Ehlers To Chair New Science Subcommittee


    WASHINGTON, D.C. — It may be quite a while before the U.S. Enviornmental Protection Agency gets heavy-handed again with West Michigan.

    That’s because Congressman Vernon Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids, last week received the chairmanship of a newly formed subcommittee which will oversee the work of EPA.

    Making the appointment was Sherwood Boehlert, R-NY, who chairs the House Science Committee on which Ehlers has served since he first was sworn in as a Congressman in January 1994.

    Ehlers, a nuclear physicist and the only research scientist in Congress, will chair the Subcommittee on Environment, Technology and Standards.


    According to chairman Boehlert, the subcommittee will oversee the work of EPA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), combining the jurisdictions of the former Subcommittee on Technology and the environmental portfolio of the former Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

    .”I feel honored that Chairman Boehlert has recognized my leadership abilities on the wide range of projects that have been assigned to me during my time in Congress,” said Ehlers, who holds doctorate in nuclear physics from the University of California at Berkeley.

    “As a scientist and veteran member of this committee, I look forward to shaping science policy and funding on the important science and technology issues before this subcommittee.”

    Ehlers also has made it clear he wants to see some changes at EPA.

    Last month he introduced a bill which would require the EPA to have a deputy director for science who, in fact, is a scientist. The short description of the science deputy’s job would be to inform the director whether a proposed policy is based on actual science or on politically inspired goals that have no scientific basis at all.

    During his tenure on the House Science Committee, Ehlers rewrote the nation’s science policy in Unlocking Our Future: Toward a New National Science Policy, which was the first national science policy statement developed since 1945.

    Last year he also introduced the National Science Education Acts of 2001, aimed at reforming our nation’s K-12 science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education programs

    In addition to his new assignment, Ehlers has been reappointed to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Education and the Workforce Committee where he serves with Congressman Peter Hoekstra, R-Holland, and the House Administration Committee for the 107th Congress.

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