ASP Board Member among signatories of letter urging Congress to protect energy R&D

ASP Board Member among signatories of letter urging Congress to protect energy R&D

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American Security Project Board Member, Norman R. Augustine was among fourteen energy and economic experts who sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee warning that proposed cuts to the Department of Energy would have significant national security and economic ramifications. The letter called on the appropriators to fund the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The bipartisan consensus of the letter is that failure to fund ARPA-E will hurt American competitiveness: “Accelerating innovation and increasing American competitiveness are two goals that have always enjoyed broad-based support. This consensus has been sustained by an understanding that innovation has been a driving force behind American prosperity for decades.”


The consensus’ strong support for ARPA-E is founded in the understanding that a strong partnership between public and private research and development furthers American industrial competitiveness. The letter emphasized that, “programs like ARPA-E provide a blueprint for smart federal investments in high risk, high reward technologies that boost our competitiveness by keeping America at the forefront of global energy technology research.” Therefore, cutting ARPA-E funding would limit America’s ability to lead from the front in research and development projects both domestically and internationally.


The letter emphasizes that energy research and innovation is an increasingly crucial sector that warrants the full support of the federal government. Internationally, energy represents an opportunity for the U.S. to champion cooperative private-public energy innovation:

More than a billion people around the globe currently lack access to modern energy services. As populations grow over the next several decades, billions more will need access to clean affordable and reliable energy. Federal investments at crucial stages in the innovation cycle provide essential support to private sector efforts in developing energy technologies and resources we can export to meet these needs.


The consensus concludes that continued Department of Energy support for investment in energy research and development programs can secure America’s competitive advantage while accelerating energy innovation at this critical moment for the future of the United States.