Bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus Seeks Energy Department Update on Public-Private Partnerships
On May 24, members of the bipartisan Congressional Fusion Energy Caucus wrote to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm seeking updates on the Department of Energy’s progress in implementing directives from Congress to support the development of key fusion energy programs. The letter, led by Fusion Energy Caucus chair Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), was signed by Reps. Susan Wild (D-PA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Bill Foster (D-IL), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN).
They wrote about the potential for fusion, saying climate change presents both historic challenges and opportunities, and that “fusion energy offers an ideal technology to undergird our decarbonized future.” Then, they note that Congress authored a bold plan for fusion in law last year, and they asked that the Secretary provide an update in writing within 30 days of the DoE’s progress in implementing Congress’ requirements.
Within the COVID relief and omnibus appropriations bill signed in late 2020 was an amendment, added by Representatives Lamb and Trahan, that will support the development of fusion energy in the United States. The goal of this legislation was to accelerate fusion energy development by authorizing new programs in the Department of Energy, supporting international collaboration, and bringing the private sector more closely into collaboration with the public sector. One new program the amendment authorizes is a five year milestone-based public-private partnership program that would support the building of new fusion facilities.
The full text of the signed letter from the Fusion Energy Caucus is available through Congressman Beyer’s office and embedded below.