Full Committee Markup -- H.R. 2304
Opening Statement By Chairman Bart Gordon
Today, the Committee will consider two bills, H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, introduced by Mr. McNerney, and H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act, introduced by Ms. Hooley and Mr. Rohrabacher.
Each of these two bills is designed to expand our country’s renewable energy production portfolio. Both geothermal energy and marine energy are enormous resources that have great potential to make significant contributions to meeting our nation’s energy needs at a competitive cost. But they require support for research and development in order to advance to a state of commercial readiness.
Geothermal energy is the energy stored as heat in the earth’s crust, and it is a resource of truly vast potential. Yet most of this potential goes untapped due to lack of resources to develop the technologies and techniques that would make geothermal energy widely accessible.
H.R. 2304, The Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act of 2007, will build on and expand the existing DOE geothermal energy program and provide the support to develop a wide range of Hydrothermal and Enhanced Geothermal Systems. In the process, the bill would reinvigorate geothermal research and development in the United States, and elevate geothermal energy to a position as major contributor to our nation’s power production portfolio.
Marine renewable energy technologies today are at a stage of development similar to where wind power was about 20 years ago. The prototype technologies show great promise, and the resource is huge, potentially able to provide as much as 10% of our nation’s electricity needs. But here again, researchers and industry require more support if they are going to move these technologies from the experimental stage to commercial viability. H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007, is designed to do just that.
Both of these bills are designed to address overlooked opportunities in our efforts to create a 21st century energy policy that emphasizes good American jobs, diversity of supply, increased national security, and reduced environmental impact.
I want to thank my colleagues, Mr. McNerney and Ms. Hooley and Mr. Rohrabacher, for introducing them. I urge their passage, and look forward to getting them to the House floor.
I would like to make one final comment before we get down to business. I want to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to my friend and colleague, the Ranking Member Mr. Hall, and his colleagues on the minority side for proposing some very thoughtful amendments to these bills for our consideration today.
I can’t guarantee that we’ll be supporting all of them, but we will definitely be supporting some of them, and the committee staff informs me that the amendments have contributed significantly to the quality of this legislation.
I think this is another fine example of the bipartisan spirit with which we strive to conduct the business of the Science and Technology Committee.
Thank you to everyone for your thorough consideration of these important bills, and for your substantive contributions to make them even better.