Utah Democratic Rep. Wayne Owens - who plans to soon ask Congress to establish a National Fusion Research Center at the University of Utah - on Tuesday praised recent U. research before a panel that determines how much to spend on such projects.

Owens also told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, chaired by Rep. Tom Bevil, D-Ala., "The world is waiting with hope and optimism to what we do in the coming weeks and months. The stakes are high and we believe that we as a nation are up to the challenge."Owens praised U. researcher B. Stanley Pons and his associate Martin Fleischmann saying, "Spending $100,000 of their own money and spending five years of their time, professors Pons and Fleischmann fashioned a dramatic breakthrough of the type once confined to the pages of science fiction novels."

He added, "It is considered so important in my state of Utah that the Legislature has taken the unprecedented step of appropriating $5 million in research support for the University of Utah. I expect in the near future that the Utah congressional delegation will announce a unified proposal for federal involvement."

He concluded, "Professors Pons and Fleischmann are scientific explorers in the truest sense. They have opened new vistas of scientific discovery."