House Takes Up Department of Energy Modernization, Expiring Tax Credits FDA Ushering in New Era of 3D Printing of Medical Products

Jan 19, 2018

The first week of January, the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced it would hold a series of hearings to discuss the “modernization” of the Department of Energy (DOE). The first of these hearings took place January 9th, with ten witnesses, including DOE Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette and all three DOE Under Secretaries.

These hearings followed DOE Secretary Rick Perry’s own December 15th announcement to modernize the DOE, stemming from the Trump administration’s priorities of achieving “energy dominance”, enhancing security, and "ensuring the DOE remains the leader in scientific innovation."

The Trump administration has indicated that the DOE should shift focus away from “later-stage” R&D and technology commercialization activities, leaving this to industry, and limit focus to “early-stage” projects. DOE’s prioritization of R&D programming, in conjunction with the funding each office is allotted by Congress, will ultimately determine the extent of the agency’s research portfolio.  

Despite the administration’s preference, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in both the House and Senate are uniting to push legislation that encourages greater collaboration between DOE and industry. House leaders are also working this week to finalize a package of expiring energy tax credits, with renewed focus on carbon capture and storage credits, as well as a push from automakers for expanded transmission lines to feed more wind and solar into the grid.  General Motors plans to go fully renewable by 2050 and expects 20 percent of its global electric power demand to be met with renewable energy by the end of 2018. 

For further information on the January 9 hearing, see the January 12 edition of Capitol Update.

More information on DOE Reform initiatives can be found here: https://energycommerce.house.gov/hearings/discussion-draft-energy-star-reform-act-2017-h-r-3477-ceiling-fan-energy-conservation-harmonization-act/