WASHINGTON - Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today was elected by his Republican colleagues to serve as chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology for another term.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “I am honored to serve as chairman of the Committee for two more years. I look forward to working with the Trump administration to reduce the regulatory burden on American families and improve government accountability.”
Chairman Smith has served as Chairman of the Science Committee since 2013.
Agencies within the Committee’s jurisdiction include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the National Weather Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Committee oversees agency budgets that total $43 billion. Read More
WASHINGTON - Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) today sent a letter to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden regarding the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). NASA recently issued a press release that implies the ARM has gained acceptance by advisory bodies.
“As the incoming Administration evaluates ARM, it would benefit from clear guidance from both NASA and its advisory bodies. Similarly, it should be unencumbered by decisions made in the twilight of this Administration’s term. Contrary to the assertions made in the press release, numerous advisory bodies have questioned the merits of the President’s ARM mission. The NASA Advisory Council, the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), and the National Research Council have all raised concerns with the mission since its proposal by the Administration,” the letter states.
Today’s letter requests documents associated with the consideration, development, formulation, drafting, production, and dissemination of the press release and a recent SBAG Special Action Team report. Read More
WASHINGTON - Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule, which sets renewable fuel volumes for 2017.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The EPA’s final RFS rule doubles down on the proposed rule, breaks the blend wall, and sets biofuels requirements that are not achievable in today’s energy market. More unrealistic mandates won’t benefit the environment or lead to innovation in biofuels technology. Regular Americans will pay the price with increased costs on everything from the gas they put in their cars to their Thanksgiving turkey. The next administration must work with Congress to reform this mandate.”
The proposed rule requires 19.28 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into the fuel supply by 2017, an increase from the EPA’s 2016 rule and the proposed 2017 rule. The final rule increases biofuel volumes in every category and meets the statutory cap of 15 billion gallons for conventional biofuels, despite evidence that the U.S. is not currently on track to meet 2016 targets.
The Science Committee has held two hearings on the RFS in the 114th Congress. Witnesses testified that the RFS increases fuel costs, food costs, and emissions.
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WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, today released the following statement on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final methane rule.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The announcement of the Bureau of Land Management’s methane rule is disappointing. This rule is yet another example of a long list of unnecessary and duplicative regulations finalized by the Obama administration. Despite growing public opposition, President Obama and environmental alarmists are actively willing to commit the United States to costly, new regulations that will have no meaningful impact on the environment, but will negatively impact economic growth. Instead of allowing the technical merits to be carefully reviewed, the BLM has failed to address the concerns of stakeholders and has decided to hastily issue this rule. This past February, the Science Committee held a hearing to warn the public about the dangers of finalizing midnight regulations in the waning days of a presidential administration. Instead, the next administration should be allowed to decide the next appropriate steps for this rule.” Read More
WASHINGTON - House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement after the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement went into effect today for the countries that agreed to participate.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “I am disappointed that President Obama continues to gamble with the U.S. economy by unlawfully committing to the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement, which takes effect today for the countries that agreed to participate. The administration’s actions bypass Congress, put our nation at an economic disadvantage, and impose undue and unsustainable burdens on American families, who will endure higher electric bills as a result of this so–called ‘agreement.’
“The United States’ contribution to the Paris climate agreement, which includes the Clean Power Plan, could cost up to $176 billion annually, and would have no significant impacts on climate change. The president’s costly environmental regulations would only reduce global temperatures by just three one-hundredths of a degree Celsius, and sea level rise by the thickness of three sheets of paper. It’s all pain and no gain.
“This non-legally binding agreement accomplishes nothing meaningful, and furthermore, puts hardworking Americans out of well-paying jobs in order to salvage the president’s legacy once he leaves office. Instead, the president should base all policies on sound science, not science fiction.” Read More
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, today released the following statement following the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) announcement that it has reopened its investigation of the use of an insecure, private email server to conduct official business by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “A smoking gun has long been evident in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the decision to reopen the investigation is a step in the right direction to determine who pulled the trigger. On September 28 at a Congressional hearing, I called on FBI Director Comey to reopen the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email server because of the many unanswered questions that remained after its initial inquiry closed. Today’s news that the FBI has discovered new information that has led it to determine that its investigation is incomplete and requires additional review by FBI investigators is a welcome and overdue development.
“Throughout the investigation of the security of former Secretary Clinton’s private server, the committee’s inquiries have been met with resistance and obstruction by companies and organizations associated with former Secretary Clinton. Given this reasoning, I recently announced that the committee intends to hold her private server company, Platte River Networks, in contempt of Congress.
“The American people deserve a transparent government and the assurance that our nation’s security will not be jeopardized. I look forward to continuing the committee’s investigation into the security of former Secretary Clinton’s private email server.”
On Oct. 20, Smith announced plans to hold the company that set up and maintained former Secretary Clinton’s private server, Platte River Networks, in contempt of Congress.
At a Sept. 28 House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Smith urged FBI Director James Comey to reopen the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
On Sept. 20, Rep. Smith issued a subpoena to FBI Director Comey for documents and information related to the security of Clinton’s private email account and server. The Committee requested these documents in a Sept. 9 letter. Director Comey has failed to produce any documents pursuant to the previous request.
On Aug. 22, Smith issued subpoenas to the three companies who maintain former Secretary Clinton’s private server with the support of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, after the companies failed to comply with the Science Committee’s voluntary request for documents and interviews.
Smith’s subpoenas built on July 12 bicameral efforts to request information and earlier investigations initiated separately by Chairman Smith and Chairman Johnson.
The Science Committee has jurisdiction over the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which sets standards pursuant to the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA). The materials subpoenaed by the Science Committee center exactly around the Committee’s jurisdiction over cybersecurity standards in FISMA.
WASHINGTON – The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology yesterday hosted a forum on American aeronautics. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Congressman Steve Knight (R-Calif.) led a panel discussion featuring leaders of public and private sector flight experimentation programs who discussed the state of American aeronautics research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) programs.
The panel discussed the major transformations that have shaped flight experimentation since the first “X-Planes” program, the Bell X-1, made its historic sound barrier-breaking flight in 1947. By taking the lead in many technology development efforts, private companies and the public sector are taking on high-risk, long-term research for which there is not yet a profit rationale. Panel experts emphasized that the U.S. is in the midst of international races to ensure long-term leadership in the field and called for a renewal of the successful X-Plane program.
Panelists discussed the state of American aeronautics research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) programs.
Click HERE or on the frame above to watch the panel.
Stuart O. Witt, principal, S. O. Witt & Associates
Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21), chairman, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25), member, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Space Subcommittee; Member, House Armed Services Committee, Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee
Mr. David McBride, director, Armstrong Flight Research Center, NASA
Mr. Craig Johnston, director, Aeronautics Strategy and Business Development, Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin
Maj. Gen. Curtis M. Bedke, U.S. Air Force (Ret.); senior non-resident fellow, Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “Yesterday’s event forecasted the future of American aviation. My colleague, Rep. Knight, and I share a deep appreciation for our nation’s aviation history, and we are inspired by what we see on the horizon. It is important that we continue to work with stakeholders so that we remain the world’s leaders in flight. Yesterday’s panel, rooted in Rep. Knight’s home district, emphasized that the U.S. is in the midst of international races to field hypersonic piloted aircraft, to quiet the boom of supersonic planes, and push the frontiers of aviation. Rep. Knight and I appreciated our experts’ input and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the U.S. remains the leader in aerospace.”
Congressman Steve Knight (R-Calif.): “It was an honor to have Chairman Smith and these distinguished leaders in the flight science community all in the Antelope Valley to discuss the state of aerospace in our country. The success of our aeronautics programs will have a tremendous impact on America’s economy and national security far into the future. Today’s discussion produced several important ideas, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure they become realities.” Read More
WASHINGTON – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding her testimony before the committee at a June hearing titled Ensuring Sound Science at EPA. Administrator McCarthy’s testimony contained misleading statements concerning EPA’s role in the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) study of the chemical glyphosate.
Since the June 22 hearing, the committee has obtained documents and information that appear to contradict Administrator McCarthy’s responses to committee members’ questions on the EPA’s review of glyphosate. For example, Administrator McCarthy indicated that no EPA officials worked on IARC’s finding that glyphosate probably causes cancer. However, documents obtained by the committee put these statements in question (more). Based on this discrepancy and EPA’s recent decision to delay its Scientific Advisory Panel’s upcoming meeting on the chemical, the committee is concerned that the EPA will not evaluate glyphosate based on sound science.
“What is most unfortunate about this matter is that this is just another example of EPA’s inability to perform the most basic of its statutory functions,” the letter states. “Throughout the course of this Administration, the EPA has been laser focused on its regulatory agenda, promulgating some of the most complex and wide-reaching rules under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. No one would dispute how prolific the agency has been in its rulemaking. But that is the problem. The EPA’s sole focus on regulation has caused the agency to disregard process and basic environmental protection.”
“From the complete disregard for the environment seen by the EPA’s failure to warn in Flint, Michigan, to the pollution of the Animas River, and the lack of adherence to process in subverting the Clean Water Act in Bristol Bay Alaska, the EPA fails at the most basic of tasks,” the letter continues. “The agency’s review of glyphosate is little different than these examples. The Committee implores you to take control of this matter and determine why your staff failed you and failed to correct matters as necessary to ensure that the agency’s decisions are based solely on sound science.”
The committee has also determined that EPA officials maintained a close relationship with activist IARC participant Christopher Portier. Mr. Portier spearheaded a letter writing campaign challenging the European Food Safety Authority’s study on glyphosate. Christopher Portier’s brother, Kenneth Portier, was named as a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel to review EPA’s work on glyphosate earlier this month. Click here for a full list of Scientific Advisory Panel members.
In today’s letter Chairman Smith also requested transcribed interviews with three key individuals involved in this matter.
The full letter can be found HERE.
On Oct. 14, EPA announced that the Scientific Advisory Panel’s upcoming meeting on the chemical glyphosate has been further delayed.
On June 7, Chairman Smith sent a letter to the Administrator McCarthy requesting transcribed interviews with four EPA employees to better understand the process the EPA used to evaluate the chemical glyphosate.
On May 4, Chairman Smith sent a letter to Administrator McCarthy requesting documents and communications related to the risk assessment for glyphosate prepared by the Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC).
In April, the EPA posted what appeared to be the final risk assessment for glyphosate prepared by the Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC). EPA subsequently removed the report from its website stating it was posted “inadvertently.” The report was clearly marked as “Final Report” and signed by the thirteen members of CARC. The CARC report found that glyphosate was not likely to be carcinogenic.
Letter to Administrator McCarthy
Scientific Advisory Panel Overview of Assignments
Email Chain Putting Administrator McCarthy's Testimony in Question
Email Chain with Activist IARC Participant Christopher Portier
Document Indicating Mr. Portier Challenging the European Food Safety Authority’s Study on Glyphosate Read More