Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Lamar Smith

Subcommittee on Energy - Innovations in Battery Storage for Renewable Energy

2015/05/01

Innovations in Battery Storage for Renewable Energy

Hearing Charter

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Full Committee Markup - H.R. ______, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act for 2016 and 2017

2015/04/30

The Committee will meet to consider the following measure, or for other purposes:

H.R. ______, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act for 2016 and 2017

H.R._______ Highlights

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Subcommittee on Environment Hearing - Reality Check Part II: The Impact of EPA’s Proposed Ozone Standards on Rural America

2015/04/29

Reality Check Part II: The Impact of EPA’s Proposed Ozone Standards on Rural America

Hearing Charter

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Committee Examines Science of Hydraulic Fracturing, Allegations of Water Contamination

2015/04/23

Washington, D.C. – The Science, Space, and Technology Committee today held a hearing to examine the science behind claims that hydraulic fracturing causes groundwater contamination and other environmental concerns. In several instances, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has investigated baseless allegations of water contamination and blamed natural gas production even before full scientific assessments were completed.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “Opponents of hydraulic fracturing make claims based on the possibility and not the probability of associated risks. The EPA has used this agenda-driven approach to wrongly assert a connection between hydraulic fracturing and ground water contamination. The allegations made headlines; the retractions were footnotes. The science overwhelmingly shows that hydraulic fracturing can be done in an environmentally safe manner.”

Technological advancements in hydraulic fracturing have unlocked vast amounts of what used to be considered economically inaccessible oil and gas. The associated increase in domestic energy production has benefited the environment, the economy and Americans who now enjoy reduced energy prices.

Witnesses today testified that accusations of environmental damage from hydraulic fracturing have been overblown and not supported by fact-based evidence. Experts, including top Obama administration officials, have unanimously testified before the Committee that hydraulic fracturing has never contaminated groundwater. They also said that hydraulic fracturing has not been shown to be responsible for increased seismic activity. Earlier this week, William Ellsworth of the United States Geological Survey stated that a recent report he coauthored with Southern Methodist University does not show that hydraulic fracturing is responsible for earth quakes.

Witnesses today also questioned the scientific integrity of studies the New York State Department of Health relied upon for its recent recommendation to ban hydraulic fracturing. An Energy In Depth whitepaper released today details the significant influence of anti-fracking activists on the science behind New York State’s decision. The whitepaper cites strong evidence of political pressure from well-funded activist groups opposed to shale development in New York.

For additional information on today’s hearing, including witness testimony and the archived webcast, visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.

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Full Committee Hearing - Hydraulic Fracturing: Banning Proven Technologies on Possibilities Instead of Probabilities

2015/04/23

Hydraulic Fracturing: Banning Proven Technologies on Possibilities Instead of Probabilities

Hearing Charter

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Committee Approves Bill to Promote U.S. Scientific Leadership

2015/04/22

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806), a pro-science, fiscally responsible bill to keep America competitive and reestablish the federal government’s primary scientific role to fund basic research. While not increasing overall spending, the bill increases funding for the science agencies that conduct fundamental discovery science by five percent, offsetting those increases with cuts to programs that focus on later-stage technology development and commercialization activities more effectively pursued by the private sector. H.R. 1806 was introduced by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and cosponsored by Vice-Chair Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and all five subcommittee chairs.

Chairman Smith: “We must make strategic investments in basic research and development to remain the global leader in science and innovation. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 prioritizes taxpayer investments in basic research without increasing overall federal spending. The reprioritization of basic research will help ensure future U.S. economic competitiveness and security.  And it will spur private sector technological innovation. The bill also ensures accountability by restoring the original intent of the 1950 National Science Foundation (NSF) legislation, which requires the NSF to adhere to a ‘national interest’ certification for each grant. This is a fiscally responsible, pro-science bill that sets the right priorities for federal civilian research.”

The America COMPETES Act increases investments for basic energy research at the Department of Energy (DOE), as well as critical research in biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering and mathematics at NSF. While holding overall spending flat, the bill provides targeted increases for NSF research by over 4 percent; the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) by over 8 percent; and DOE’s Office of Science by over 5 percent above 2015 enacted levels.

Along with Chairman Smith, original cosponsors include: Vice-Chair Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Research and Technology Subcommittee Chair Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Energy Subcommittee Chair Randy Weber (R-Texas), Research and Technology Subcommittee Vice-Chair John Moolenaar (R-Mich.), Environment Subcommittee Chairman Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), and Science Committee Members Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas).

Additionally, Chairman Smith and  Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today issued a joint statement expressing their intention to work together reauthorizing agencies under the America COMPETES Act.

For more information about today’s markup, including amendments and roll call votes, visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.

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Smith and Thune: Maximize Valuable Federal Research

2015/04/22

“The federal government plays an important role in promoting scientific research”

Washington, D.C. – House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following joint statement expressing their intention to work together following this morning’s House Science Committee legislative mark-up reauthorizing agencies under the America COMPETES Act:

“We share the goal of reauthorizing the agencies under the America COMPETES Act this year. It was first signed into law by President Bush in 2007. The conversation about reauthorization of federal science and technology R&D agencies must include an honest assessment of how scarce federal dollars can have the greatest impact. As chairmen of the House and Senate committees charged with keeping federal research relevant and impactful, we look forward to working with our colleagues to maximize valuable research which, without federal support, might not happen.

“The United States, through the private sector and the federal government, is by far the largest investor in scientific research in the world, comprising 30 percent of global research and development. There is bipartisan agreement that the federal government plays an important role in promoting scientific research, especially in the basic research that is foundational to discovery. Our committees and the full Congress have an opportunity to ensure that the nation’s research priorities advance scientific discoveries that fuel our innovation economy and are vital to continued U.S. economic security and competitiveness. We look forward to engaging with our colleagues, our constituents, and key stakeholders as this important effort moves ahead.”

The COMPETES Acts of 2007 and 2010 served as the authorizing vehicle for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

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H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015

2015/04/22

The Committee will meet to consider the following measure, or for other purposes:

H.R. 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015. Approved by a vote of 19:16

Manager’s Amendment offered by Mr. Smith (R-Texas), approved by voice vote

Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (Johnson 050) offered by Ms. Johnson (D-Texas), defeated by a vote of 15:18

Takano 026, offered by Mr. Takano (D-Calif), defeated by a vote of 18:15

Beyer 010 (amending section 101) offered by Mr. Beyer (D-Va), Beyer 009 offered by Mr. Beyer (D-Va), Beyer 010 (amending section 505) offered by Mr. Beyer (D-Va), defeated en bloc by a vote of 18:15

Clark 001 offered by Ms. Clark (D-Mass), defeated by a vote of 18:15

Foster 003 offered by Mr. Foster (D-Ill), defeated by a vote of 19:14

Beyer 017 offered by Mr. Beyer (D-Va),withdrawn

Johnson 005 offered by Ms. Johnson (D-Texas), defeated by voice vote

Brooks 007 offered by Mr. Brooks (R-Ala), approved by voice vote

Bonamici 009 offered by Ms. Bonamici (D-Ore), defeated by a vote of 19:16

Johnson 049 offered by Ms. Johnson (D-Texas), defeated by a vote of 19:16

Edwards 024 offered by Ms. Edwards (D-Md), withdrawn

Edwards 002 offered by Ms. Edwards (D-Md), defeated by voice vote

Edwards 006 offered by Ms. Edwards (D-Md), defeated by voice vote

Lipinski 023 offered by Mr. Lipinski (D-Ill), withdrawn

Esty 026 offered by Ms. Esty (D-Conn) and Ms. Bonamici (D-Ore), defeated by voice vote

Veasey 015 offered by Mr. Veasey (D-Texas), defeated by a vote of 19:16

Grayson 007 offered by Mr. Grayson (D-Fla), approved by voice vote

Grayson 009 offered by Mr. Grayson (D-Fla), approved by voice vote

Swalwell 011 offered by Mr. Swalwell (D-Calif), defeated by voice vote

Lipinski 022 offered by Mr. Lipinski (D-Ill), approved by voice vote

Perlmutter 015 offered by Mr. Perlmutter (D-Colo), defeated by voice vote

Bonamici 000 offered by Ms. Bonamici (D-Ore), defeated by a vote of 19:16

Tonko 014 offered by Mr. Tonko (D-NY), defeated by a vote of 19:16

Tonko 016 offered by Mr. Tonko (D-NY), defeated by a vote of 19:16

Veasey 016 offered by Mr. Veasey (D-Texas) and Mr. Bera (D-Calif), defeated by a vote of 19:16

Takano 012 offered by Mr. Takano (D-Calif), defeated by a vote of 19:16

Swalwell 013 offered by Mr. Swalwell (D-Calif), approved by a vote of 33:2 (as amended by Mr. Smith's (R-Texas) Amendment to the Amendment, approved by a vote of 19:16)

Hultgren 015 offered by Mr. Hultgren (R-Ill), withdrawn

 

Click HERE to view recorded votes.

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Fracking: Good Science Vs. Science Fiction

2015/04/21


Committee Leaders: Space Exploration Must Be NASA’s Priority

2015/04/16

Members Question NASA Administrator at Space Subcommittee Hearing on FY 2016 Budget

Washington, D.C. – Members of the Subcommittee on Space today discussed fiscal year 2016 budget priorities with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. at a hearing on the Obama administration’s request. NASA is the world’s leading civilian space agency and the only U.S. federal agency responsible for space exploration.

Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.): “NASA is at a crossroads. Unfortunately, the last six years featured drastic change with the cancellation of Constellation and uncertain direction with the president’s ever-changing asteroid initiative. Congress has been consistent in its guidance to NASA that it develop a long-term sustainable exploration strategy that is evolvable and flexible based on an uncertain budget environment. Recent announcements from NASA indicate that the agency is heeding that direction by working towards an architecture that can weather the storms of change that accompany new administrations. Administrator Bolden and his leadership team have a tough job.”

Although President Obama’s FY16 budget request of $18.53 billion includes an increase of $519 million over FY15 appropriated levels, no plans have been proposed to pay for or offset the increase. And despite overall increases, the president’s proposal underfunds the Space Launch System and Orion programs, both necessary for deep-space missions to Mars. The budget proposal would cut these human spaceflight programs by nearly $400 million.  

Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith: “While there are some areas of agreement between the Committee and the administration in this budget, the president’s request regrettably changes agreed-upon national priorities. The Obama administration seems to have forgotten NASA’s priorities – and the main one is space exploration. There is a lack of balance in the overall science account request. Congressional guidance and the decadal surveys advocate for a balanced portfolio of science activities. Unfortunately, the president’s request does not adhere to that recommendation by the space experts. One of the most glaring examples is the disproportionate increase in the Earth Science Division that it receives at the expense of other science divisions and human and robotic space exploration.

“There are 13 other agencies involved in climate change research, but only one that is responsible for space exploration. The administration continues to starve NASA’s exploration programs to fund a partisan environmental agenda. NASA simply deserves better.” 

In the last eight years, the Obama administration has increased funding for the Earth Science Division by more than 63 percent, while consistently cutting funding for human space exploration programs.

For additional information on today’s hearing, including witness testimony and the archived webcast, visit the Science, Space, and Technology Committee website.

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Contact Information

2321 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6371
Fax 202-226-0113
science.house.gov


Membership

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

Jim Bridenstine

OKLAHOMA's 1st DISTRICT

Mo Brooks

ALABAMA's 5th DISTRICT

Barbara Comstock

VIRGINIA's 10th DISTRICT

Randy Hultgren

ILLINOIS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Johnson

OHIO's 6th DISTRICT

Steve Knight

CALIFORNIA's 25th DISTRICT

Barry Loudermilk

GEORGIA's 11th DISTRICT

Frank Lucas

OKLAHOMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Thomas Massie

KENTUCKY's 4th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

John Moolenaar

MICHIGAN's 4th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Dan Newhouse

WASHINGTON's 4th DISTRICT

Steven Palazzo

MISSISSIPPI's 4th DISTRICT

Gary Palmer

ALABAMA's 6th DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Dana Rohrabacher

CALIFORNIA's 48th DISTRICT

Jim Sensenbrenner

WISCONSIN's 5th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bruce Westerman

ARKANSAS' 4th DISTRICT