Media Contact: Steve Adamske, 202.225.1943 (Media Only, Please)
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), along with 28 members of Congress, today introduced the bipartisan Fueling the USA Through Unlimited Reliable Energy (FUTURE) Act of 2003. The bill is designed to speed the development of fusion energy as a viable alternative to the massive consumption of fossil fuels. The proposed legislation will accelerate the scientific understanding and development of fusion as a long-term energy source. Lofgren introduced a similar bill that was passed by the House in 2002, but the Senate did not take up the bill before the session ended last year.
"Our dependence on foreign sources of energy amounts to a security risk to the people of the United States," said Lofgren. "Unless we accept responsibility to develop alternate sources of energy now, we cannot adequately provide for our future. We cannot underestimate the potential of clean fusion energy to help meet our future energy needs."
Specifically, the proposed legislation will accomplish the following:
"When we invest in this kind of science, our country benefits in more jobs, a cleaner environment, and the development of energy sources for the growing world," continued Lofgren. "Given the enormous potential of fusion as a source of electricity, we must act now to ensure that the United States remains in the forefront of this research. U.S. participation in the ITER project along with stronger support for domestic research will accomplish this."
Fusion represents hope for an alternative source of energy that could provide an unlimited clean, renewable and environmentally sound form of energy. Fusion is the combination (or fusion) of two atoms into a larger atom that results in release of tremendous amounts of energy. Fusion would produce no air pollution, and it is a safe alternative, meaning, it cannot explode or melt down.
On January 30, 2003, Secretary of Energy Abraham announced that the United States will seek to participate in the ITER, but Lofgren and other members of Congress want to write the authorization into law as a commitment to the world that the United States is serious about developing alternative sources of energy.
Lofgren is a long-serving member of the House Science Committee. The bipartisan members of Congress endorsing this bill are: Ranking Science Committee member Ralph Hall (D-TX), George Nethercutt (R-WA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA), Darrel Issa (R-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Mary Bono (R-CA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Robert Matsui (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Nick Lampson (D-TX), John Olver (D-MA), Mike Honda (D-CA), Susan Davis (D-CA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), Chet Edwards (D-TX), Gene Green (D-TX), Edward Markey (D-MA) and Stephen Lynch (D-MA).