By Jeff McMahon
The Trump Administration’s budget blueprint is “just not correct” about the function of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, its former director said Monday afternoon.
Trump’s “America First: A Blueprint to Make America Great Again” eliminates all funding for ARPA-E and a similar agency for vehicle technology “because the private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research and development and to commercialize innovative technologies.”
But ARPA-E was created just for stages of research and development that the private sector does not finance, said Ellen Williams, the agency’s director from 2014 until January…
…Williams’s comments came during a forum on “Identifying Opportunities for Progress on Energy and Climate Policy” sponsored by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project and the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago. Moderator John Deutch, an institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, asked Williams about the Trump budget and then said “If the United States does not have a pretty healthy ARPA-E program, we don’t have a sound energy-research and development program.”
The elimination of ARPA-E is part of a $1.7 billion cut to the Department of Energy’s $28 billion budget. One DOE agency saw its budget increase. The Trump blueprint proposes a $1.4 billion increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration to “strengthen the Nation’s nuclear capability.”
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