February 27,2007

Baucus Introduces Energy Research Act of 2007

Energy Research Act of 2007 seeks to end dependence on oil with cutting-edge research

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
wants to create an energy research agency that can ensure America’s energy
independence and economic competitiveness. The Advanced Research Projects Agency
for Energy (ARPA-E) would be responsible for conceiving, researching, and building
new technologies to break America’s dependence on foreign oil. Baucus has introduced
the Energy Research Act of 2007 to create ARPA-E as an independent agency outside the
Department of Energy, with a director appointed by and answerable to the President. The
Baucus legislation funds ARPA-E at twice the level of previous proposals.

“America’s energy problems aren’t going to be solved with the same old ideas. We
need to shake off the cobwebs of conventional thinking. We need to provide
researchers with a place where the sky’s the limit and the goal is nothing less than
total energy independence,”
Baucus said. “ARPA-E has to be about tomorrow, not
about the tired energy policies of today. So to get truly outside the box, ARPA-E
should be outside the Energy Department. The idea of ARPA-E has been knocking
around Congress for more than a year, and it’s time to get this agency up and
running hard.”

ARPA-E was first proposed by the Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of
the 21st Century, but Baucus’s Energy Research Act of 2007 adds additional
independence, funding, and authority to its mandate. It requires a small, elite staff of
experts, provides higher salaries to attract and keep America’s best technical minds, and
limits the tenure of staff to ensure continual innovation. ARPA-E would be authorized to
award cash prizes to encourage and accelerate energy research accomplishments.

Baucus first introduced legislation to create ARPA-E in 2006, as one of several proposals
aimed at improving America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. The Energy
Research Act of 2007 is expected to be referred to the Senate Energy Committee. Text
will be available at http://finance.senate.gov/

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