House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

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The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, unsurprisingly, is the United States House of Representatives committee that deals with issues related to science, space, and technology. The committee was established in 1958 after the launch of Sputnik gave a sense of urgency to the question of scientific research.[1]

According to its website, the committee:

...has jurisdiction over all energy research, development, and demonstration, and projects therefor, and all federally owned or operated non-military energy laboratories; astronautical research and development, including resources, personnel, equipment, and facilities; civil aviation research and development; environmental research and development; marine research; commercial application of energy technology; National Institute of Standards and Technology, standardization of weights and measures and the metric system; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; National Science Foundation; National Weather Service; outer space, including exploration and control thereof; science scholarships; scientific research, development, and demonstration, and projects therefor. The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology shall review and study on a continuing basis laws, programs, and Government activities relating to non-military research and development.[2]

Some of the government agencies that the committee oversees include the United States Geological Survey, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the EPA.

Otherwise known as the Brain Slug Party[edit]

At least two representatives who were members of the committee in 2012 have important conflicts between their understandings of how science works and the committee's mandate. Paul Broun is a young Earth creationist and a global warming denialist. Todd Akin seems to have no grasp of basic human anatomy.

Republicans have packed the Committee with climate change deniers. The Chairman, Ralph Hall, says that scientists "concoct evidence to obtain grants"[3] and said of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 men and caused more pollution than the Exxon Valdez:

As we saw that thing bubbling out, blossoming out – all that energy, every minute of every hour of every day of every week – that was tremendous to me. That we could deliver that kind of energy out there – even on an explosion.[4]

It gets worse. Vice-chair, Jim Sensenbrenner, believes the Earth is cooling and not warming up. He also doesn't believe that CO2 is a pollutant. If it were, he says, we'd all "need to put catalytic converters on all our noses. The fact that people think CO2 is a pollutant … basically goes into propaganda."[5]