House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics Ranking Member Brian Babin released a statement today on new regulations on commercial remote sensing. The growing remote sensing industry has driven modernization in everything from farming to national security and from energy production to humanitarian assistance.

“The Department of Commerce’s new regulations on commercial remote sensing are a step in the right direction. I applaud the Administration’s efforts to improve the draft regulations that were issued in 2018.  President Trump’s Space Policy Directive 2 called upon agencies to streamline regulations in order to maintain leadership in space.  While the draft regulations did not go far enough, the final rule released this week appears to be consistent with the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, that was approved by the House of Representatives last Congress, and which I reintroduced this year. 

“The new regulations update the Department of Commerce’s licensing process and allow U.S. companies to compete in this emerging high-tech frontier. The Administration was limited by the outdated Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992.  If American commercial remote sensing companies are to lead in the 21st century, Congress must update the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act to reflect today’s technological landscape. 

“More must be done to ensure U.S. leadership in remote sensing, but I commend President Trump, the National Space Council led by Vice President Pence, Dr. Scott Pace, Executive Director of the National Space Council, and Mr. Kevin O’Connell, the Director of the Department of Commerce’s Office of Space Commerce for their work on this.  It is time for Congress to follow this up with its own reforms.”