Chairwoman Kaptur Statement at FY 2023 Budget Request for the Department of Energy Hearing

2022-04-28 14:52

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Chair of the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the FY 2023 Budget Request for the Department of Energy:

Thank you, Secretary Granholm, for joining us today. I’m so grateful to have a fellow Great Lakes colleague with such a distinguished career as our Secretary of Energy.

I am pleased that we can gather today to discuss the important work of the Department of Energy in ensuring American energy independence, which is fundamental to national security. However, as we gather, half way around the world, energy insecurity in Europe is having a profound impact on Russia’s war on Ukraine. We are all witnessing a critical test to Liberty’s survival. I am proud of our efforts in this Congress, and the efforts of President Biden, to support Ukraine as she fights for her freedom. But Europe cannot be free – nor escape the consequences of tyranny – if it continues its reliance on Russian gas and energy that fuels Putin’s war. America has led the world in ending imports of Russia’s blood-soaked oil that props up that criminal regime. It’s time for the rest of the world to do the same.

This pivotal moment is a blunt reminder how important our energy independence is to national security. In the second half of the last century, America slid into reliance on imported oil. In the 1970s, our nation learned the hard way the danger of reliance on imported energy with the first Arab oil embargo. President Jimmy Carter’s foresight and bipartisan support in Congress created the Department of Energy. Because of the remarkable work undertaken since that time by both public and private sectors, our nation now leads the world as the largest net exporter of natural gas. In almost every energy source known to humanity, our nation is pushing the envelope of innovation.

DOE is responsible for addressing the most pressing energy, environmental, and nuclear security issues of our time. The Department’s pioneering investments in science, technology, and applied systems are unparalleled, leading to breakthroughs that were never before thought possible. While the 21st century brings new and complicated challenges, it also presents us with an array of opportunities, including:

  • the opportunity to safeguard national security through energy security by reducing American dependence on foreign adversaries;
  • the opportunity to tackle the climate crisis while growing the economy and supporting living-wage jobs;
  • the opportunity to advance cutting-edge science and innovation to sustain life on Earth, protect our environmental treasures, and expand our global competitiveness; and
  • the opportunity to cost-effectively provide for the nation’s nuclear deterrent while assuring nuclear nonproliferation.

We need to make more progress for America, invest in new energy technologies, and advance the world class research that unlocks our full scientific potential.

So, how do we meet these goals? We must invest in the energy innovations being led by DOE that preserve American energy independence, conserve our environment, and spur good-paying, Middle Class jobs for our workers and families.

This budget request proposes necessary investments to continue innovations that will further push the energy revolution, keep the U.S. as a global leader, and reduce the influence of foreign energy sources. It calls for investments across the board – from basic research, to conservation and capturing waste energy, to developing new, clean energy technologies, and to hardening the electric grid against disasters and cyber threats.

This budget request makes a serious investment in DOE’s most meaningful “meet the streets” effort – the Weatherization Assistance Program. It is pivotal to the mammoth task of meeting energy conservation horizons for existing structures and neighborhoods by reducing burdensome energy costs on families and seniors, especially those struggling to make ends meet.

Let me express my disappointment that – one month after the Administration’s budget was released – we have not received a full set of the required supporting budget materials. This must be rectified promptly and for future years.

With that, I’ll close my remarks. Thank you, Madam Secretary, for being here today. We look forward to discussing this request.

I’d like to turn to our Ranking Member, Mr. Simpson, for his opening remarks.

117th Congress