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CINCINNATI, OH - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today joined Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-1st) to tour the hydrogen and clean coal research laboratory at the University of Cincinnati (UC) highlighting the importance of science and technology in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and touting America's robust economy.  Secretary Bodman discussed President Bush's commitment through the American Competitiveness Initiative to invest more than $136 billion over 10 years to increase investments in research and development and the President's Advanced Energy Initiative, which seeks to diversify our nation's energy sources and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

"Scientific research conducted in laboratories at the University of Cincinnati and across the nation is crucial to technological development that will transform the way we power our homes and businesses and keeps our economy thriving," Secretary Bodman said.  "Through the President's American Competitiveness Initiative, we are harnessing the power of American innovation and making critical investments to ensure that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come."

Secretary Bodman discussed the importance of clean coal and hydrogen fuel cell research as part of President's Advanced Energy Initiative, which boosts federal spending on clean energy sources, and alternative and renewable fuels by 22 percent in this fiscal year.  This initiative seeks to make alternative and renewable fuels practical and affordable to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and promote greater energy security.  To draw on the nation's scientific and technological resources, Secretary Bodman highlighted the American Competitiveness Initiative, which seeks to double federal spending on basic research-with special emphasis on the physical sciences and engineering-over the next ten years.

"The University of Cincinnati's alternative energy research programs are a tremendous asset to our community and the nation," Rep. Chabot said.  "This is an excellent opportunity to highlight UC's good work and to promote future research partnerships."

In addition to discussing positive impacts of scientific research and development on strengthening America's energy security, Secretary Bodman touted the nation's strong economy, underscored by new unemployment figures released last week.  The unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in September accounting for 37 straight months of job growth.   The economy has created 6.6 million jobs since September 2003, up from the previous estimate of 5.7 million.  These figures indicate that the American economy is strong by almost any measure.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940