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Knight's science innovation bills pass the House

Bills would authorize innovative research program and infrastructure improvements

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Washington, DC, June 29, 2018 | Chris Jusuf (202-225-1956) | comments

On Wednesday, June 27, 2018, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Department of Energy Science and Innovation Act for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. This bill, which provides policy direction and authorizes funding for ongoing science research programs, includes the provisions of H.R. 4376 and H.R. 5638, bills introduced by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA). 

H.R. 4376, the Department of Energy Research Infrastructure Act, authorizes infrastructure improvements and upgrades at specified national laboratories focused on researching advanced photonics and material sciences.

"For over a century, the United States has led the world in scientific discovery and advanced technology," said Rep. Knight "the discoveries and innovations created by American minds have not only provided immeasurable value to our economy, but have also improved the quality of life for all of mankind. The innovation and improvements advanced in these bills will reassert America's role as a world leader in science."

H.R. 5638, the Solar Fuels Innovation Act, institutes a research program at the DOE Office of Science to develop the advances chemistry needed in order to convert sunlight into storable fuels. Because this bill directs funds already authorized for the DOE Office of Science, it requires no new costs and, instead, focuses limited tax dollars on basic research.

“This legislation would pave the way for innovative technology to turn sunlight into storable fuels, fundamentally changing the way we get energy,” said Knight. “By wisely directing our resources toward infrastructure improvements, we can expand the production of groundbreaking technologies and systems fueling our solar energy economy in our community and across the country.”

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, California’s 25th Congressional District ranks 8th in the nation in solar energy production capacity and nearly 90,000 jobs in the district have a direct connection to the industry, including installers, developers, financiers, utility employees, and researchers.

“The Solar Fuels Innovation Act is a big step forward in providing the private sector with the scientific understanding needed to eventually commercialize solar fuels technologies and advance our nation’s energy policy,” continued Rep. Knight. “I’m proud to be a part of this effort and investment in our future." 

Representative Knight is the Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

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