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May 25, 2006

Delivering for Central Ohio

Energy and Water Appropriations
Helps Fund OSU Laser Facility 

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) announced that the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY07 contained $2 million in funding for the laser technology research facility at The Ohio State University. The bill passed the House yesterday by a vote of 404 - 20, and in keeping with the Republican commitment to spend taxpayer dollars wisely, totals $172 million below last year’s funding level.

“The Laboratory for Advanced-Laser Target Interactions (LALTI) at OSU is as unique as it is groundbreaking, and this type of research is not being funded or performed anywhere else in our nation,” said Pryce. “ Ohio State is at the forefront of laser research, and this funding is testament to the profound importance the U.S. Department of Energy places on OSU’s research capabilities. The potential scientific breakthroughs that could be delivered at this facility are infinite, and the knowledge derived there could have broad implications to both national defense and alternative energy production.”

Congressman David Hobson (R-Springfield) chairs the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, and also supported the request.The High Density Laser Facility is a laser compression laboratory located on OSU’s campus, and is a collaboration among OSU and laboratories of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Robert McGrath, the Senior Vice President for Research at OSU, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the University to Pryce and Hobson for their funding efforts. Said McGrath, “The funding provided for the Center for Laser Science at Ohio State will allow us to continue development of high pulse rate and atto-second laser systems that enable our scientists to probe the dynamics of chemical reactions and potentially use this new knowledge to destroy toxic molecules harmful to the environment or develop new functional chemicals and molecules for a wide variety of applications.  We are extremely grateful to Congresswoman Pryce as well as Chairman Dave Hobson for their support for this initiative."

Highlights of H.R. 5427, The FY 2007 Energy and Water Appropriations bill

  • Totals $172 million below last year’s level of funding, honoring our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely; 
  • Provides $24.373 billion for the Department of Energy, $327 million above the FY2006 level and $299 million above the request;
  • Fully funds the American Competitiveness Initiative which would strengthen basic research by increasing funding for the DOE Office of Science, for a total of $4.132 billion;
  • Supports the Advanced Energy Initiative by increasing funding for a variety of clean energy technologies, including biomass, hydrogen, solar, wind, and clean coal;     
  • Funds Energy Supply and Conservation programs at $2 billion, $102 million above FY06;
  • Supports fossil energy research and development programs at $558 million, an increase of $88.5 over the request, includes $54 million for FutureGen, and $36.4 million for the Clean Coal Power Initiative; and
  • Funds the Yucca Mountain repository at $544.5 million.  This includes $156.4 million for Nuclear Waste Disposal and $388 million for Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal.  In addition, the Committee provides another $30 million for interim storage of spent fuel, subject to authorization.