|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.
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.