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May 19, 2021

Chairwoman Johnson Opening Statement for Hearing on the Future of Scientific Computing at DOE

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy is holding a hearing titled, “Accelerating Discovery: “The Future of Scientific Computing at the Department of Energy.”

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement for the record is below.

Thank you, Chairman Bowman, for holding this hearing, and I also want to thank this excellent panel of witnesses for your participation and thoughtful written testimony.

The Department of Energy has long been a leader in advancing new energy technologies, as well as the foundational sciences of physics, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and computational science that support energy innovation.

High performance computing, or supercomputing, is one area the Department has led in for decades, and DOE shows no signs of slowing down. The Department currently stewards two of the top three fastest supercomputers in the world. And as we will learn more about from our witnesses here today, the United States is on track to finish building the first exascale computer in the world this year.

These systems serve as critical resources for academic and industrial users, and are a key component of our economic competitiveness, scientific leadership, and national security.

In the past, high performance computers were needed almost solely for specialized scientific and engineering applications. Now, as we enter a world where thousands of devices all around us are generating millions of bytes of data every minute, high performance computing can be used to fundamentally improve our quality of life.

Public policies play a critical role in supporting the advancement of these capabilities, and in enabling our society and economy to directly benefit from them. Additional federal investments in high performance computing will enable the development of new industries, grow our technology economy, and advance our technological leadership internationally.

All that said, as we continue to support the development and use of these breakthrough technologies, we must also do everything we can to ensure that we are doing this in a responsible and ethical manner. Even in the face of competition from our adversaries.

Thank you all again for being here, and I look forward to this important discussion today. With that I yield back.