Cory Gardner School of Mines

(Photo by Joey Bunch, Colorado Politics)

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner announces a partnership between the Department of the Interior, the U.S Geological Survey and the Colorado School of Mines at a ceremony in Denver last October.

Despite dire predictions early on, federal energy laboratories in Colorado continue to reap rewards under the Trump administration.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., on Monday touted last week’s announcement that ExxonMobil intends to invest up to $100 million for research and development to lower emissions over the next decade.

One beneficiary is the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, along with the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh.

“This investment from ExxonMobil is great news for Colorado,” Gardner said in a statement.

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Gardner is a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The Energy Department announced last week the agreement “will foster research collaboration on projects that will advance potential scalable technologies that improve energy efficiency, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce emissions from the production of fossil fuels and petrochemicals.”

Martin Keller, NREL’s director, said his researchers are excited to work on “scalable energy solutions” with ExxonMobil.

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“Our partnerships with industry, government, academia, and other research organizations drive the collaboration and innovation that is integral to revolutionizing the global energy landscape,” he said in the statement.

“By working side by side with ExxonMobil researchers, this partnership provides an unprecedented opportunity to explore new technologies and transform energy through science.”

Separately last year, NREL picked up $8 million in federal grants for research to bolster innovative solar power technology, as part of a $72 million grant program operated by the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office.

Contact Joey Bunch at or follow him on Twitter @joeybunch.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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