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Opening Statement: Rep. Lucas: Mark-up HR 5260 Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow (PROSWIFT)

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2020

At today's House Science, Space, and Technology Full Committee Markup of the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow (PROSWIFT) Act, Ranking Member Frank Lucas expressed his support for the bill as amended to enable commercial space weather data collection. 

"The impacts of space weather incidents will only increase as we see development of the low Earth economy and more space-based assets providing services and information to us all," Lucas said. "One key takeaway from our hearing on this subject is that a strategy addressing space weather risks must involve government, academic, and commercial participation. I particularly want to emphasize the need to ensure the participation of the commercial sector, which will be the subject of an amendment I will offer this morning. If my amendment is adopted, I believe this legislation becomes a comprehensive bill that addresses the needs of all those who are participating in developing the United States’ space weather strategy."

Lucas spoke at greater length on an amendment he offered to establish a commercial space weather data pilot program at NOAA. 

"My amendment balances the need to help ensure there is a market for a commercial space weather data with the existing roles of the federal government and the academic community," Lucas said. 

Lucas' full statement follows: 

Thank you, Chairwoman Johnson. This morning, the Committee will mark up H.R. 5260, the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act. 

This Committee has held multiple hearings on this important topic. This Congress, the Space and Environment subcommittees held a joint hearing on this topic in October. Members of the subcommittees heard from experts about the potentially severe effects of space weather incidents and how we can best prepare for and mitigate the consequences of these incidents. 

The impacts of space weather incidents will only increase as we see development of the low Earth economy and more space-based assets providing services and information to us all. One key takeaway from this hearing is that a strategy addressing space weather risks must involve government, academic, and commercial participation. I particularly want to emphasize the need to ensure the participation of the commercial sector, which will be the subject of an amendment I will offer this morning.

If my amendment is adopted, I believe this legislation becomes a comprehensive bill that addresses the needs of all those who are participating in developing the United States’ space weather strategy. And with the adoption of my amendment, I offer my support on passage of this bill.  

I want to thank Congressman Perlmutter and his staff for their willingness to negotiate up to the last minute so that we could reach a deal to put forth what I believe this the best possible version of legislation on this important topic. 

Thank you Chairwoman Johnson, I yield back. 

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