Week in Review — 1.21.22
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee newsletter! The SST Newsletter highlights the goings on of the Committee, the hard work of our Members, and a look ahead. Sign up to get it delivered straight to your inbox!
PASSED: Five Bipartisan Bills
On Wednesday, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) chaired the Committee’s first markup of 2022.
Members passed five bipartisan bills favorably out of Committee:
- H.R. 4521, the “Bioeconomy Research and Development Act of 2021”
- H.R. 847, the “Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act”
- H.R. 4270, the “Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act”
- H.R. 4819, the “National Nuclear University Research Infrastructure Reinvestment Act of 2021”
- H.R. 6291, the “Microelectronics Research for Energy Innovation Act” or “Micro Act”
ICYMI: James Webb Space Telescope Is On Its Way To Orbit
Last month, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) successfully launched from the European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. Over the last few weeks, the telescope has been going through its complex deployment process as it travels nearly one million miles to its destination in space. JWST is scheduled to reach its point of orbital insertion on Monday, January 24.
The main goals of Webb’s mission include searching for the first galaxies formed in the universe, observing the formation of stars, building our understanding of the evolution of galaxies, and measuring physical and chemical properties of planetary systems. JWST is an international collaboration among the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
“After two decades in development and painstaking work, this incredible observatory is on its way to transforming our understanding of the early universe and much more. I would like to send my heartfelt congratulations to NASA, Northrop Grumman, our international partners, and the entire James Webb Telescope team on today’s success. While there is much work ahead as the observatory undertakes the ’29 days on edge’ deployment and its million-mile journey to orbit, getting to this point is a milestone to celebrate.”
- Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
“As a long-time advocate for the observatory, I’m especially glad to see this critical step reached toward JWST’s long-awaited science mission. Today’s success and the ones to hopefully follow will undoubtedly inspire an entire generation of students excited to learn and grow from this observatory.”
- Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA) of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
Read the full press release here.
ICYMI: ‘Heartbreaking’ News from NOAA
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that 2021 ranked as the fourth-warmest year on record, and that December 2021 was the warmest December ever recorded. NOAA also announced, “Last year, the U.S. experienced 20 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters that killed at least 688 people — the most disaster-related fatalities for the contiguous U.S. since 2011 and more than double last year’s number of 262.”
“The news from NOAA recapping the devastation Americans were faced with in 2021 is heartbreaking. The consequences of climate change impact each and every American — especially disadvantaged communities — across the Nation. We must act on climate now to build a better, and more safe future for all…Climate change is one of our Nation’s greatest challenges, and we must face it head-on with robust investments in science and technology. There is no time to waste, Americans and our rising generations are counting on us to act now.”
- Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
IN THE NEWS:
E&E Daily: Democrats cite NOAA report to push reconciliation bill
Washington Post: The past seven years have been the hottest in recorded history, new data shows
E&E News: ‘Heartbreaking’: 2021 climate-related disasters killed 688
Read the full press release here. Read NOAA’s assessment here.
From the Dais
Sea Technology: Democrats Mapping A Strong Future for Ocean Science and Technology
Issues: A New Compact for S&T Policy
SST Looking Towards the Future: 2021 in Review, Looking Ahead for 2022
Coming up in Committee
There is no committee activity scheduled for next week.