Washington, DC– Nevada Senator Harry Reid today joined a bipartisan group of Senators in sending the Department of Energy a letter urging adequate funding for research into geothermal energy.
“Geothermal energy has enormous potential to provide clean energy throughout Nevada and across the West,” said Reid. ”We are urging the Energy Department to adequately fund this vital research and to follow the guidance in last year’s energy bill to accelerate the development of technologies to tap into this vast renewable energy resource.”
A copy of the text of the letter is included below
February 1, 2008
Secretary Samuel Bodman
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585 FAX 202/586-4403
Dear Mr. Secretary,
An important part of the Energy Independence and Security Act, HR 6, are the provisions that authorize and direct the Department of Energy to undertake a broad, new advanced geothermal energy research program. These provisions were based upon legislation that had strong, bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate, were developed after hearings in the House and Senate Committees of jurisdiction, and were passed with large bi-partisan majorities.
The Congress also has appropriated in the Consolidated Appropriations bill $20 million for the geothermal research program in FY 2008. It is our expectation that these funds will be spent to begin the immediate implementation of the new advanced research and for other geothermal programs that Congress has authorized and the President has signed into law.
Further, while we understand that the process for preparing the Administration’s FY 2009 budget is well underway, we expect the Department to re-evaluate its budget request for the geothermal program in light of this new authorization. In addition to re-evaluating the FY 2009 request, we would urge the Department to consider reprogramming or requesting additional funds in FY 08 in order to implement the advanced geothermal research program that has just been authorized. The new law authorizes $95 million annually to conduct a broad-ranging program of advanced technology development, and we urge the Department’s to embark upon a program that embraces this new vision of geothermal energy’s potential and to request funding that can support this level of effort.
According to reports by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory geothermal resources have the potential to provide tens of thousands of megawatts of new renewable power and heat energy to meet our energy needs. We urge the Department to initiate a bold new geothermal program as authorized and directed by HR 6 to develop and deploy advanced technology across the spectrum of geothermal resources to achieve this potential.
Sen. Ron Wyden Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Sen. Harry Reid Sen. Larry Craig
Sen. Jeff Bingaman Sen. Gordon Smith
Sen. Ken Salazar Sen. Mike Crapo
Sen. Bernard Sanders Sen. Orrin Hatch
Sen. Daniel Akaka Sen. Jon Tester