WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing with Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry examining the department’s FY2020 budget priorities.
At the hearing, Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) emphasized the need for more money for research and stressed the need for the United States to export technologies to the rest of the world to drive down emissions with cleaner fossil energy. He spoke about a recent example of how a DOE research grant created a new technology that’s helping steel mills in India burn cleaner fuel:
“But they’ve licensed that technology to steel mills in India. Why? Because it’s a part of their research they’re separating things from coal and they can separate out the dirtier coal from the cleaner coal – the higher carbon coal. And now we’ve got steel plants in India that are going to use that technology to get a higher grade of coal to burn to make their steel, which means that they’re lowering their carbon footprint because of technology – financed in part by the Department of Energy at Virginia Tech and other places – and that’s progress. … We can do a lot for the world if we can export American technology to the rest of the world, so they can lower their carbon footprint.”
Secretary Perry also discussed America’s abundance of low-emission, clean natural gas after being asked a question by Chairman Frank Pallone about LNG exports:
“We have the most massive supply in the world, sir. If the question here is there’s some folks over in the Northeast that are concerned about that – the availability or the cost of natural gas – it’s got a lot more to do with the inability to build a pipeline across New York, for instance, to the Northeast than it does to our supply. The American natural gas producing regions of this country – we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. That’s not my quote, that’s the quote of the International Energy Agency head Fatih Birol last week when I was in the EU, telling the Europeans that we have more gas than they can purchase. So, I would suggest that this country is really blessed to have this low-emissions, clean burning fuel. And being able to build the infrastructure out across this country, so that all Americans can enjoy that fuel. The folks in the Northeast are paying 40 percent more for their residential and 60 percent more for their commercial electricity because of the inability to move that natural gas into those regions and then use it. And I didn’t even get to talk about the negative effect on our environment because of the fuel that’s being burned that’s not natural gas.”
During his questioning, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) highlighted the need for Congress to pass the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act to ensure the federal government’s legal obligations to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste are fulfilled:
“121 sites around this country currently hold commercial spent fuel. We also have defense waste sitting at places like Savannah river and Hanford. Yucca Mountain is the law of the land, and I support the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act – I know you do as well. I look forward to working with you, John Shimkus, and others to get Yucca Mountain back on track."