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Organizational Meeting

Monday, November 23, 2009 - 10:00am
2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Opening Statement By Chair Bart Gordon

Good Morning.  Pursuant to notice, the Committee on Science and Technology meets to formally organize the Committee for the 111th Congress.  Today, the Committee must adopt the Rules of the Committee for the 111th Congress, ratify the Subcommittee Chairs, Subcommittee Ranking Minority Members, and Subcommittee membership, and adopt our oversight plan for the 111th Congress.  Before we begin, I would like to take this time to welcome back my friend Ralph Hall as the Ranking Member of the Committee.  I feel very lucky to work closely with a colleague with such deep experience in the issues that are important to our Committee.  I look forward to continuing to draw upon that experience as we move forward with a very exciting agenda for the 111th Congress.

This Congress, the Committee plans to consider several issues we began to look at in the last Congress, as well as a number of new issues.

Just a few of these are:

  • Surface transportation R&D, including intelligent transportation systems and energy efficient transportation, as part of the reauthorization of the highway bill;
  • Electronic waste – including how to deal with it and how to better design products so that there is less waste in the future;
  • Developing new energy technologies, as well as how the Federal government can help move energy technologies out of the labs and into the marketplace more effectively;
  • Federal R&D to address natural disasters – including assistance to firefighters, windstorm impact reduction, and earthquake hazards reduction;
  • STEM education programs across the Federal government
  • The challenges presented by Internet congestion and the future of communications technologies;
  • Accurate and reliable technologies to monitor reporting and compliance with greenhouse gas emission limits in any climate change cap-and-trade scheme; and
  • A multi-year reauthorization for NASA.

We will also continue to conduct oversight of programs that our Committee authorized in the COMPETES Act and the 2007 energy bill, and work toward full funding of these programs.

Finally, there are a handful of noncontroversial bills that this Committee acted on last year and that passed the House in the 110th Congress but were not enacted into law.  Once these are introduced in the 111th, we will suggest that they be discharged from the Committee and taken to the floor.

These include:

  • The National Nanotechnology Initiative
  • The Produced Water Utilization Act (Mr. Hall’s bill)
  • The Water Conservation Research and Development Act (Mr. Matheson’s bill)
  • The Green Energy Education Act (Mr. McCaul’s bill)

I now recognize Mr. Hall for any opening remarks.

111th Congress