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Hyde-Smith stresses need for diverse energy sources

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today said the federal budget should advocate for greater research and development to expand the U.S. energy supply, including technologies to expand nuclear power and to make fossil fuels cleaner to use.

Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, which conducted a hearing Wednesday to review the FY2022 budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“Mississippi has a diverse energy portfolio, but I believe it is critical that we recognize the important role fossil energy resources will continue to play in meeting America’s demands for energy,” Hyde-Smith said. “Fossil fuels, such as coal and offshore oil and gas, have been a main source of power in our country. It is crucial that we find new ways to increase potential by making fossil fuels cleaner to use, not eliminating them altogether.”

Noting that the Grand Gulf Nuclear site at Port Gipson is the largest U.S. nuclear power reactor in terms of generating capacity, Hyde-Smith asked Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm about promising DOE nuclear energy initiatives considering “the administration’s heavy agenda on cutting carbon emissions.”

Granholm pointed to the FY2022 budget increase sought for the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and offered a commitment that nuclear energy advances should be a bigger part of the nation’s energy portfolio, including extending the life of existing nuclear plants. (Related: On Tuesday, two Mississippi State University researchers were each awarded $800,000 DOE Office of Nuclear Energy fuel cycle research and development grants.)

“The Gulf of Mexico is one of the nation’s most important regions for energy resources, and accounts for a large portion of our crude oil and federal offshore natural gas production. What efforts are being taken by the department to advance cleaner technologies for domestic fossil fuel resources?” Hyde-Smith said.

In response, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm pointed to the budget request for DOE Office of Fossil Energies and Carbon Management programs to work with energy producers to make production “efficient and clean, as clean as it can be.”

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