9:14 PM EDT

John Garamendi, D-CA 10th

Mr. GARAMENDI. This amendment would transfer $450 million from the Fossil Fuel Research Account to ARPA-E. The reason for the amendment is that we have to move off the 19th-century fuel, that is, coal and oil, and move to future energy sources, one of which I talked about a few moments ago, that is, the nuclear. The other energy sources are out there. We discussed on this floor here over the last hour the issue of solar. There are fuels, advanced biofuels. There are also wind, solar, wave, geothermal.

All of these are being advanced at this time by the ARPA-E program within the Department of Energy. That's where the future is.

Now, we can make a choice here about staying with the past and trying to figure out how to create clean coal, which is probably the oxymoron of the century, or we can simply shift our resources to look at other energy sources, and that's what we have to do. The purpose of this amendment is to do that, to shift $450 million into ARPA-E so that we can look for the energy systems of the future, providing the support that they need both in the research and in the early development of those resources.

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There has been much success in this area. There have been numerous research programs that have been done not only at the Department of Energy facilities, but at universities around this country that have taken advantage of the ARPA-E program. It is modeled after the very successful and very long-lasting Department of Defense ARPA program, and it works. We've actually seen major scientific breakthroughs that have occurred as a result of the funding from the ARPA-E program.

Modest as it was, if this amendment were to be adopted, it would be a very big program, one that has the potential of advancing this Nation's future and freeing us--in the case of oil--from the petro dictators of the world and also, in the case of coal, from the extraordinary problems that coal brings to the environment and to communities throughout this Nation. I understand the coal industry and their desire to continue to dig for coal, but we know that at some point we're going to have to move

away into the future, and that is what this amendment would attempt to accomplish.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

9:17 PM EDT

Pete Visclosky, D-IN 1st

Mr. VISCLOSKY. With all respect, I do rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. I appreciate his comments about ARPA-E. I appreciate the purpose behind its creation. And I will certainly acknowledge that it would appear at ARPA-E there is a new culture, if you would, at that element of the Department of Energy to move projects along and to have a conclusion to research.

As I indicated in my opening remarks in general debate on this bill, I wish the Department of Energy had brought the same vigor and that same commitment that they had to ARPA-E to existing programs at the Department of Energy because my concern is that at some point in time we have too many programs that are going to solve the problem and we're tripping over each other.

At this point, we have 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers, and there is a request to add three to eight more. We have a new administration, and it is not unique to the Obama administration that at the Department of Energy we need, as I would characterize it, a new silver ball to chase around. We need new hubs so that people can talk to each other about critical research. At this point in time, there are three hubs in place, as I understand, for about 18 months. There are two more called for

in this bill, totaling five.

We need a bioenergy research center. There are now three in the United States: one in Berkeley, California; one in Madison, Wisconsin; and one in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. We also need defined research being done at the Joint Genome Institute that was established in 1997 under President Clinton.

I, at this point in time, would like to make sure that ARPA-E works over a longer term, as advertised, and that as advertised the Department takes that culture that is being developed at ARPA-E and to infuse it into these other programs and to show the Congress of the United States there is communication between these numerous programs before we provide any additional monies over and above those called for in the bill.

So again, very respectfully, I would oppose the gentleman's amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

[Time: 21:20]