Week in Review 12.9.22

Science Committee Democrats
3 min readDec 9, 2022

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.

Science Committee Members Introduce a Trio of Clean Energy Bills

This week, Energy Subcommittee Chairman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Ranking Member Randy Weber (R-TX) introduced the bipartisan Airborne Wind Energy Research and Development Act. The bill would establish a research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program at the Department of Energy to improve understanding of the benefits, design, and impacts of airborne wind energy generation.

“This bill will support the research and development required to scale up the airborne wind energy industry. Accessing stronger, more consistent winds at higher elevations will help strengthen the grid as we shift to renewable energy, while also reducing impacts from land use and resource extraction.”

-Energy Subcommittee Chairman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK) introduced the Clean Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research, Development, and Demonstration Act, which will empower the Department of Energy to support the research and development of clean hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

“Clean hydrogen offers us an opportunity to secure a clean energy future. But these opportunities will not be realized without strong federal investment. I’m proud to join Congresswoman Bice to introduce this bill that invests in clean hydrogen research and development.”

-Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)

Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) introduced the Critical Materials Processing Technology Testbed Act, legislation that would allow the Department of Energy to create a testbed to pilot and study new, safer materials processing technologies. The legislation was inspired by a hearing Foster chaired, which found that materials processing constitutes a major impediment to strengthening the domestic battery supply chain.

“Now more than ever, there’s an increased demand to process the critical materials that are needed for computers, electric car batteries, solar panels, and more… A testbed managed by the Department of Energy would allow us to trial new technologies to help create a materials processing industry in the United States that protects our workers and the environment.”

-Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Foster (D-IL)

Building a Safer Antarctic Research Environment

On Tuesday, the Committee held a hearing to discuss the findings of a recent report on sexual harassment and assault in Antarctica. During the hearing, Members and witnesses also examined the unique characteristics of remote research sites, changes that have been made since the publication of the report, and additional steps that must be taken to protect those engaging in research in Antarctica and other remote research sites.

“We must not tolerate any culture that enables pervasive harassment and assault. While the Antarctic program presents unique challenges, such challenges must not be used as an excuse for an inadequate response and corrective actions. I am proud that this Committee passed the Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act. This became law this summer in the CHIPS & Science Act. But clearly there is more work to be done, including when it comes to the responsibility of Federal contractors.”

-Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Read the witnesses’ testimonies and watch the hearing here.

Coming up in Committee

Subcommittee on Research and Technology Hearing

Subject: “Building Regional Innovation Economies Part II”

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Time: 10:00 a.m. ET

Place: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building and Online via Zoom

Witnesses:

  • Hon. Alejandra Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Economic Development Administration
  • Ms. Maureen Donohue Krauss, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Partnership
  • Mr. David Spalding, Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business and Interim Vice President of Economic Development and Industry Relations, Iowa State University
  • Ms. Linda Olson, President/CEO, Tampa Bay Wave

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Science Committee Democrats

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology