WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, secured key provisions for New Mexico in the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, a bipartisan energy package that cleared the committee by a vote of 18-4.
Senator Heinrich successfully included in the package a bill he introduced to authorize $50 million to cover the federal share of establishing off-campus microlabs that would serve as the "front-door" to national laboratories, including Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. The Feynman Center for Innovation at Los Alamos and the Sandia Center for Collaboration and Commercialization are examples of outside-the-fence centers where industry collaborators can partner with the labs to commercialize technology for the private market.
During the committee hearing, Senator Heinrich emphasized that when small businesses and research universities partner with national labs, it creates an environment that boosts economic development and job creation.
Senator Heinrich also included provisions to expedite the approval process for exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), promote energy workforce development, reduce government energy usage, and protect the U.S. electric grid.
"This bipartisan package includes common-sense provisions to boost New Mexico's technology and renewable energy sectors," said Sen. Heinrich. "Supporting LNG exports, facilitating partnerships between our national labs and businesses, and protecting our nation's electric grid from cyber attacks are all integral to growing and sustaining our energy economy in the state. I'm also pleased this legislation includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is critical to protecting New Mexico's treasured public lands and outdoor heritage."
The following includes many of the provisions Senator Heinrich introduced and advocated for that were included in the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015: