Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E): Background, Status, and Selected Issues for Congress [June 20, 2008]   [open pdf - 122KB]

"In August 2007, Congress authorized the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) within the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69). Modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ARPA-E would support transformational energy technology research projects with the goal of enhancing the nation's economic and energy security. […] Some have proposed funding ARPA-E through a mechanism that differs from the usual single-year appropriations process to enhance its ability to conduct risky research without being subject to the annual appropriations cycle, political and financial pressures, and resource fluctuations that might stifle innovation. One option is for Congress to provide a multi-year advance appropriation. Another is for Congress to identify a revenue source. Some of the funding sources that have been proposed are repeal of oil industry tax and other incentives; gasoline tax; oil company profit tax; federal oil and gas royalties; climate change cap-and-trade program; and Strategic Petroleum Reserve funds. On the basis of past experience, however, each of these proposals would face challenges in Congress."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL34497
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