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Nobelists Urge Obama to Ask Congress for Stronger Clean Energy Legislation

Seven Academy Members are among the Signatories of a Letter to the President.

Published July 22, 2009

Seven Academy members are among 34 Nobel Laureates who signed a letter to Barack Obama today, urging the President to ask Congress for clean energy legislation that meets his demands for a Clean Energy Technology Fund of $150 billion over 10 years. The scientists criticized "The American Clean Energy and Security Act" (H.R. 2454) that recently passed the House for providing less than one fifteenth of the amount the President proposed for federal energy research, development, and demonstration programs.

“The legislation provides no stable, specific funding for sustained research in the Department of Energy's Office of Science, or for the energy research and associated technology development programs of DOE,” the scientists wrote. “Given the expected growing federal budget deficits, and the corresponding pressure on the government’s discretionary budget, this is a serious deficiency.”

The 34 Nobelists urged Obama to ask Congress for a bill that will “invest in energy research, development, and demonstration at an amount approaching the stable $15 billion annual support that you have proposed.”

Signers of the letter included NYAS Board of Governors member Frank Wilczek; Presidents Council members Paul Berg, Leon Lederman, F. Sherwood Rowland, and Phillip A. Sharp; and Academy members Dudley R. Herschbach and Robert C. Richardson. The full text of the letter is available at the Federation of American Scientists website.