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House Approves Energy Innovation Bills

Jun 27, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved three energy bills that modernize energy innovation.

The Department of Energy Science and Innovation Act of 2018 (H.R. 5905) was introduced by Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), chairman of the Energy Subcommittee. The National Innovation Modernization by Laboratory Empowerment Act (NIMBLE Act) (H.R. 5907) was introduced by Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), a member of the Energy Subcommittee. The ARPA-E Act of 2018 (H.R. 5906) was introduced by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), vice chairman of the Science Committee.

Chairman Smith: “These three energy bills advance and update vital energy research. They modernize our DOE national labs, continue to prioritize basic science research, and promote energy innovation. To maintain our leadership in science and technology, we must continue to support the research, and research infrastructure that cultivates energy breakthroughs. I thank Science Committee members from both sides of the aisle for their work on these issues. Reps. Lucas, Weber, and Hultgren have taken the lead to keep our national labs the best in the world.”

Vice Chairman Lucas: “Our legislation today addresses many of the concerns that ARPA-E was not living up to its original mission. By refocusing the ARPA-E mission, the Department of Energy will be more innovative and agile in addressing pressing matters, ranging from energy grid improvements to fossil fuel exploration and biofuel development. Strengthening ARPA-E is an important step towards tackling the problems of today by promoting science and technology-driven solutions.”

Chairman Weber: “To maintain our competitive advantage as a world leader in science, we must support the basic research and development that leads to major scientific discoveries. My bill, the Department of Energy Science and Innovation Act, authorizes Office of Science programs, as well as upgrades and new construction of facilities at DOE national labs and universities. Earlier this year, I saw these programs at work while visiting Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. This bill is an investment in America’s future leadership. I am grateful for the support this bill received from the Chairman, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Vice Chairman Lucas, and so many others.”

Rep. Hultgren: “The NIMBLE Act is part of a bipartisan effort to open up our national labs to collaborate with more small businesses and be engines for national, regional and local economic growth. By cutting red tape for smaller research and development agreements, decision-making authority will go to the people on the ground who know the labs best. Our labs are the crown jewel in our research ecosystem. By allowing them to be more nimble in reacting to the needs of the private sector, we can better serve the nation and the needs of the Department.”

Background

Rep. Weber’s Department of Energy Science and Innovation Act of 2018 authorizes the DOE’s Office of Science programs at $6.26 billion for fiscal year 2018 and $6.6 billion for fiscal year 2019. It also prioritizes funding from that spending for upgrades and new construction of major user facilities at the DOE’s national labs and universities. The bill text can be found here.

Rep. Hultgren’s National Innovation Modernization by Laboratory Empowerment Act (NIMBLE Act) helps our national labs better work with businesses by providing authority to lab directors to approve and facilitate partnerships with the private sector. The bill text can be found here.

Vice Chairman Lucas’ ARPA-E Act of 2018 requires the DOE to reform and refocus ARPA-E towards developing transformative science and technology solutions to address energy, economic, environment and national security challenges. The bill text can be found here.

115th Congress