February 13,2009

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Carol Guthrie, (202) 224-4515

Baucus Praises Funding for ARPA-E

American Recovery and Reinvestment act includes funding for energy research

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today praised the inclusion of $400 million in the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (ARRA) for the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (APRA-E). Baucus first introduced legislation to create ARPA-E to spur research on innovative ways to move toward energy independence, and helped to push through the creation of ARPA-E in the “America Competes Act of 2007.”

“The cost of energy will profoundly affect the future competitiveness of the American economy, and preventing global climate change will be impossible without some fundamental reshaping of our energy future.” Baucus said. “To break out, we need an energy research effort modeled after the Manhattan project, or the Apollo mission to the moon. Since its creation, ARPA-E has never been sufficiently funded. But with this substantial investment, ARPA-E can finally start to spur breakthrough energy research that will break our nation’s dependence on oil. I also want to thank Chairman Bart Gordon of the House Committee on Science and Technology for his consistent and strong support for ARPA-E.”

Baucus first introduced legislation creating ARPA-E in March of 2006 (S. 2398), based on the 2005 recommendations of the Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century, chaired by Norm Augustine. In February of 2007 he reintroduced the bill for the 110th Congress (S. 696), and in August of that year the Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the competitiveness legislation that created ARPA-E inside the Department of Energy.

ARPA-E takes its inspiration from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. This Pentagon research office developed the Internet and stealth technology.

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