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Restoring American energy innovation leadership

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Below are highlights from a letter written by members of the AEIC, including Bill Gates, CoChair, Bill and Melin da Gates Foundation, Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric and Chad Holliday Retired Chairman and CEO of DuPont to the US Senate on the topic of restoring America’s leadership when it comes to energy innovation.

“That America is today enjoying a respite from the days of energy scarcity can be attributed in part to federally funded technology research, development and demonstration (RD&D) that occurred many years ago. Those investments supported vital private sector entrepreneurs and created dozens of technologies, such as those used in shale gas production today. These technologies have been important to our economic growth and competitiveness.”

“Unfortunately, if recent trends continue, future entrepreneurs will not have the benefit of such robust public investments in RD&D. Since 2010, support for government energy RD&D has languished with appropriations remaining depressed when adjusted for inflation. While we understand the need to address our national debt, investing in innovation is an investment in future economic growth.

“Even amid today’s abundance, America’s energy challenges are more critical than ever. Energy costs are too high for many households and businesses; environmental concerns related to energy production continue to grow; and our electricity system faces physical and cyber threats. Geopolitical threats like climate change, global energy market volatility, and international competition for energy resources are increasingly ominous.

“The fundamental finding of our report is this: the scale of federal energy RD&D investment is still just a fraction of what is necessary. The US must commit to greater, and smarter, investments in energy technology now to capture its remarkable energy promise and deal with the pressing competitiveness, security, and environmental challenges.”

Edited from letter by Claira Lloyd

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