Media Contact: Christine Glunz, 202.225.3072
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) today praised the passage of provisions from her previous bill, the Fueling the USA Through Unlimited Reliable Energy (FUTURE) Act of 2003 (H.R. 1282), into the final energy conference report (H.R. 6), which passed last night. o:p>
The original bill (H.R. 1282) was designed to speed the development of fusion energy as a viable alternative to the massive consumption of fossil fuels and accelerate the scientific understanding and development of fusion as a long-term energy source. The specific fusion energy provisions in the final legislation bill (H.R. 6) will authorize the Department of Energy to fully participate in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) while ensuring that the U.S. provides maximum benefit for our domestic fusion energy research program.
“By authorizing separate funding for the ITER project, the bill sends the unmistakable signal that ITER funding is not to come from the already underfunded domestic research effort,” Lofgren said. “I believe it is essential for this nation and the international community to pursue fusion aggressively. Fusion research has shown dramatic progress over the past decade, and we are now ready to take the next major step toward a demonstration.”
“When you think about what we are paying today in terms of human lives and dollars for an energy policy that is so heavily reliant on imported oil, it seems self-evident that we must pursue this aggressively almost no matter what the cost or risk,” said Lofgren. We spend more money importing oil into this country every day than we do every year on fusion research, well over $250 million per day!”
ITER is a next step fusion project that will effectively cap off the science and much of the technology necessary to move ahead and build a demonstration of a first generation fusion energy project. Negotiations to determine the financing and site selection of ITER are now moving forward between Europe, Japan, Russia, Canada, China and now South Korea. Earlier this year, the President announced that the U.S. should join these negotiations.