(Washington, DC) – Today the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the conference report on HR 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The package relies on science and innovation as the keys to new American-made technology and will advance important work on urgent national challenges like energy independence and climate change.

“This package makes much-needed investments in science and technology as the path to ensuring our national economic competitiveness,” said Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). “These are tough budgetary times, but the need for the U.S. to develop new technologies is greater than ever because of the economic conditions. The science and technology investments are ‘two-fers.’ We’re putting people to work immediately–from scientists to engineers to teachers to construction crews–but the investments in science and technology will pay dividends in the benefit to our long term competitiveness. We wouldn’t want to create jobs today only to lose them to foreign competition in the future.”

The package includes $400 million to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) at the Department of Energy.

“I’m especially glad to see funding that will establish ARPA-E, eighteen months after it was signed into law,” said Gordon. “Besides pursing the high-risk, high-reward research, I believe ARPA-E is uniquely positioned to be the bridge to the new energy economy–and, with it, the “green” jobs we need, the same way DARPA formed the underpinnings of the multi-billion dollar defense industry.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will receive funding that will go immediately to fund grants that have already been through the merit-review process, both new awards or increases for current grants. Other funding will support STEM education programs, and allow for much-needed equipment and facilities construction.

The funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science will put scientists and engineers to work advancing our energy independence and protecting our environment by researching materials science, climate science, carbon sequestration, biofuels, advanced computing, fusion energy, high-energy physics, and nuclear physics. The investments will include much-needed lab and instrumentation upgrades to enable our scientists and engineers to do the world-class research we need to make breakthroughs in energy.

Energy funding would invest in the keys to boosting our energy independence, creating new green jobs, and beginning to address climate change. The package will fund renewable energy technology development, standards-setting and deployment of smart grid technologies, demonstration of carbon capture and storage, grants for companies producing advanced batteries, and loan guarantees for the deployment of existing clean technologies.

The package includes funding for National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop standards for Health Information Technology (Health IT).

“You can put your bank card into an ATM anywhere and know that the card will work, the information will be accurate, and the transaction will be secure,” said Gordon. “Just as the banking industry did, if we are to create a seamless, secure network for electronic healthcare information, we need the technical standards that will ensure interoperability and protect privacy. We could potentially prevent thousands of medical error every year that are due to lack of a comprehensive family medical history or poorly maintained records. The American people deserve better health care, and this will be a big step toward that goal.”

The package also includes funding for NASA to support Earth science climate research missions, for aeronautics, including system-level research, development and demonstration activities related to aviation safety, environmental impact mitigation and the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

And the package includes funding for the National Ocean Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to address a backlog of research, restoration, navigation, conservation and management activities; and for construction and repair of NOAA facilities, ships and equipment, to improve weather forecasting and to support satellite development. It will also address critical gaps in climate modeling and establish climate data records for continuing research into climate change.

For more information, please see the Committee’s website.