Committee on Science and Technology
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Press Releases :: November 18, 2008

Chairman Gordon’s Statement on World Energy Outlook 2008

(Washington, DC) –The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2008. The annual publication provides analysis to address the challenges posed by worsening oil supply prospects, higher energy prices and rising emissions of greenhouse gases. The most recent edition calls for a “global energy revolution” in spite of the economic situation.

Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) offered the following statement in response:

"Once again, we have a definitive report that shows the grave danger and serious challenges presented by energy security and climate change. The IEA correctly notes that ‘current global trends in energy supply and consumption are patently unsustainable.’  In the past we have made incremental shifts in our energy investments, but clearly, these are not enough.  The 2008 World Energy Outlook projects that worldwide, we will need more than $26 trillion in new energy investment by 2030 just to meet demand.  This is exactly why we need a transformational change in the way we develop energy technology.

One step we must take is to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E.  ARPA-E will be a new agency at the Department of Energy that will pursue high-risk, high-reward energy technology development.  It will employ the research model that created the culture of innovation at DARPA and lead to breakthroughs like GPS, stealth technology, body armor, and the internet.

ARPA-E is already law, but not yet funded.  The question isn’t if we can afford to do this research in the current economic climate.  The need for the new technologies is greater than ever because of the economic conditions.  About half of the growth in GDP over the past fifty years came from development and adoption of new technologies.  This is the path to ensure our competitiveness over the next fifty years, and ARPA-E is uniquely positioned to be the bridge to the new energy economy.” 

For more information, please visit the Committee’s website

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