H.R. 6845, the Commercial Remote Sensing Amendment Act of 2022, is the product of positive bipartisan cooperation with my friend Mr. Perlmutter from Colorado.  It would update reporting requirements for NOAA’s Office of Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs to align with the new regulatory process adopted in 2020.

The commercial remote sensing industry is getting a lot of attention these days.  The world can now watch Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from a vantage point once reserved for intelligence agencies. Commercial satellites allowed the world and Ukraine to view Russia’s build-up on the border with Ukraine and refute Russia’s claims of redeployment ahead of its invasion.  And they continue to provide transparency in a conflict that is fraught with propaganda.   

But commercial remote sensing is much more than this.  It also provides critical information to many other fields like agriculture, finance, trade, and energy.  This in turn helps us be better stewards of our resources.

Imagery and data from commercial remote sensing increases crop yields by helping farmers efficiently apply water and fertilizer.  It informs future commodity prices by accurately monitoring growth, health and weather.  It also helps track commerce and assess the impacts of land use.

Commercial remote sensing aids in disaster preparation and response by informing flood plain mapping, tornado tracking, and drought monitoring – topics that are very important to the people of Oklahoma.  It is also useful for humanitarian relief efforts and monitoring treaty compliance, and many, many other important applications.

The bill before us today ensures that Congress continues to receive updates on how the industry is regulated so that we can ensure the U.S. remains the global leader in this important field. In today’s world innovative companies have options for where they decide to locate.  Maintaining a competitive regulatory environment will keep companies in the U.S. rather than going overseas. 

I’d like to thank my good friend, Mr. Perlmutter for cosponsoring this bill as well as Chairwoman Johnson and Chairman Beyer for considering it today. I hope my colleagues will support this important bill.