Energy Secretary Steven Chu called on Congress not to cut his department’s research-and-development budget, saying to do so could cost the US its place in the race to develop advanced batteries and other clean forms of energy.
Speaking Friday at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters, Secretary Chu was asked about provisions in a House Republican spending plan for the current budget year. It would cut $800 million from the DOE science budget and $700 million from its renewable-energy programs.
“I would hope Congress would appreciate the fact that the research-and-development budget is vital for our future prosperity,” Chu said. “This is a very competitive world out there.”
He added, “You turn off the spigot for this research and ideas, you will be saying, 'All right, United States, you are not in the race anymore.' And that would be tragic.”