Alexander: Energy Bill Supports Research at Oak Ridge National Lab for Basic Science, Supercomputers, and Nuclear Power

Says Senate version of legislation also takes next step toward making James K. Polk Home part of the National Park System

Posted on July 12, 2016

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement today after voting to allow the Senate to begin negotiations with the House of Representatives to resolve differences between the two chambers’ broad, energy policy bills to bolster the United States’ competitive advantage and put the country on a reasonable path to create clean, cheap, reliable energy.

 “I am glad the Senate voted to begin working with the House of Representatives to negotiate a comprehensive energy bill that will help the United States create clean, cheap, reliable energy innovation to spur our free enterprise system. The Senate bill would reauthorize energy programs in the America COMPETES Act and would increase funding authorizations for the Department of Energy to double funding for basic energy research over the next 10 years – which would include funding for research done at our national laboratories, including at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” Alexander said. “It is my hope that the final bill will authorize these programs, and also authorize the Department of Energy to continue working to build the world’s fastest supercomputers, which is essential to national security, clean energy research and competitiveness.”

The Senate bill would also direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study for the James K. Polk Home. This study would be the next step in preserving the former president’s home as part of the National Park System.

“Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for the presidential home of President James K. Polk, who created the Department of Interior, which oversees the National Park Service, to be managed by the National Park Service? I sure think so.”

The Senate version of the bill, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, includes several other provisions supported by Alexander, such as the ExaSCALE Computing Leadership Act of 2015 and the National Parks Access Act. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 85 to 12. If signed into law, the legislation would be the first broad energy legislation since 2007.

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For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

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