Lamar Smith (Republican – Texas) proposed H.R. 589 – the Department of Energy Research and Innovation Act, to establish policy for science and energy research and development program, and reform National Laboratory management and technology transfer programs, and for other purposes.” 

Current Status

The bill has passed the House of Representatives and has been sent to the Senate.


No amendments have been made.

Bill Summary

The first portion of the bill deals with allowing the National Laboratories to use funds authorized for technology “transfer” within the Department to remove barriers that limit private sector interest and show potential commercial applications of National Laboratories research and technologies.

Congress believes that although important progress has been made in reducing cost and improvement implementation of clean energy tech, accelerating clean energy innovation can help the United States meet important competitive, energy security and environmental goals. In order to accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation includes: supporting research & development at the National Laboratories, opening ways for private entities to utilize Department resources to address challenges and strengths of geographic regions in the US, and regular review of these clean energy programs to ensure available funds are being used in a cost-effective manner.

Congress notes that energy supply, demand, policies, resource options, and markets vary across the U.S. and that a regional approach to advancing clean energy technology will best accommodate these differences.

Congress believes that they should advance clean energy that promotes economic growth, security, and is sustainable without continued government support.

The bill indicates that administrative funds can not be directed to research and development in any National Lab. with the exception of National Security Laboratories.

The bill calls for establishing a public database of unclassified research and development  information.

The bill lays out the plan to commercialize the Department’s technology pilot program.

SECOND Section of the Bill lays out plans to promote collaboration across the Department. The plans include the creation of “Energy Innovation Hubs” where multiple scientific disciplines can work together.

THIRD Section of the Bill discusses various initiatives, including the following:

  • Solar Fuels Initiative
  • Electricity Storage Research Initiative
  • Advanced Scientific Computing Research
  • High-Energy Physics
  • Biological and Environmental Research
  • Fusion Energy
  • Nuclear Physics; and
  • The Science Laboratories Infrastructure Program

Title IV – the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act is amended to reflect the above details.


No more than 1 year after the act is passed, two different 10-year plans for budgeting the civilian nuclear energy research and development are required to be submitted to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resource of the Senate and the Committee On Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives. One budget must be set at the 2016 allocated cost level and the other should be an unconstrained budget.


Eddie Bernice Johnson (Democrat – TX)
Randy K Weber (Republican-TX)
Stephen Knight (Republican – CA)
Randy Hultgren  (Republican – IL)
Frank Lucas (Republican – OK)
Daniel Lipinski (Democrat – IL)
Dana Rohrabacher (Republican-CA)
Elizabeth Esty (Democrat- CT)
Brian Babin (Republican – TX)
Ed Perilmutter (Democrat – CO)
Jim Banks (Republican -IN)
Paul Tonko (Democrat- NY)
Andy Biggs (Republican-AZ)
Neal Dunn (Republican – FL)
Clay Higgins (Republican – LA)
Marc Veasy (Democrat – TX)
Barbara Comstock (Republican – VA)
Mo Brooks (Republican – AL)
Eric Swalwell (Democrat – CA)



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