At a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Sen. Angus King urged Energy Secretary nominee Dan Brouillette to continue to invest in innovative programs like those at the University of Maine, which are developing wood-based alternatives to plastics.
“Reassure me that your commitment will be to a strong and vigorous and forward-looking research whether it be in the national labs or through the department,” says King.
King says the Energy Department $20 million grant to the University and the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee is an example of research that will lessen the dependence on plastics and other oil-based products.
“Oak Ridge has a relationship with the University of Maine that’s very beneficial to both, both sides. And I urge you to support that kind of hub and spoke relationship…That’s a very exciting project we have with the University of Maine and I think you will see that expand,” he says.
King says the Department must expand its research efforts to develop technologies that ease the demand for products that contribute to climate change.