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H.R. 2693, H.R. 5716

Date: 
Monday, July 19, 2010 - 10:00am
Location: 
2318 Rayburn HOB

Opening Statement By

Good morning, and welcome. Today the Committee will consider two bills that address oil spill cleanup technologies and response coordination, as well as research and development of safe drilling technologies.  

First, we will consider H.R. 2693 authored by Ms. Woolsey of California. This bill was introduced and marked up in the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment last summer. 
 
Ms. Woolsey’s foresight in introducing this legislation last year put us one step closer to advancing a more robust federal research and development program on oil spill response. 
 
At the time, Ms. Woolsey was responding to the spill in her district. But the Deepwater Horizon accident and the subsequent response effort have made the intent of this bill all the more relevant today. In light of that, the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to be marked up today sets up a more efficient federal management structure, reprioritizes the research and development activities, and provides for more robust oversight and accountability of the interagency R&D program.
 
Next, we will consider H.R. 5716, the Safer Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Technology Research and Development Act. This bill amends Section 999 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which authorized the Secretary of Energy to establish an Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Onshore Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources research and development program. As the long-time champion for this program, Mr. Hall recognized its potential for developing technologies to prevent and mitigate oil spills, and worked closely with us in drafting this bill.

The bill makes a series of changes to the 999 program, including a shift in the focus and funding of the program to research and development of technologies for safety and accident prevention and mitigation. This bill will also streamline the operations of the program. 
 
It is our hope that with passage of this bill, activities conducted under Section 999 will better serve the nation’s needs for development of advanced and improved environmental and worker safety technologies and practices, while also providing a federal resource for technical expertise in this field.   
 
H.R. 5716 is the product of significant bipartisan collaboration, and I want to thank Mr. Hall and his staff for their continued good work as we move this legislation out of Committee and to the floor.
 
The two bills before us today help to ensure that all stakeholders – including the federal government, industry, and academia – are better equipped to prevent and respond to such accidents in the future.
 
I thank you all for your attendance and participation this morning, and I look forward to a productive markup.


Opening Statement By Chairman Bart Gordon

Good morning, and welcome. Today the Committee will consider two bills that address oil spill cleanup technologies and response coordination, as well as research and development of safe drilling technologies.  

First, we will consider H.R. 2693 authored by Ms. Woolsey of California. This bill was introduced and marked up in the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment last summer. 
 
Ms. Woolsey’s foresight in introducing this legislation last year put us one step closer to advancing a more robust federal research and development program on oil spill response. 
 
At the time, Ms. Woolsey was responding to the spill in her district. But the Deepwater Horizon accident and the subsequent response effort have made the intent of this bill all the more relevant today. In light of that, the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to be marked up today sets up a more efficient federal management structure, reprioritizes the research and development activities, and provides for more robust oversight and accountability of the interagency R&D program.
 
Next, we will consider H.R. 5716, the Safer Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Technology Research and Development Act. This bill amends Section 999 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which authorized the Secretary of Energy to establish an Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Onshore Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources research and development program. As the long-time champion for this program, Mr. Hall recognized its potential for developing technologies to prevent and mitigate oil spills, and worked closely with us in drafting this bill.

The bill makes a series of changes to the 999 program, including a shift in the focus and funding of the program to research and development of technologies for safety and accident prevention and mitigation. This bill will also streamline the operations of the program. 
 
It is our hope that with passage of this bill, activities conducted under Section 999 will better serve the nation’s needs for development of advanced and improved environmental and worker safety technologies and practices, while also providing a federal resource for technical expertise in this field.  
 
H.R. 5716 is the product of significant bipartisan collaboration, and I want to thank Mr. Hall and his staff for their continued good work as we move this legislation out of Committee and to the floor.
 
The two bills before us today help to ensure that all stakeholders – including the federal government, industry, and academia – are better equipped to prevent and respond to such accidents in the future.
 
I thank you all for your attendance and participation this morning, and I look forward to a productive markup.

  •  H.R. 2693, The Oil Pollution Research and Development Program Reauthorization Act of 2010
  •  H.R. 5716, The Safer Oil and Natural Gas Drilling Technology Research and Development Act
111th Congress