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Bonamici Questions Secretary Perry on Trump Budget Cuts to Wave Energy Research and National Labs

May 9, 2018
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [05/09/18] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) questioned Energy Secretary Rick Perry at a Congressional hearing on the Department of Energy (DOE) budget today. As a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the top Democrat on the Environment Subcommittee, the Congresswoman has been a leading advocate for renewable energy, including wave energy and hydropower research. The Trump DOE budget proposes to cut funding for hydropower research by more than 57 percent.

“I am disappointed to see that the Department of Energy’s budget proposal would make significant cuts to the development of clean energy technologies, including water power,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Oregon State University is a global leader in marine renewable energy research and development. The Pacific Marine Energy Center relies on federal investments from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) to establish the nation’s fully energetic on-grid wave energy test facility off the Oregon Coast. This facility will be able to test wave energy converters that harness the energy of ocean waves and currents and turn it into electricity. Hydropower has tremendous potential to become a major source of electricity for the United States and the world, and other countries are ahead of us here.

Bonamici challenged the Secretary: “Your budget proposal cuts funding for hydropower research and development by more than 57 percent. Do you agree that this country should be reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and if so, why is the Department pursuing such severe cuts for federal energy research investments?”

Secretary Perry expressed support for renewable energy, but declined to specify why the Trump Administration proposed cuts to this program.

Bonamici responded, emphasizing the severity of the cuts, “As someone whose responsibility is to advise the President, I hope that you will advise the President that this is a good investment.”

Bonamici also called on the Secretary to preserve funding for the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Albany, Oregon. Last year, the Administration’s budget proposed a phased approach to consolidate the Albany lab. Secretary Perry said that DOE is no longer discussing plans that would result in the closure of the lab in Albany.

You can watch Bonamici’s questions at today’s hearing here.