Full Committee Markup -- H.R. 2850
Opening Statement By Rep. Bart Gordon
Good Morning. The Committee will come to order. Pursuant to notice, the Committee on Science and Technology meets to consider the following measures:
H.R. 2850, the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2007
H.R. 2337, the Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007
I would like to briefly talk about H.R. 2337. This bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, the Committee on Agriculture, and also to the Committee on Science and Technology. The Natural Resources Committee held hearings on the bill in May and marked up the bill last month. The Agriculture Committee has not yet acted on the bill.
Committee staff has been in discussions over the last week or so with the Natural Resources Committee about provisions in H.R. 2337 where there are policy differences within the Science and Technology jurisdiction. Following consideration of H.R. 2850, I plan to recess the committee and postpone consideration of H.R. 2337 until Thursday or Friday so that we may continue negotiations.
We will now proceed with the markup. The bill we will consider today is H.R. 2850, the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2007.
When I took the reigns of this Committee, I made a promise that this would be a committee of “Good Ideas” and “Consensus.” We are here to solve problems, and solutions are welcome from both sides of the aisle.
Today, the Committee is meeting to consider legislation introduced by Congressman Gingrey that addresses an issue that he has particular expertise with—green chemistry. With an undergraduate degree in chemistry followed by a medical degree, Dr. Gingrey has long been an advocate for increasing government research into green chemistry.
Chemical manufacturing can result in harm to human health and the environment due to the use of hazardous materials and the generation of hazardous by-products. Green chemistry seeks to mitigate such harmful outcomes. In short, the goal of green chemistry is to minimize or to eliminate this harm by using safer materials and manufacturing processes. Besides protecting human health and the environment, green chemistry can offer economic advantages and improvements to worker safety, public safety, and our national security.
H.R. 2850, the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act, establishes an interagency program to enhance green chemistry R&D at NSF, EPA, DOE, and NIST.
This legislation will provide grants to individual researchers, spur university/industry partnerships, fund research at federal laboratories, and train students in green chemistry science.
H.R. 2850 is the third iteration of a bill that Congressman Gingrey has introduced addressing this issue. Under Chairman Boehlert’s leadership in the 108th and 109th Congresses, Democratic amendments were agreed to and now make up sections of H.R. 2850. This bill is the product of good bi-partisan cooperation.
However, there was, and remains, apprehension among Democratic members that this Act simply does not go far enough to promote the adoption of green chemistry. But H.R. 2850 is a good first step, and I urge my colleagues on the Committee to support this legislation.
I want to thank all the Members for their cooperation and participation during the first half of this year. I look forward to working with all of you as we move toward the August recess.