Governments play an important role in innovation, says David Sandalow.

The role of the federal government is up for question, Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at the Department of Energy, acknowledges. But failures in promoting innovation through basic research should not force a change of direction, and the government must keep its resolve despite challenging times. Sandalow does not mention Solyndra by name in this video shot at the US Association for Energy Economics Summit in Washington, DC, but the solar company’s high-profile collapse has weighed on the entire energy sector and cast a long shadow over both the summit and this address.

For full coverage of the USAEE Summit on Breaking Energy, click here.

But Sandalow lays out a five-part rebuttal to those who would shut down the federal government’s 49 advanced energy research centers. He points out that DOE research programs have an estimable history, promoting early research into the internet and into shale gas technology advances that have transformed the US energy markets.

For the five reasons Sandalow says the US government needs to continue to support innovation through research work, watch the video above. To read more about the role of the Department of Energy in funding research and in defending itself and the Obama Administration against an array of critics, read here.