Energy & Environment Subcommittee Markup -- H.R. 2304
Opening Statement By Rep. Nick Lampson
Today, the Subcommittee we will consider three bills, H.R. 906, the Global Change Research and Data Management Act, H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, and H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act.
First, we will take up H.R. 906, The Global Change Research and Data Management Act of 2007, which will re-orient the current interagency climate research program to produce information that supports efforts of resource managers, businesses, and individuals to understand and reduce our vulnerability to extreme weather events and to climate change.
The US Global Change Research Program has been in existence in some form since the late 1970s. This important program has vastly expanded our knowledge of Earth’s land, water, and atmospheric systems.
However, fires, droughts, hurricanes, and other natural events have highlighted our increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and climate changes. With better planning and implementation of adaptation strategies these costs can be reduced.
Next, we will consider two pieces of legislation to expand our country’s renewable energy portfolio in the areas of geothermal and ocean power. These resources are both potentially vast in size and have potential to provide clean power at competitive rates, but they require support to advance to the stage of commercial viability.
H.R. 2304, The Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act of 2007, would re-invigorate geothermal research and development in this country. It would provide support and guidance for researchers to develop technologies capable of tapping into the vast quantities of thermal energy that is stored in the earth’s crust.
H.R. 2313, The Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007, would support renewable energy development by exploiting the energy of ocean tides and currents.
Today, this promising industry is at roughly the same developmental stage that wind was at 20 years ago. With the support provided by this bill, this industry is poised to grow into a significant contributor of clean electricity to our nation’s power grid.
In short, these bills are about addressing overlooked opportunities in our collective efforts to create good American jobs, diversify our energy supply, increase our security, and reduce the environmental impact of energy production.
All three pieces of legislation are important to our environment and our economy. Therefore, I urge their passage, and look forward to getting them to the House floor.