SEEC Members call on Secretary Perry to release ARPA-E funds

May 24, 2017 Issues: Climate Change, Energy, Environment

Washington D.C. – SEEC Member Rep. Don Beyer was joined by SEEC Co-Chairs Reps. Paul Tonko, Gerry Connolly, and Doris Matsui and 55 other Members of Congress in pressing Energy Secretary Rick Perry to immediately release funds to previously-approved projects at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). They also asked the Secretary to clarify the Department of Energy’s procedures for approving and funding grants, after Members of Congress from both parties expressed frustration with departmental processes which have recently become opaque and confusing.

Clean energy innovation is a priority of the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition. ARPA-E funds support the development of innovative energy solutions that protect public health by reducing air and water pollution, create new jobs, and help us ensure a secure energy future for the United States while addressing climate change.

Withholding these funds stalls innovation and hurts businesses, universities, and other organizations that made important hiring and investment decisions based on Department approval of their projects. One news report has already indicated that the hold-up of these funds has killed jobs in 19 states.

Withholding this funding is also a violation of the law. The letter reads in part:

“Agencies may not thwart the intent of Congress by withholding or impounding funds directed for a specific purpose. Inhibiting the flow of funds or interfering with the execution of appropriations in the manner directed by Congress is unlawful. This law, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, was signed into law after President Richard Nixon’s impoundment of appropriated funds.”

The letter with all 59 signatures is available here.