Senator Alexander: Bipartisan Energy Legislation Gives Big Boost to Advanced Nuclear Reactors

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U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) Monday released the following statement after the Senate voted 84-3 to begin consideration of a comprehensive bipartisan energy bill that would help lower energy costs and unleash an abundance of clean, cheap, reliable energy.

Last year, Alexander called for a New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy - a five year project with Ten Grand Challenges that will use American research and technology to combat climate change and put our country and the world firmly on a path toward cleaner, cheaper energy. This bill contains several provisions that would help achieve the goals of the Ten Grand Challenges.

"I commend Chairman Murkowski's and Ranking Member Manchin's leadership in crafting this bipartisan energy bill that will help the United States fuel energy innovation, maintain its brainpower advantage and create an abundance of clean, cheap, reliable energy." Alexander said. "This bill reauthorizes the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and other important energy research programs. Authorizing this research funding is particularly important for Oak Ridge National Laboratory."

Alexander continued: "This bill provides strong support for advanced nuclear reactors, which, at a time when Americans are increasingly concerned about climate change, will be an extremely important part of our carbon-free energy future. If we want a large amount of clean, cheap, reliable electricity available to power our 21st-century economy, then we need to do everything we can to make sure nuclear power continues to provide it."

Alexander cosponsored several provisions included in this legislative package, including the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act, which will increase the agency's authorization level to $750 million by fiscal year 2024, and the Vehicle Innovation Act, which aims to reduce petroleum use and reduce carbon emissions through research and development. The Senate will consider the legislation this week.

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