Science, Space, and Technology

Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Lamar Smith

Subcommittee on Research and Technology Hearing - Empowering U.S. Veterans Through Technology


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Full Committee Hearing - An Overview of the National Science Foundation Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2019


Hearing charter Opening Statements: Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Witnesses: Dr. France Córdova, director, National Science Foundation [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Maria T. Zuber, chair, National Science Board [Truth in Testimony]   Read More

Full Committee Hearing - National Laboratories: World-Leading Innovation in Science


Hearing charter  Opening Statements: Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Witnesses: Dr. Mark Peters, director, Idaho National Laboratory [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Susan Seestrom, advanced science & technology associate labs director and chief research officer, Sandia National Laboratory [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Mary E. Maxon, associate laboratory director for biosciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Chi-Chang Kao, director, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, National Accelerator Laboratory [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Paul Kearns, director, Argonne National Laboratory [Truth in Testimony] Read More

Fiscal Year 2019 GOP Views and Estimates


Click here for FY 2019 Views and Estimates. Read More

Smith Congratulates Lightfoot on Nearly Three Decades of Service


WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement after NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot announced his upcoming retirement. Chairman Smith: “Robert Lightfoot has served NASA exceptionally well for nearly 30 years. He has worked in many capacities starting as a test engineer and rising to NASA’s highest ranking civil servant as associate administrator before heading the agency as acting administrator. His commitment to America’s spaceflight program and space exploration has been an immense asset for NASA, and we will miss his leadership at NASA’s helm. As Acting Administrator Lightfoot said himself, ‘NASA make[s] the impossible possible.’ I thank Robert for all he has done to achieve the impossible, and I look forward to a smooth transition to the next administrator and to what’s to come as NASA soars toward its next achievements.” Read More

Climate change and the scientific method - we should welcome new research, not resist it


Climate alarmism has become the chant of the media and liberals who favor more government regulations. As Chairman of the House Science Committee, I have challenged the alarmist rhetoric and pursued the facts about climate change. The Committee follows the scientific method, which welcomes critiques, avoids exaggerated predictions, and relies on unbiased data. Unfortunately, alarmists ignore all these principles. Those of us who subscribe to the scientific method by questioning assertions are wrongly labeled “climate denier.” So much for welcoming critiques. While I have never denied that the climate is changing, I have asked tough questions about how much the climate has changed and how much of an impact humans have had on the climate. Furthermore, I have supported technological innovation, rather than costly federal regulations and mandates, as the solution to a changing climate. On the other hand, climatologist Dr. Stephen Schneider has said, “…we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” His message is clear: never express doubt and never accept any critiques. And the Los Angeles Times refuses to publish opinion pieces from anyone the paper deems a “denier.” The paper should present both sides of controversial issues, not just their side. Climate alarmists seek to silence those whose research raises doubts. Instead of claiming that “the science is settled,” alarmists should welcome new research that furthers the science of climate change. Alarmists also violate the second tenant of the scientific method, avoiding exaggerated predictions. Since the late 1970s, climate scientists have told the American people that global temperatures would increase more than one degree Celsius by 2020. However, actual satellite temperature observations do not support these predictions. Observed temperatures were less than half as high as the climate models’ predictions. When the predictions are so far off, we should not make policy decisions based on them. Much more research into the complexity of changing temperatures is needed. Furthermore, the idea that anyone can make precise predictions of what kind of climate will exist 85 or more years from now is laughable. There is simply no way to take into consideration climate variables or technological breakthroughs. Commenting on the recent hurricanes, many climate scientists have tried to link these storms and climate change. But the historical record disproves them. Hurricane landfalls in the United States since 1900 are on a steady decline. The cost of damages from these storms, as a percentage of gross domestic product, is also shrinking. Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has affirmed that they have “low confidence” in climate change contributing to extreme weather. Examination of patterns of other extreme weather events in the United States shows that a changing climate does not increase the frequency of these events. For example, U.S. wildland fires are decreasing in frequency. The number of recorded fires in recent years is nearly one-fourth the number of fires observed in the 1970s. Climate alarmists just won’t let the facts get in the way of their science fiction. The third tenant of the scientific method, reliance on unbiased data, is violated by climate alarmists who present the American people with suspect data to advance a political agenda.   For example, some claim that the Paris Climate Accord will reduce global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius. They have barraged the American people with this falsehood to garner support for the deal. But MIT data shows that the agreement would decrease warming only 0.16 degree Celsius by 2100 – over 80 years from now – and only if all 195 countries completely abided by the agreement. While I am sure that the alarmists will continue to shout fire when there is none, I believe the American people will call their bluff and insist that the scientific method be followed. The way to address climate change is not by increasing regulations and taxes. The future lies with research and development. Forget the alarmists’ hysteria and look to technology and innovation to solve climate change challenges. Read More

Subcommittee on Space - An Overview of the NASA Budget for Fiscal Year 2019


Hearing charter Opening Statement: Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) Witness: Mr. Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., acting administrator, NASA [Truth in Testimony] Read More

Subcommittee on Energy Hearing - The Future of U.S. Fusion Energy Research


Hearing charter Opening Statements: Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) Witnesses: Dr. Bernard Bigot, director-general, ITER Organization [Truth in Testimony] Dr. James W. Van Dam, acting associate director, Fusion Energy Sciences, Office of Science, Department of Energy [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Mickey Wade, director of advanced fusion systems, Magnetic Fusion Energy Division, General Atomics [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Mark Herrmann, director, National Ignition Facility, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory [Truth in Testimony]  Read More

SST Committee Staff Report Reveals Russia’s Social Media Meddling in U.S. Energy Markets


WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released a staff report uncovering Russia’s extensive efforts to influence U.S. energy markets through divisive and inflammatory posts on social media platforms. The report details Russia’s motives in interfering with U.S. energy markets and influencing domestic energy policy and its manipulation of Americans via social media propaganda. The report includes examples of Russian-propagated social media posts. Chairman Smith: “This report reveals that Russian agents created and spread propaganda on U.S. social media platforms in an obvious attempt to influence the U.S. energy market. Russia benefits from stirring up controversy about U.S. energy production. U.S. energy exports to European countries are increasing, which means they will have less reason to rely upon Russia for their energy needs. This, in turn, will reduce Russia’s influence on Europe to Russia’s detriment and Europe’s benefit. That’s why Russian agents attempted to manipulate Americans’ opinions about pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking and climate change. The American people deserve to know if what they see on social media is the creation of a foreign power seeking to undermine our domestic energy policy.” The report’s key findings: Between 2015 and 2017, there were an estimated 9,097 Russian posts or tweets regarding U.S. energy policy or a current energy event on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Between 2015 and 2017, there were an estimated 4,334 IRA accounts across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. According to information provided by Twitter, more than four percent of all IRA tweets were related to energy or environmental issues, a significant portion of content when compared to the eight percent of IRA tweets that were related to the election in the U.S. Russia exploited American social media as part of its concerted effort to disrupt U.S. energy markets and influence domestic energy policy. The IRA targeted pipelines, fossil fuels, climate change and other divisive issues to influence public policy in the U.S. The report can be found here. Background On October 31, 2017, Chairman Smith sent letters to Twitter and Facebook to continue its probe into Russian attempts to influence U.S. energy markets via social media platforms. The letters cited additional evidence that Russian agents engaged in anti-U.S. energy activities on the platforms, including Facebook-owned Instagram, and reiterated Chairman Smith’s September request for information from the companies. On September 26, 2017, Chairman Smith requested documents and information from Twitter and Facebook related to Russian entities purchasing anti-U.S. energy advertisements on social media platforms operated by the companies, including Facebook-owned Instagram. On July 7, 2017, Chairman Smith and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting that the Treasury Department investigate allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. energy market through covertly funding radical environmental groups opposed to fossil fuels. Read More

Subcommittee on Research and Technology Hearing - A Review of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct in Science


Hearing charter Opening Statements: Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) Witnesses: Ms. Rhonda Davis, head, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, National Science Foundation [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Kathryn Clancy, associate professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois [Truth in Testimony] Ms. Christine McEntee, executive director, American Geophysical Union [Truth in Testimony]  Ms. Kristina Larsen, attorney, Law Office of Kristina K. Larsen [Truth in Testimony] Read More

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