In private Capitol Hill meetings and public advocacy, cleantech companies and universities are lobbying to preserve an Energy Department program that funds research into cutting-edge technologies.
Driving the news: A fight between the White House and Congress over the fate of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a program with bipartisan backing that Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget plan would zero out.
- Round one: The new federal spending deal that runs through September is a win for ARPA-E backers, providing $306 million, which is actually a slight boost over current funding. But the battle for 2018 money remains.
Going public: A letter out today from over 100 companies, universities and groups to top congressional appropriators to provide at least $325 million, arguing the program provides a "tremendous competitive advantage to our nation."
Behind the scenes: Energy company leaders, researchers and university officials have been meeting with their delegations urging support.
- CEOs with the American Energy Innovation Council, a coalition of big companies and advocates including Bill Gates, have privately urged key appropriators that ARPA-E and related programs are "critical to U.S. long-term energy technology competitiveness and U.S. economic growth," a source with the group said. More meetings are expected as the FY 2018 fight heats up in coming months.