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SPIE joins in call for next President to support energy basic research



BELLINGHAM, WA, USA - 25 September 2008 - SPIE is among more than 70 scientific, academic, and industry organizations signing a petition being delivered to both Presidential campaigns urging strong, stable, and multidisciplinary funding for basic research to address energy needs.

"The need for abundant sources of environmentally friendly and affordable energy far exceeds the capacity of currently available technologies," the petition asserts. "Our energy security and our economic and national security depend on overcoming this gap."

To address the nation's current energy crisis as well as future energy security, the petition says, the next President needs "to work with Congress to develop, fund, and implement a comprehensive, multi-agency, basic research strategy."

SPIE is a signer of the petition as a member of ASTRA, the Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America, and is in full support of its message, said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs.

"Development of renewable energy sources and energy-efficient lighting are important pieces of the solution to the world's energy crisis," Arthurs said. "Basic research needs the assurance of stable funding in order to come to fruition.

"We must realize the potential of this research, which is the key to the enormous challenge of replacing the fossil-fuel-based global energy infrastructure. Fossil fuels supplies are limited, but there is plenty left to wreck our planet. Rather than develop ways of extracting more of these for their polluting use, we need to support clean, renewable energy sources."

The petition was released today at a press conference in Washington, DC.

Read the full text of the petition.