipartisan teleconference with Dr. Lonnie Love, Corporate Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Dr. Christopher Spadaccini, Director of the Additive Manufacturing Initiative at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); and Dr. Robert O’Brien, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to discuss how the Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting manufacturing of medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of these labs perform cutting-edge research relating to the manufacturing sector as part of their missions, so it should come as no surprise that the leadership within the labs immediately went to work to respond to COVID-19 as we have addressed this epidemic across the country,” said Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Energy, Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX). “Here in my district in Houston, we have seen the supply chain shortfalls, as I know many of us have across the country. As we consider policies to address these issues and help protect Americans from this virus, we must make sure we leverage all of our national resources and capabilities.”

The Members, along with Dr. Love, Dr. Spadaccini, and Dr. O’Brien, discussed the work that the three represented National Laboratories are doing to support the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), consumables such as swabs and vials for COVID-19 testing, and specialized ventilators, in addition to the Agency’s plans to support and strengthen the long-term health of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

“I am encouraged by the way that our national labs, often called the crown jewels of our national research infrastructure, have gotten to work quickly and efficiently to mobilize their resources, networks, and expertise to fight back against the pandemic,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “I am always impressed by the work that our national labs do, but the initiative they have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a real inspiration during these challenging times.”