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Chairman Bingaman, Ranking Member Murkowski and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the President’s FY 13 budget request for the Department of Energy.
I want to begin by thanking Senator Bingaman for his years of leadership. It has been a privilege to work with you, and I look forward to continuing our work together this year.
To promote economic growth and strengthen national security, President Obama has called for “all-of-the-above strategy that develops every source of American energy...” The President wants to fuel our economy with domestic energy resources while increasing our ability to compete in the clean energy race.
Although the United States has reclaimed the title of world leader in clean energy investments, we are at risk of falling behind again unless we support our domestic clean energy economy. Our country faces a stark choice: we can create jobs making and exporting the energy technologies of tomorrow or we can cede leadership to other countries that are investing in these industries. As President Obama has said, passing a Clean Energy Standard is a vital step that Congress can take to broaden our clean energy market.
Making the most of America’s energy resources is a pillar of the President’s economic blueprint to build an economy that lasts.
The Department’s FY 13 budget request of $27.2 billion is guided by the President’s vision, our 2011 Strategic Plan and our inaugural Quadrennial Technology Review. It supports leadership in clean energy technologies; science and innovation; and nuclear security and environmental cleanup.
Leading in the Energy Technologies of the 21st century
Trillions of dollars will be invested in clean energy in the coming decades. To seize this opportunity, the budget request invests in the research, development, manufacturing and deployment of energy technologies.
Decades ago, Energy Department support helped to develop the technologies that have allowed us to tap into America’s abundant shale gas resources. Today, our investments can help advance technologies that will unlock the promise of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The budget request invests approximately $4 billion in our energy programs. It advances progress in areas from solar to offshore wind to carbon capture, utilization and storage to smart grid technologies. And it helps reduce our dependence on imported oil by developing next-generation biofuels, advanced batteries and fuel-efficient vehicle technologies.
The budget request invests $770 million in the nuclear energy program to help develop the next generation of nuclear power technologies, including small modular reactors. It also includes funding for continued nuclear waste R&D, which aligns with the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
As we move to a sustainable energy future, America’s fossil energy resources will continue to play an important role in our energy mix. The budget request includes $12 million as part of a $45 million priority research and development initiative by the Departments of Energy, Interior and EPA to understand and minimize the potential environmental, health and safety impacts of natural gas development through hydraulic fracturing.
The budget also promotes energy efficiency to help Americans save money by saving energy. And it sponsors R&D on industrial materials and processes to help U.S. manufacturers cut costs and compete.
To maximize our energy technology efforts, the Department is coordinating research and development across our basic and applied research programs as well as ARPA-E in areas including batteries, biofuels and electric grid technologies.
To encourage manufacturing and deployment of clean energy technologies, the President has called for extending proven tax incentives including the Production Tax Credit, the 1603 program and the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit.
As industry, Congress and the American people make critical energy decisions, it’s also important that we adequately fund the Energy Information Administration.
Unleashing U.S. Innovation to Lead in the Global Economy
Competing in the new energy economy will require our country to harness all of our resources, including American ingenuity.
To help keep the United States at the forefront of science and technology, the budget includes $5 billion for the Office of Science to support basic research that could lead to new discoveries and help solve energy challenges. These funds support progress in materials science, basic energy science, advanced computing and more.
The budget request continues to support Energy Frontier Research Centers, which aim to solve specific scientific problems to unlock new clean energy development. So far, these research centers have published more than 1,000 peer-reviewed papers and filed more than 90 patent applications or patent/invention disclosures.
It also supports the five existing Energy Innovation Hubs and proposes a new Hub in electricity systems. Through the Hubs, we are bringing together our nation’s top scientists and engineers to achieve game-changing energy goals.
Additionally, the budget request includes $350 million for ARPA-E to support research projects that could fundamentally transform the ways we use and produce energy. ARPA-E invests in high-risk, high-reward research projects that, if successful, could create the foundation for entirely new industries.
Nuclear Safety and Security
In addition to strengthening our economy, the budget request strengthens our security by providing $11.5 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
As the United States begins the nuclear arms reduction required by the New START treaty, the science, technology and engineering capabilities within the nuclear security enterprise will become even more important to sustaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent. That is why the budget request includes $7.6 billion for Weapons Activities. It also includes $1.1 billion for the Naval Reactors program.
Additionally, it supports NNSA’s work to prevent nuclear terrorism, one of President Obama’s top priorities. It includes $2.5 billion to implement key nuclear security, nonproliferation and arms control activities. Finally, the budget request includes $5.7 billion to continue progress cleaning up the nation’s Cold War nuclear sites.
Fiscal Responsibility and Management Excellence
The budget request makes strategic investments to promote prosperity and security. At the same time, we recognize the country’s fiscal challenges and are cutting back where we can. We are committed to performing our work efficiently and effectively.
Countries in Europe, Asia and throughout the Western Hemisphere recognize the energy opportunity and are moving aggressively to lead. This is a race we can win, but we must act with fierce urgency.
Thank you, and now I am pleased to answer your questions.