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Public Statements

Energy Independence

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SMITH of Texas. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Ohio for yielding me time.

As chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I would like to focus my remarks on the role of science and technology in Republicans' all-of-the-above energy strategy.

The Science Committee has oversight responsibility in two relevant areas. The committee oversees $8.5 billion of the Department of Energy's research and development funding.

If we want to ensure that Americans have access to the affordable and reliable energy they need, we must strengthen DOE scientific research programs and EPA scientific integrity principles. And that is what we intend to do this Congress.

As part of this process, the Science Committee expects to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act. A central component of that legislation is $5 billion to the Department of Energy Office of Science, which maintains world-class research facilities through the National Laboratories. The office also supports innovative research that will help transform how we produce and consume energy.

We will also pursue energy legislation that improves prioritization and management of specific programs, from energy efficiency and renewable energy to nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas.

The Science Committee recently received testimony that highlighted the massive costs and duplication of Federal subsidies for alternate forms of energy. The administration should not pick winners and give subsidies to favored companies that promote uncompetitive technologies. This too often leads to waste and bankruptcy, as we witnessed with Solyndra and other companies. Instead, we should focus our resources on research and development that will produce technologies that will enable alternative energy sources to become economically competitive without the need for subsidies.

Finally, we need to fix the EPA, which continues to levy numerous regulations that burden employers. Under the Obama administration, the EPA has aggressively sought to regulate nearly every aspect of the energy industry. It implements rules that burden employers and kill jobs. Insulting the taxpayers who fund the EPA, the administration refuses to release the scientific data upon which these burdensome regulations are based. This is entirely inconsistent with the President's stated commitment to lead the most open and transparent administration in history. The committee will continue to work to ensure that the EPA lives up to the President's transparency standard. The American people deserve to know all the facts, particularly since EPA regulations on the energy sector have a direct impact on their daily lives.

For example, the EPA has opposed a technological innovation that provides good-paying jobs for many Americans. The fracking revolution is changing the nature of American energy production. Hundreds of communities directly benefit from the economic turnaround due to energy production made possible by the fracking technology. These locations range from North Dakota to Pennsylvania to Texas. These States' household income growth and low unemployment is a direct result of revolutionary technology developments combined with sound energy policy and oversight at the State level.

Madam Speaker, on the Science Committee, we aim to ensure that Americans reap the benefits of this current energy technology revolution, and the Science Committee will do its part.


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