Highlights importance of scientific innovation
and advancing energy security
March 10, 2006
PROVIDENCE, RI – Director of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Dr. Raymond L. Orbach today joined Governor Donald L. Carcieri at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, to promote the role of scientific research and advancement in strengthening America’s economy. Dr. Orbach discussed with members of the academic and research communities the Advanced Energy and American Competitiveness Initiatives recently announced by President Bush. These initiatives promote America’s economic vitality through further development of alternative energy sources and ensure that our next generation of scientists and researchers are equipped with the educational foundation necessary to compete in the global economy.
“Increased investments in research and development as well as science and math education are key components to America’s continued economic strength and leadership,” Dr. Orbach said. “America will maintain its competitive edge for generations to come, by doubling funding for critical basic research programs in physical sciences over the next 10 years and improving the quality of education for our children.”
During today’s visit, Dr. Orbach and Governor Carcieri observed scientific demonstrations of two of the university’s foremost technologies. They witnessed a demonstration of immersive virtual reality for scientific visualization, and a demonstration of the development of ultrafast x-ray sources for the observation of atom motions during chemical reactions. The American Competitiveness Initiative, announced by the President in his State of the Union address, focuses on new investments in the physical sciences and engineering that will develop the workforce to carry on this important work in future decades.
As part of the American Competitiveness Initiative, the President will double the budget for DOE’s Office of Science over the next ten years, beginning with a 14 percent increase in Fiscal Year 2007. This will allow the DOE’s world-class national laboratory system to continue to lead the way in innovations including high-end computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, energy sources, and other material science research. These investments encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, while strengthening our nation’s ability to compete globally.
Dr. Orbach also touched on the overall health of the U.S. economy, underscored by new employment figures released today. These figures indicate that the American economy is strong by almost any measure. America has experienced five straight years of growth in productivity, and per capita personal income continues to rise. Job growth continues to be strong as well. The unemployment rate of 4.8 percent is at its lowest point since 2001 and is lower than the average rate for the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s. Moreover, new jobs are being created for American workers. The economy created 243,000 jobs in February and has created about 2.1 million jobs over the past 12 months - and almost 5 million since August 2003.
As part of the Bush Administration’s ongoing effort to promote America’s strong economy and pro-growth energy policies, Administration and DOE officials are traveling the country today to discuss the importance of maintaining economic leadership and a scientific edge in the world through increased science and math education and additional funding for research and development of alternative energy sources.
Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman toured DOE’s Kansas City Plant to view their new technology activities and then delivered remarks to the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in Kansas City, Missouri, to promote America’s strong economy, specifically related to energy security. Deputy Secretary of Energy Clay Sell joined Texas Representative Michael Burgess (R-26 th) to host an event at Home Depot promoting the economic benefits of energy efficiency in Flower Mound, Texas. Under Secretary David Garman joined Ohio Representative Deborah Pryce (R-15 th) at American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio, to make remarks on the strong economy and to discuss the president’s new energy initiatives. Assistant Secretary Karen Harbert participated in a roundtable discussion at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, to discuss northwest Arkansas’s bio-based economics with some of the country’s largest employers. Acting Assistant Secretary Doug Faulkner is in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to highlight the ways that the Oak Ridge National Laboratory can participate in the success of the American Competitiveness and Advanced Energy Initiatives.
Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940