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Appropriator backs ‘basic energy’ research

The chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that writes the Department of Energy’s budget said at a hearing that the agency should have twice as much money for energy research.

“It’s hard to think of any important technological advance in the sciences and in physics and biology, in any event since the second world war, that hasn’t involved at least some form of government-sponsored research. That’s why it’s so important to double the more than $5 billion the United States Department of Energy spends on basic energy research,” said Lamar Alexander, a Republican senator from Tennessee.

Energy secretary Ernest Moniz (pictured) appeared before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to discuss the administration’s proposed fiscal year 2016 budget for the agency. The White House has asked for $30.5bn, up $2.5bn from last year. Alexander called that unrealistic, despite his desire to grow the department’s research budget.

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