A slip of the tongue by a high official of the US Department of Energy in recent Congressional testimony might reveal why that organization has little or no interest in cutting edge technologies such as Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR).

Dr. Julio Friedmann demonstrating his commitment to the energy status quo

“Our job is not commercialization or the determination of economic viability,” Dr. Julio Friedmann recently told the Energy Commerce Oversight Subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives (the lower house of the US Congress). Dr. Friedmann is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Clean Coal. For skeptics here is video of Dr. Friedmann’s testimony to Congress.

If creation of commercially viable technologies that can ensure economic vitality is not the Department of Energy’s job, one has to wonder what the department’s purpose is. What exactly is this organization spending Americans’ taxpayers money upon. A look at Friedmann and his “job” shows it is not creating new sources of energy.

Friedmann is considered a key staff member at the Department of Energy (DOE). Friedmann was speaking of so-called clean coal technology or carbon capture technology, a scheme to burn coal without releasing any greenhouse gases.

Critics have said that clean coal technology is not commercially feasible and may not even work. It will cost the US government $4.3 billion to build a test plant for one clean coal technology called Carbon Capture and Sequestration or CSS and that technology may not work, critic Daniel Simmons of the Institute for Energy research has alleged.

“At a coal gasification facility, the cost of electricity may be increased by 40 percent; at a pulverized coal power plant, by upwards of 80 percent,” US Congressman Tim Murphy (R-Pennsylvania) the chairman of the House’s Energy and Commerce subcommittee said about popular varieties of clean coal technology. “This is what DOE’s own documents tell us.”

The Department of Energy admits that its “solutions” will increase energy costs. That isn’t funny especially to average Americans who will soon be deciding whether to pay the electric bill or pay the mortgage. Electricity costs are now that high without clean coal. Obviously something is very, very wrong here.

Now just imagine what could be done if that $4.3 billion were spent on LENR and similar cutting edge technologies. Brillouin claims to have a hot tube LENR boiler that could replace coal burning boilers that could be tested for $20 million, yet the company is essentially begging for venture capital from private investors. It needs a few million dollars to build a prototype.

One thing is obvious from Dr. Friedmann’s testimony big government cannot be trusted to solve the energy problem. Private industry is going to have to step up and fight this battle. That’s why the news of Cherokee Partners $11 million investment in Andrea Rossi’s e-cat LENR technology is such great news.

It’s also why efforts like the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project to disseminate Francessco Celani’s LENR technology are so important. Like business average people will have to take matters into their own hands. Big science and big government are now so mired down in politics that they are incapable of even trying to solve the situation. If the Department of Energy had been in business in 1900 it would have been financing improved buggy whips instead of investing in automobiles.

One has to wonder if the Obama Administration’s commitment to “clean coal” is motivated by a desire to combat global warning or a desire to funnel cash to the coal industry. It looks like the Department of Energy is too enamored of the last century’s technologies to even try to address this century’s problems. The government’s horse and buggy is not going to put an end to our growing energy crisis.