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Forbes Introduces New Manhattan Project to Tackle Energy Dependence, Rising Gas Prices
Washington, D.C., June 18, 2008
Contact: Jessica Mancari (202) 225-6365

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he has introduced a New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence to tackle U.S. energy dependence and rising gas prices. The New Manhattan Project, H.R. 6260, calls for the United States to achieve 50% energy independence in ten years and 100% energy independence in 20 years and will award competitive prizes to the first individual or group who can reach any of seven established energy goals.

“The challenges we face in energy as a nation are far greater than one simple solution can fix. We need a bold initiative that challenges the United States to get to the core of our energy problems,” said Forbes. “I’ve introduced the New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence to bring together a new generation of scientists and researchers to overcome a unified national challenge just as we did with the original Manhattan Project in World War II. Like the first Manhattan Project, which was launched to ensure the security of our nation, today our national security depends on our ability to produce reliable sources of energy to fuel our economy and our vital defense efforts. We succeeded then by hard work and dedication to a unified mission, and I believe we can do it again to achieve 100% energy independence.”

To achieve these goals, the New Manhattan Project will bring together the scientists and researchers in the U.S. in a competitive format to reach one of seven energy goals. The project will award significant prizes to the first group, school, team, or company that reaches each goal as determined by a New Manhattan Project commission of scientists. Cash prizes to be awarded to the first person or entity to achieve each of the following goals:

- Double CAFE standards to 70 MPG while keeping vehicles affordable 
- Cut home and business energy usage in half
- Make solar power work at the same cost as coal
- Make the production of biofuels cost-competitive with gasoline
- Safely and cheaply store carbon emissions from coal-powered plants
- Safely store or neutralize nuclear waste
-  Produce usable electricity from a nuclear fusion reaction

In addition, the bill sets aside funding for grants to individual researchers, groups, educational institutions or businesses to help share the cost of work toward achieving the goals.

“These goals are not easy. The processes to reach them are not simple. But if we reach even one of these goals, we will move significantly closer to achieving energy independence in the U.S.,” said Forbes. “I believe in the greatness of the American people, and I believe that coming together with a unified goal to succeed in this national challenge will lead to scientific breakthroughs that will reverse our dependency on foreign oil. While others in Congress are just talking about this issue, the New Manhattan Project takes substantial steps at solving the issue. I encourage the current Majority leadership to move quickly on this legislation to bring it to the House floor for consideration.”    

The New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence has been referred to the Committee on Science and Technology and is awaiting action.  For more information on Congressman Forbes’ energy efforts, visit http://forbes.house.gov/issues/energy.htm.

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