Even Obama’s Scientists Are Radicals

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Ever wanted to power New York City with environmentally friendly goo?

A new branch of the Department of Energy might want to give you a job.  It’s all part of Obama’s radical faith in science.  Actually, it’s all part of a new department within the Department of Energy (DOE): The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

The agency will fund special, alternative energy projects with the potential to fail miserably or change the face of a nation.

The acronym for this agency is Arpa-e – fitting for a quirky agency that’s full of arcane projects and is likely located in a clandestine lab under the Pentagon.

Believe it or not, the department was created by George W. Bush.  He subsequently neglected to fund it.  Now, The New York Times reports that stimulus dollars will be used to fund the office for the first time.

Last week, the US Department of Energy announced the approval of grants totaling $151 million dollars for what they called bold, new energy technology research.

Grants went to a variety of private agencies, including many educational institutions, but all will be supervised by Arpa-e.

ProPublica is tracking the stimulus, and they have a full list of grants.

These include: $4 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for “‘Direct Wafer’ technology to form high efficiency ‘monocrystalline-equivalent’ silicon wafers directly from molten silicon, with potential to halve the installed cost of solar photovoltaics”.

Kudos if  you can translate that into English.