Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Alexander calls for new Manhattan Project on energy

Congressmen Zach Wamp and Bart Gordon, Sen. Lamar Alexander, and ORNL Director Thom Mason spoke recently at an energy independence presentation at ORNL.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 9, 2008 — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander told an Oak Ridge National Laboratory audience the nation needs to embark on a five-year 21st century Manhattan Project toward national clean energy independence.

"Doing whatever we need to do in the next five years to make plug-in cars and trucks commonplace, to reduce the cost of solar power to the level of fossil fuel power, to make new buildings green and a number of other challenges," Alexander said. "This is the way to deal with rising gas prices, electricity prices, clean air, climate change and national security."

Alexander said broad mission goals can be set similar to the national effort that led to U.S. victory in World War II.

"We're going to need to proceed down several tracks to get to our goal," Alexander said. "The United States can do this. We just haven't decided to do it."

Alexander said the mission is bipartisan as he was joined during his presentation by two others members of Tennessee's congressional delegation, including U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon - a Democrat - and Republican U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.