Thank you, Chairwoman Johnson, for holding today’s markup. This morning we will consider 5 bipartisan bills.
The first, the “Bioeconomy Research and Development Act of 2021”, is a bill I was proud to sponsor with the Chairwoman. I will discuss this legislation further when the Chair brings it up for debate and I offer an amendment.
The second bill is H.R. 847, the “Promoting Digital Privacy Technologies Act.” This legislation supports research activities to advance innovative technologies to safeguard individuals’ privacy. As advanced technologies like AI begin accessing and analyzing large data sets, it will be critical we have technologies to ensure people’s personally identifiable information is protected.
The legislation also directs NIST to work with stakeholders to develop voluntary consensus standards for incorporating these technologies into federal and commercial applications. I want to thank Chairwoman Stevens and Representative Gonzalez for leading this important legislation. I encourage my colleagues to support the bill.
The third bill is H.R. 4270, the “Abandoned Well Remediation Research and Development Act.” This legislation authorizes DOE to conduct research on issues surrounding abandoned wells. The bill will allow us to improve data on the location of abandoned wells; identify better processes for plugging, reclaiming, and repurposing wells; and help us mitigate the potential environmental impacts of leaking wells.
This is a major issue for Oklahoma and my district. Drive across the state and you’ll see countless wells sitting on top of some of the nation’s largest gas and oil fields. This bill will help give producers, landowners, and state and local governments the tools they need to manage these wells. I applaud my fellow Oklahoman, Rep. Stephanie Bice, for working with Rep. Lamb on this important bipartisan legislation.
The fourth bill we will consider is H.R. 4819, the “National Nuclear University Research Infrastructure Reinvestment Act of 2021.” The bill, authored by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, builds off the improvements to the Nuclear Energy University Program included in the Energy Act of 2020. It will establish up to 4 new university-based research reactors, which would be able to collaborate and help the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program and the Low-Dose Radiation Program.
I thank Rep. Gonzalez and Rep. Foster for working together on this bipartisan bill to advance our nation’s nuclear energy capabilities. Nuclear energy is critical to our nation’s energy security and independence. This bill will help ensure we are developing the workforce and advanced reactors of the future to make this a reality.
Finally, we will consider H.R. 6291, the “Microelectronics Research for Energy Innovation Act” or the “Micro Act.” The bill directs DOE to carry out a cross-cutting research, development, and demonstration program on microelectronics to accelerate U.S. global competitiveness in this critical technology area.
DOE possesses unique technical expertise and research infrastructure that can drive the development of the next generation of microelectronics. The Department and its world-leading national laboratory system must play a significant role in our federal strategy to shore up our international competitiveness in the microelectronics field and confront related national security threats.
The legislation complements the CHIPS Act, signed into law last year, to address the decline of domestic semiconductor manufacturing and promote advanced semiconductor development in the United States. The Micro Act will help ensure DOE’s critical participation in this work and should be considered alongside the DOE Science for the Future Act as an essential component of a U.S. competitiveness legislative package. I thank Rep. Tonko and Rep. Ellzey for working on this important bipartisan legislation.
Each of these bills harnesses America’s incredible scientific and technological prowess to address pressing challenges and improve our future. This is a great example of what the Science Committee can do when we work together.
I want to thank Chairwoman Johnson and her staff for working collaboratively on getting these bills ready for markup, and for working through the amendments we will consider today. I have every expectation this will be a productive and collegial markup.
I yield back.