Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15th, 2011-House Representative Mentions Energy Sciences Coalition Letter in Energy and Water Bill Floor Debate

The House continued discussion on the FY 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill yesterday, July 14th, 2011 During that time, debate ensued on Rep. Rush Holt’s (D-NJ, 12th) and Rep. Tim Bishop’s (D-NY, 1st) amendment. The amendment would have increased funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science by $42.7 million.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA, 29th) spoke in favor of the amendment, and specifically highlighted the support of the Energy Sciences Coalition (ESC) (of which our office is a part of) and referenced some of the points from the Coalition’s May 2011 letter Supporting the DOE Office of Science when appealing to the floor. He also entered a copy of the letter into the Congressional Record. Here is an excerpt from Congressman Schiff’s remarks:

“I have a letter here from the Energy Sciences Coalition in support of Mr. Holt and Mr. Bishop's efforts that talk about the need for scientific research, world-class user facilities, teams of skilled scientists and engineers that are funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science at universities and national labs around the country. Economic experts have asserted as much, crediting past investments in science and technology for up to half the growth in GDP in the 50 years following the end of World War II. At this time when we're being challenged by other nations for our leadership in science and technology, this is not the right time to disinvest from this vital research.

The amendment by Mr. Holt and Mr. Bishop is supported by countless associations of physics and chemistry, countless universities and institutions of higher learning--my own University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz, but also around the country, from the University of Chicago to U.S.C. to the University of Tennessee and the University of Virginia, all over the Nation, not to mention Princeton University. And why? Because these institutions of higher learning have been leading the way in path-breaking developments that have just boosted our economy and our understanding of energy and the world around us.

So this is a vital investment in the future, and I urge support for my colleagues' amendment.”

While the amendment ultimately failed (final vote: 164-261), it was a proud moment for the members of the ESC. Even so, there is much maintenance work to be done in the Senate, who just received the outline of the Senate’s FY 2012 budget allocation by the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). The Senate Budget Committee’s proposal provides $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. To view a video and written copy of the Chairman’s speech, please go here.

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