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Smith, Weber Named as Conferees on Comprehensive Energy Bill

May 26, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. –  House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today named Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) to serve on a bipartisan conference committee charged with producing final legislation to modernize our energy laws to create more American jobs and a stronger economy. The conference with Senate lawmakers will yield the first comprehensive energy package in close to 10 years.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): “Maximizing America’s energy potential is vital—not just for creating jobs and building our economy, but for strengthening America’s strategic leverage on the global stage.

“Unfortunately, outdated infrastructure and heavy-handed regulations are stopping us from achieving these goals. This legislation modernizes our energy infrastructure so we can address these and other urgent priorities for the country, from tackling California’s drought crisis to healing our forests in order to prevent wildfires.”

Conferees are responsible for reconciling S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, and the House Amendment to S. 2012. The House Amendment contains provisions of the House passed America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) and the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (H.R. 4084).

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 is a pro-science, fiscally responsible bill to keep America competitive and reestablish the federal government’s primary scientific role to fund basic research. H.R. 1806 was introduced by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and cosponsored by Vice-Chair Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and all five subcommittee chairs.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “We must make strategic investments in basic research and development to remain the global leader in science and innovation. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 prioritizes taxpayer investments in basic research without increasing overall federal spending. The reprioritization of basic research will help ensure future U.S. economic competitiveness and security.  And it will spur private sector technological innovation. I look forward to working with Speaker Ryan, Chairman Weber and the other conferees on reconciling this legislation to set the right priorities for federal civilian research and keep America’s economy strong.”

The Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, which passed the House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in May 2016, is a bipartisan bill to support federal research and development (R&D) and stimulate private investment in advanced nuclear reactor technologies in the United States. It was introduced by Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber with cosponsors Chairman Smith, Energy Subcommittee Vice Chairman Steve Knight, and 26 additional cosponsors.

Energy Subcommittee Chairman Weber (R-Texas): “America must maintain our R&D capabilities, and continue to develop cutting edge nuclear technology here at home. Without the prioritization outlined in this bill, we’ll lose the ability to develop innovative nuclear technology and be left importing reactor designs from overseas.  Right now, we have the best nuclear engineers and manufacturing capacity in the world. America’s export economy is a key to our global strength and this bill will provide a long term plan to ensure that we do not lose our talent.”

This legislation has strong support from members on both sides of the aisle as well as numerous outside organizations.

114th Congress