Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D-WV) has proposed special infrastructure spending legislation that would provide billions of dollars in funding for R&D, demonstration projects, and other initiatives to promote emerging energy technologies.
The Biden administration is seeking to vastly expand the Department of Energy's clean energy R&D programs in fiscal year 2022 and to place a new priority on areas such as commercial-scale technology demonstrations, industrial decarbonization, and climate resilience.
New reports written at the direction of President Biden review supply-chain vulnerabilities in semiconductors, high-capacity batteries, critical minerals and materials, and pharmaceuticals. They stress that support for innovation should be coupled strongly to domestic manufacturing incentives in order to bolster U.S. industry.
The Senate passed a landmark competitiveness policy package this week containing the Endless Frontier Act proposal for a multi-billion-dollar technology R&D initiative. Key members of the House are now crafting a compromise proposal they regard as better-suited to existing agency strengths.
The Senate is considering major expansions to research security policy as part of debate on the Endless Frontier Act, including a proposal to empower the government to block universities from accepting certain foreign gifts and contracts.
The Endless Frontier Act is headed to the Senate floor next week despite an unresolved feud over the roles the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy should play in the flagship R&D initiative the legislation proposes.
University of Oregon physical chemist Geraldine Richmond has been nominated for the position of under secretary for science and energy at the Department of Energy. Richmond has longstanding connections to DOE and its national labs and has been a member of the National Science Board since 2012.
President Biden has nominated University of California, Merced biogeochemist Asmeret Berhe to lead the Department of Energy Office of Science, which oversees a fleet of scientific user facilities and a multi-billion dollar basic research portfolio.
The House Science Committee held a hearing last week to solicit ideas for bolstering the U.S. research enterprise, seeking to inform bipartisan innovation bills that it plans to advance in the coming months.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D-WV) is pressing for the technology competitiveness legislation that Congress is currently developing to incorporate innovation capabilities offered by the Department of Energy and its national labs.