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Subcommittee on Energy & Environment - H.R. 2693, H.R. 2729, H.R. 1622

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 10:00am
2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Opening Statement By Chairman Brian Baird

This morning the Energy and Environment Subcommittee meets to consider three pieces of legislation: H.R. 2693, “The Federal Oil Pollution Research Program Act”; H.R. 2729, a bill to authorize the Department of Energy’s National Environmental Research Parks; and H.R. 1622, a bill to provide for a program of research and development of vehicles that operate using natural gas as a fuel.

First, the Subcommittee will consider H.R. 2693, authored by Ms. Woolsey which amends the federal interagency research and development program created in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. This bill would improve the Federal Government’s research and development efforts to prevent, detect, or mitigate oil discharges. Through this reauthorization, federal agencies will be better equipped to respond to oil discharges wherever they occur.

We will also be marking up H.R. 2729, a bill introduced by Mr. Luján to authorize the Department of Energy’s seven National Environmental Research Parks. These parks are truly a national treasure, providing large tracts of land that represent nearly all of the major eco-regions in the United States. They are a valuable resource for examining the transport of DOE-related contaminants, long-term impacts of climate change, and the various ways carbon is captured and released within ecosystems.

I am pleased to be a cosponsor of both H.R. 2693 and H.R. 2729, and I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in supporting these important bills.

Finally, the Subcommittee will consider H.R. 1622, a bill introduced by Mr. Sullivan of Oklahoma and co-sponsored by the full committee ranking member, Mr. Hall. This bill reauthorizes the Department of Energy’s research, development, and demonstration program in natural gas powered vehicles and related infrastructure.

To transform our nation’s energy sector we must explore a diverse range of fuels and vehicle technologies. While only a piece in very complex puzzle, natural gas can potentially provide us with an option that is both cleaner than petroleum and domestically available. I look forward to the discussion on the bill and moving it towards a full committee markup.

I thank the Members for their participation this morning, and I look forward to a productive markup.

H.R. 2693, the Federal Oil Spill Research Program Act
H.R. 2729, to authorize the designation of National Environmental Research Parks by the Secretary of Energy, and for other purposes
H.R. 1622, to provide for a program of research, development, and demonstration on natural gas vehicles

111th Congress