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Committee Approves Legislation to Improve Water Efficiency and Hybrid Truck R&D Programs

Jul 16, 2008
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Science and Technology Committee passed two bills (H.R. 3957, H.R. 2339) to enhance water conservation and one bill (H.R. 6323) to improve the R&D of heavy hybrid trucks.

"Dwindling water supplies across the United States continue to percolate as a major disaster on our nation’s horizon. Despite tremendous spring rains in some states, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that severe drought still grips the American Southeast, California, the Rocky Mountains, Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle," stated Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). "In an effort to protect the country from an impending water scarcity crisis, the Committee has begun to search out ways for the federal government to spur new technological innovations in water research and development."

H.R. 3957, the Water Use Efficiency and Conservation Research Act, was introduced by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) on October 24, 2007. This legislation institutes a R&D program to promote the efficiency and conservation of water within the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development.

"Nothing is more important to the economic future of the arid West than sufficient supplies of clean water. My bill seeks to ramp up the research and development of those technologies and processes that will help local water managers, local governments and residents conserve water, save money and keep the well, so to speak, from running dry," said Matheson.

H.R. 2339, the Produced Water Utilization Act of 2007, was introduced by Ranking Republican Ralph Hall (R-TX) on May 16, 2008. This bill establishes a program to research, develop, and demonstrate the beneficial reuse of water produced in connection to oil and gas extraction. Roughly 2.3 billions gallons of water per day is produced in association with oil and gas extraction. Currently this water is not clean enough to use; this legislation would create innovative, environmentally-friendly treatment technologies to enable the use of this water.

H.R. 6323, the Heavy Hybrid Truck Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 2008, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on June 19, 2008. This legislation encourages hybrid research for trucks by offering manufactures grants to build, test, and eventually sell hybrid heavy duty trucks. In addition, the bill encourages the Department of Energy (DOE) to expand its advanced energy storage technology research to include hybrid trucks.

"With skyrocketing fuel prices, energy concerns have been cemented at the forefront of public awareness. This Committee responded by pursuing an aggressive energy agenda in 110th Congress, and provided a substantial portfolio of bills to the comprehensive energy package which became law last December," said Gordon. "H.R. 6323 represents another common sense approach to chipping away at our energy challenge."

"The heavy truck sector accounts for a very large portion of the nation's fuel use and transportation-based emissions, and even small improvements in their efficiency can have a substantial impact. Hybrid technologies hold the promise of greatly reducing the fuel consumed by the nation's truck fleet," added Gordon.

Next, these bills will go to the House floor for further consideration.

Please visit the Committee’s website for more information.

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110th Congress