Murkowski: U.S. Must Continue to Lead on Energy Innovation

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, yesterday chaired a hearing to examine the current status and future of energy innovation in the United States. The hearing featured Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary of Science Paul Dabbar, former DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz, and representatives from the Bipartisan Policy Center, ClearPath, the Council on Competitiveness, and West Virginia University. 

Murkowski opened by stressing the importance of fostering an environment that encourages innovation and allows for breakthroughs in clean energy technologies.

“American ingenuity has led the way in global innovation, but we want to continue to lead the way on innovation,” Murkowski said. “It is time to push hard to bring down the cost of clean energy technologies like renewables, advanced nuclear, next-generation energy storage, and carbon capture. If we want credible technological solutions that are cost effective and deployable globally and at-scale, we must ensure that the policies we put in place propel those efforts.” 

Each witness reiterated the significance of research and development in multiple clean energy technologies and a diversified energy portfolio.

Moniz emphasized the importance of an all-of-the-above approach and said, “There is no single low carbon, one-size-fits-all solution.”

The discussion also highlighted the need to establish a shared long-term strategy for energy policy and for alignment between industry, the federal government, and our National Labs. DOE plays a significant role in pushing the limits of basic science, furthering discovery, and finding the breakthroughs that can change our energy future. 

Under Secretary Dabbar noted there are still vacancies in key positions at DOE, including ARPA-E, which plays an essential role in the innovation ecosystem. The president has resubmitted his nominee for this important position to the Senate.

Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video of yesterday’s hearing can be found on the committee’s website. Click here to view Murkowski’s questions for the witnesses.

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