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Press Releases

August 18, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Statement on Extension of EPA Science Advisory Board Nomination Period

(Dallas, TX) - Late last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-opened the Science Advisory Board (SAB) nomination period through August 31 in reaction to an April court ruling striking down former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's much-criticized 2017 policy prohibiting EPA grant recipients from serving on Agency advisory boards. The Agency's previous position asserted that individuals awarded EPA grants were considered to have a conflict-of-interest. EPA is scheduled in the coming …  Continue Reading 

August 14, 2020

Science Committee Members Introduce Legislation to Create New Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

(Washington, DC) - Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) along with Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK), Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Mike Garcia (R-CA), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Randy Weber (R-TX), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced the Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act. This legislation creates a new postdoctoral fellowship program at the National Science Foundation to help …  Continue Reading 

August 14, 2020

Committee Chairwomen Request GAO Examination of Federal PFAS R&D Efforts

(Washington, DC)- Yesterday, Subcommittee on Energy Chair Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Subcommittee on Environment Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), and Subcommittee on Research and Technology Chairwoman Haley Stevens (D-MI) sent a letter to Comptroller Gene Dodaro requesting the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examine how the Federal Government has coordinated research and development (R&D) activities on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) across different agencies. The …  Continue Reading 

August 05, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Statement on the Passing of Dr. Michael Freilich

(Dallas, TX) - Earlier today, it was announced that former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Science Director, Dr. Michael Freilich, passed away. Dr. Freilich led NASA's work on climate change, severe weather, the atmosphere, the oceans, sea ice and glaciers, and the land surface for over 12 years before retiring in 2019. Earlier this year, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and their international partners announced that they renamed an …  Continue Reading 

August 03, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson and Ranking Member Lucas Encourage NOAA to Incorporate Scientific Innovation into Earth Prediction Innovation Center

(Washington, DC) - The Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC) was authorized by Congress to create a community-driven modeling system that leverages innovations from the broader weather enterprise. On November 20, 2019, the Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing titled, "A Task of EPIC Proportions: Reclaiming U.S. Leadership in Weather Modeling and Prediction." At the hearing expert witnesses testified that EPIC must be independent, autonomous, and encourage participation and …  Continue Reading 

August 02, 2020

Chairwomen Johnson and Horn Celebrate Successful Splashdown of SpaceX Demo-2

(Washington, DC) - Today, NASA Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken splashed down off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, successfully concluding the first crewed demonstration flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The flight was the final flight test for SpaceX's crew transportation system in preparation for certification and operational crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. "After a momentous launch to space from American soil for the first time …  Continue Reading 

July 31, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Requests National Academies Study on the Influence of Systemic Racism in Academia

(Dallas, TX) - On Wednesday, July 29, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) sent a letter to National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) President Marcia McNutt requesting a committee of distinguished individuals be convened to assess the influence of systemic racism in academia on the careers of individuals belonging to racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce. The requested study would review the ways …  Continue Reading 

July 30, 2020

Chairwomen Johnson and Horn Congratulate NASA on Successful Launch of Mars Rover Perseverance

(Washington, DC) - This morning, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully launched the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Perseverance's main objective while on Mars is to search for evidence of ancient life and collect geological samples for a future Mars mission to potentially bring back to Earth. Attached to Perseverance, and also en route to Mars, is the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which will …  Continue Reading 

July 28, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Congratulates ITER Team on the Launch of the Assembly Phase

(Dallas, TX) - This morning, multiple Heads of State and senior government officials representing each ITER Member gathered in Paris to celebrate the official Start of Machine Assembly for the ITER project. Based in Southern France, the ITER project is a collaborative experiment among the seven ITER Members-the United States, the European Union, China, India, Japan, Korea, and Russia-with the objective of constructing the world's largest fusion device and the first to produce net energy. …  Continue Reading 

July 28, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Submits Comment on Environmental Justice Impacts of Proposed EPA Clean Air Act Benefit-Cost Rule

(Dallas, TX) - Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) submitted a comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed rule entitled "Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process." The proposed rule would enact a number of changes to EPA's methodologies and procedures for conducting Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) as a part of Clean Air Act rulemakings. These changes could undermine the Agency's ability to …  Continue Reading 

July 28, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Submits Comment on Environmental Justice Impacts of Proposed EPA Clean Air Act Benefit-Cost Rule

(Dallas, TX) - Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) submitted a comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed rule entitled "Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process." The proposed rule would enact a number of changes to EPA's methodologies and procedures for conducting Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) as a part of Clean Air Act rulemakings. These changes could undermine the Agency's ability to …  Continue Reading 

July 24, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Comments on Final Pebble Mine Environmental Impact Statement

(Dallas, TX) - Today, the final Environmental Impact Statement for the Pebble Mine, a massive proposed open-pit gold and copper mine at the heart of Bristol Bay, Alaska, was released by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Bristol Bay Watershed is home to the world's largest natural sockeye salmon run which is an integral part of the social and cultural heritage for native Alaskan tribes. It also supports more than 10,000 American jobs and generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic …  Continue Reading 

July 22, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Applauds Inclusion of Artificial Intelligence Initiative in NDAA

(Dallas, TX) - Included in the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the House floor yesterday was an amendment to create a National Artificial Intelligence Initiative to accelerate and coordinate Federal investments and facilitate new public-private partnerships in research, standards, and education in artificial intelligence in order to ensure the United States leads the world in the development and use of trustworthy artificial intelligence systems. This amendment, …  Continue Reading 

July 20, 2020

Environment Subcommittee Chairwoman Sherrill Holds Teleconference on NOAA’s Wildfire Preparedness and COVID-19 Impacts

(Washington, DC) - Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology's Subcommittee on Environment held a teleconference with Mr. John Murphy, Chief Operating Officer of the National Weather Service (NWS); Dr. Mitch Goldberg, Chief Scientist of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) at the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), and Dr. Jennifer Mahoney, Director of the Global Systems Laboratory at the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research …  Continue Reading 

July 17, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Comments on Weakening of National Environmental Policy Act

(Dallas, TX) - On July 15, the Trump Administration finalized the rollback of the landmark environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). For 50 years, NEPA has required that the Federal government assess the long-term environmental impacts of new infrastructure projects, communicate that with the public, and consider community input on how those projects can impact their health and safety. Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) made the following statement. "For the …  Continue Reading 

July 03, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Demands Cooperation from Department of Commerce on Hurricane Dorian OIG Report

(Dallas, TX) - Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) sent a letter to Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding the July 1 memorandum sent to Secretary Ross by the Department of Commerce's Inspector General, Peggy Gustafson. The memo expressed concerns over the Department's efforts to obstruct the publication of a completed Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, which was provided to the Department on June 26 and due to be published on June 29. The report examines an …  Continue Reading 

July 01, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Raises Concern Over Halted Hurricane Dorian IG Report

(Dallas, TX) - Today, the Department of Commerce's Inspector General Peggy Gustafson sent a memo to Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressing concerns over the Department's obstruction of a completed Office of Inspector General (OIG) report. The OIG report examines a statement issued on September 6, 2019, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regarding a tweet sent by the Birmingham National Weather Service forecast office. The memorandum asserts that the …  Continue Reading 

June 30, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Applauds Climate Crisis Committee Action Plan

(Dallas, TX) - Earlier this morning, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a comprehensive framework of climate policy recommendations called, "Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America." Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) made the following statement. "I would like to congratulate the Members and staff of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on creating a strong, …  Continue Reading 

June 26, 2020

Committee Leaders Raise Questions After Abrupt Termination of Federal Coronavirus Research Grant

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, leaders of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar expressing concerns about the Trump Administration's termination of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant awarded to EcoHealth Alliance that supported research on bats and coronaviruses. The Committee leaders requested a briefing on the details surrounding the termination of the award. …  Continue Reading 

June 25, 2020

Committee Leaders Submit Comment on EPA’s Proposed Rule on the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality for Particulate Matter

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, leaders of the Science, Space, and Technology and Energy and Commerce Committees submitted a comment to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler for the proposed rule on the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM), which was released on April 14, 2020. The Chairs urged EPA to delay the finalization of the PM NAAQS until the Agency can ensure the appropriate independent scientific advice …  Continue Reading 

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