Cantwell Research and Development Amendment Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today announced that the Senate has approved an amendment she proposed to the Energy Bill that would promote energy efficiency in high-tech equipment.

Cantwell's amendment calls on the Department of Energy to launch a program that would promote development of improved cooling equipment for data centers, server farms, and telecommunications facilities. Since such equipment must be kept from overheating, cooling costs constitute as much as 40 percent of high-tech firms' power bills.

Spray cooling-a technology being developed by an Eastern Washington state company-could reduce power consumption by 12-41 percent at energy intensive electronics firms. According to Cantwell, such technology "promises to both increase the efficiency of electronic equipment and save substantial amounts of energy."

Senator Cantwell also co-sponsored an amendment offered by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) that has been approved by the Senate. Dorgan's amendment requires the Secretary of Energy to develop a program to ensure 100,000 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles will be available for sale by 2010, and 2.5 million such vehicles will be available by 2020. Fuel-cell vehicles are three times more efficient than internal combustion engines, and they produce none of the harmful emissions associated with fossil fuels.