UPDATE: The full House Committee on Science and Technology has passed the Solar Roadmap bill. (3:15 PM) The Committee then passed the Energy and Water Research Integration Act.(3:45 PM)
Energy & Water
The first is HR 3598, the Energy and Water Research Integration Act, introduced by Congressman Bart Gordon, (D-TN), chair of the committee. This bill instructs the DOE to create an Energy-Water Architecture Council to promote wise use of water in the production of electricity. The bill sets funding for the Council at $5 million a year from 2011 to 2015.
Congressman Gordon recently explained that his bill deals with the “critical linkages” between energy and water:
“After five Committee hearings on water, including one specifically related to the energy-water nexus, this legislation is the result of serious investigation by the Committee. H.R. 3598 has been informed by witness testimonies and reports from the National Academies, the Government Accountability Office, the National Science Technology Council, and the Department of Energy. This legislation provides additional tools in a national effort to address the growing problems related to supply and quality of water and energy, and augments the interagency coordination effort laid out in my other bill, H.R. 1145, The National Water Research and Development Initiative Act of 2009.”
The bill has bipartisan support.
On Monday, I traveled with Rep. Giffords as she toured solar installations at Arizona State University in Tempe. While talking about HR 3585, Giffords stressed that it is a way to guide the development of solar power efficiently and effectively — but without picking winners and losers among competing technologies.
“Seventy-five percent of grants from the DOE will go through the Solar Roadmap Committee,” she said. “The panel members are there to ensure that the money is invested wisely.”
The committee will be comprised of a wide variety of experts from industry, national laboratories, academia, federal agencies and relevant state and local entities.
We’ve put together a backgrounder on the Solar Roadmap bill. It includes the bill itself, several related documents and contact and biographical information about Representative Giffords.