WASHINGTON - U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement today on the president’s American Energy Independence Executive Order that rescinds the Social Cost of Carbon, directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to immediately reevaluate the Clean Power Plan, and repeals EPA’s methane rule.
Chairman Smith: “President Trump is moving the country away from politically driven regulations and toward a more open and honest approach that will let technology and innovation lead the way to clean energy.
“By lifting the burden of flawed and politically calculated social cost of carbon models, President Trump frees us from the Obama administration’s expansive agenda that hand-picked industry sectors as winners and losers. President Trump is also rescinding a methane rule that imposes strict requirements on an industry that has voluntarily and drastically reduced methane emissions. The new president further rescues Americans from President Obama’s so-called Clean Power Plan that would have burdened us with excessive costs, all for a minuscule global temperature reduction of 0.03 degrees Celsius. This executive order by President Trump is a welcome victory for the American people.
“Open and honest science should be at the core of the EPA’s mission rather than rules that end up costing American taxpayers billions of dollars. I look forward to continuing to work with President Trump and Administrator Pruitt to ensure that the American people have a government that is on their side.” Read More
WASHINGTON- U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement on the State Department’s approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The State Department’s approval of Keystone XL proves that the Trump administration is serious about being a champion of creating energy jobs. My Committee has invested significant time and resources into examining the safety and environmental impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline. I’m relieved this valuable project is now on the way to being fully completed. Even the State Department under the Obama administration concluded that this pipeline would have minimal impact on our environment and shows that the Keystone XL pipeline is long overdue to move forward.” Read More
WASHINGTON- U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price requesting documents and information on certain National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) contract and grant recipients.
“The Committee is investigating the scientific integrity of the work performed by NIEHS contract and grant recipients. According to public records, the Ramazzini Institute, an independent international science academy that conducts cancer related studies, benefited from at least seven sole source government contracts. The Committee is concerned that contracts awarded to the Ramazzini Institute and its affiliates may not meet adequate scientific integrity standards. Additionally, these sole source contracts raise questions about the integrity of the acquisition process at NIH and NEIHS. We are writing to request documents and information to determine whether NIEHS is complying with all federal acquisition regulations and ensuring award recipients are adhering to the utmost standards of scientific integrity.
“According to a March 17, 2017, media report, Italy’s Ramazzini Institute has received at least thirteen different NIEHS contracts through four different third parties since 2009, totaling nearly $2 million. Of the thirteen contracts, seven appear to be sole source, representing over $1 million taxpayer dollars. Further, media reports indicate that since 2009 NIEHS has directed as least $92 million in grant funds to the Ramazzini Institute and its U.S. affiliate. If true, this raises serious questions about the integrity of the acquisition process at NIEHS,” the letter states.
Today’s letter requests a briefing on this matter and communications and materials related to the scientific integrity of the work performed by certain NIEHS contractors and grant recipients to ensure proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars and sound science.
The letter can be found here.
In 2012, the committee wrote the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding specific Ramazzini studies EPA relied on when conducting chemical risk assessments. According to the EPA, agency scientists “identified discrepancies in the results of methanol studies conducted by the Ramazzini Institute.” As a result, EPA placed the four draft assessments that relied on the Ramazzini studies on hold, pending further review. Read More
WASHINGTON- Today President Donald Trump signed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017 into law. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation reaffirms Congress’ commitment to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and space science and exploration.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “With President Trump’s signature on the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, we put America back on a path to being a global leader in space. The last NASA authorization expired in 2013, and my colleagues and I have been hard at work to ensure a more robust and well-planned human exploration program. This bill directs NASA to pursue a balanced portfolio of space science and planetary missions and also looks to the future of scientific exploration and commerce while building upon the awe-inspiring discoveries of NASA’s past. I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate who worked to develop this important bill that will inspire the American people again. NASA is emblematic of the president’s ‘America First’ agenda as it is the first authorization bill he has signed into law.”
Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas): “This is an exciting day for America as we have now entered the next chapter of human space exploration. With universal backing in Congress and President Trump’s signature, the NASA Transition Authorization Act puts the United States on a clear path forward by providing certainty and long-term stability to NASA and America’s human space flight programs. I appreciate the hard work of my colleagues in Congress and the leadership of President Trump in advancing this bipartisan effort to further America’s leadership in space. I am also pleased to note the inclusion of the TREAT Astronauts Act, legislation that I introduced to ensure that our nation’s astronauts receive support for medical issues associated with their service while also advancing research in long-term space missions.”
Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas): “Ensuring we have a space program that can explore new frontiers is crucial to American leadership in space exploration. I am proud to see the NASA reauthorization bill pass through Congress and come to the President’s desk so NASA can continue their work. I believe this NASA reauthorization bill is vital to map out the blueprint for the future of American space exploration.”
The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 authorizes the House’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 funding level of $19.5 billion. The bill maintains support for the James Webb Space Telescope, the Space Launch System, the Orion crew vehicle, the International Space Station, and the commercial crew and cargo programs. Maintaining constancy of purpose for NASA was a recommendation from a recent National Research Council report, recent Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel reports, and numerous other independent groups. Ensuring continued progress on national level programs like the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew capsule will ensure that the U.S. continues to push the boundaries of space exploration. Full support for the commercial crew program makes progress towards once again launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil. The bill also makes the determination that the technological and scientific goals of the Asteroid Redirect Mission have not been demonstrated, and requires a report on alternatives to demonstrate the technologies needed for a human mission to Mars.
The NASA Transition Authorization Act also supports NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, as well as direction for a mission to Europa. The law amends the SPACE Act of 1958 by adding to NASA’s charter the direction to “search for life’s origin, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe,” clearing the way for NASA to advance the state of astrobiology. It directs the NASA administrator to seek reimbursement whenever responsibilities are transferred to NASA from another agency or when NASA funds another agency’s activities. It also includes the TREAT Astronauts Act, which gives NASA the ability to care for our astronauts and enhance our understanding of the effects of spaceflight on the human body. Read More
WASHINGTON - U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement today on President Trump’s proposed budget.
Chairman Smith: “Today President Trump took the first step in rebalancing and reprioritizing the federal budget. For far too long, vital programs have fallen by the wayside while climate funding continues to escalate. Hard decisions have to be made to better protect American taxpayers. This new budget continues to fund priority basic research that will enable policy makers to make informed decisions based on sound science.”