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NATIONAL INITIATIVES IN GREEN
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1993
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:34 a.m. in Room 2325, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Tim Valentine (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to today's hearing of the Subcommittee on Technology, Environment and Aviation.
This morning we are pleased to have with us a distinguished panel of witnesses to discuss the role of government as a partner with industry in promoting more environmentally sound economic growth.
Very soon, several members of this committee will formally introduce legislation to promote the widespread development and use of environmental technologies. This bill, entitled the Environmental Technologies Act of 1993, addresses a broad range of areas in which the role of government can be made more effective.
The bill that calls for a more coordinated government, not more government; it is a bill that recognizes that environmental health can be a plus for economic growth, not a minus; and it is a bill that directs the government to cooperate with industry and educational institutions in a proactive way to achieve environmental and economic goals, not in an antagonistic, command and control manner. Products and processes that more efficiently use materials and energy, reduce pollution, and control and clean up waste add to the competitiveness of U.S. industries. This competitiveness advantage grew in importance, I believe, yesterday when the House took a major step toward opening more doors for increased export by passing NAFTA. The export of U.S. environmental technologies will surely benefit from this treaty.
The importance of environmental technologies in U.S. exports is also being highlighted by the administration. In a few days, the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee will announce the release of their task force report. This report lays out measures that the government can take to facilitate the U.S. presence in this important international market. Preliminary indications are that this report is consistent with the directions of our legislation.
To join us in thinking through green technology issues is a distinguished panel with diverse perspectives:
Dr. David Buzzelli is the Senior Vice President for Environment, Health and Safety at the Dow Chemical Company and is the cochairman of the President's Council on Sustainable Development. The Council was formed by the President to articulate overall policy priorities for environmentally sound economic growth.
In addition, Dow Chemical is recognized as a leader in the chemical industry in developing environmentally advanced processes and products. As a matter of fact, a few months ago, Dow topped the Fortune magazine list of environmentally responsible chemical companies in the United States.
Also, Professor Indira Nair of Carnegie-Mellon University was the chairperson of the Advisory Panel to the study "Green by Design" conducted by the Office of Technology Assessment. Professor Nair testified before the Environment Subcommittee of this Science Committee last year when the report was released, and we look forward to hearing from her about how well the government in her opinion is heeding their thoughtful advice.
Mr. Daniel Imhoff is the Director of Communications at Esprit International. Mr. Imhoff has worked with one of the designers at Esprit, Ms. Lynda Grose, to create Ecollection, a line of clothing— if I have pronounced it correctly. We understand that they have worked with all of their suppliers, from button manufacturers to zipper producers to cotton farmers, in order to produce products that are both fashionable and thoroughly environmentally sound.
Professor David Marks, unfortunately, is ill and will not be able to be with us here today.
As a reminder to our witnesses, your prepared statements will appear in the record as presented to us, and we would appreciate it very much if you would give us a summary.
The chair is happy to recognize at this time the distinguished ranking member of our subcommittee, the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Lewis.
Mr. LEWIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The movement toward developing more environmentally compatible technologies is one that most Americans support. It was not too many years ago that such technology was viewed as a passing fad. All too often the only choices pitted the environment against the growth and the economy against productivity.
Today, the real question is how can environmentally compatible technologies be promoted that will at the same time also enhance the economy? To this end, does the Environmental Technologies Act of 1993 accomplish that objective or does it need to be changed? I hope today's witnesses will provide answers to these questions. Mr. Chairman, I expect to make some additional comments at the full committee, but I would like to say at the start of our hearing today that I was very much distressed upon your announcement you are about to retire from the United States Congress.
My working relationship with you has been certainly exemplary. We have had our disagreements but we were able to disagree as gentlemen, and I think we were able to do a lot for the people of this country through the efforts of this subcommittee and your leadership. And I, for one, am truly going to miss you.
And, when the full committee convenes, I will have a fuller statement to make. But I consider you a friend and I consider you, certainly, a cut above most when it comes to running a subcommittee and doing what you think and following your conscience in the interest of the people of this country.
I just thought those comments should be made, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman from Florida very much. I really appreciate that. And I think that we have undertaken to operate the subcommittee, indeed I think this is feeling of the full Science Committee to a large extent, without any partisan rancor in an effort to do what is best for the country. But I do appreciate those kind and generous remarks.
And the chair is happy to recognize at this time the distinguished gentleman from Texas, Mr. Geren.
Mr. GEREN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don't have an opening statement.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Bartlett?
During the 10 or 11 months I have been here I have had the privilege of sitting across from our chairman at Prayer Breakfast every Thursday morning, and I have gotten to know him as a person and as a Christian in addition to knowing him here in the committee, and his freedom is going to be our great loss.
Everybody wants to be colored some shade of green today and this is a very important subject. I look forward to the hearings today.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank the gentleman very much.
The gentleman from New Hampshire, Mr. Swett, is recognized. Mr. SWETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I am excited to be here this morning as we start down the road toward enactment of the Environmental Technologies Act of 1993. I also want to thank the chairman, Chairman Valentine and Chairman Brown for all the work they have done on this issue and for the leadership that they have provided.
This is the culmination of months of activity on this bill and I am glad we are finally arriving at something that is ready for introduction.
Earlier this morning, I just wanted to add, that I introduced three environmental technology bills: The Environmental Excellence Recognition Act; the Environmental Technology Demonstration Act; and the Greener Government Act, and I look forward to the introduction later this day of the Environmental Technologies Act of 1993.
In the interest of time, Mr. Chairman, I would ask that the remainder of my statement be put in the record, without objection, and I appreciate the opportunity to sit in on these hearings. The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, so ordered.
[The prepared opening statement of Mr. Swett follows:]
OPENING STATEMENT OF REP. DICK SWETT SUBCOMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT & AVIATION NOVEMBER 18, 1993
I am excited to be here this morning, as we start down the
I'm glad we
finally have something ready for introduction. Earlier this morning, I introduced three environmental technology bills: the Environmental Excellence Recognition Act, the Environmental Technology Demonstration Act, and the Greener Government Act. I also look forward to the introduction later today of the Environmental Technologies Act of 1993.
We're facing a tremendous opportunity. The environmental technology business is big, and it's getting bigger. The global
market for environmental technology is currently over 200 billion dollars annually, and it's growing rapidly with the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new high skill, high wage jobs in the coming decade.
If we're smart, environmental technology will help us clean up our environment, save money, improve our balance of trade and create new jobs -- all at the same time. If we let this opportunity slip by, ten years from now we'll be talking about how, yet again, we've been beaten by our overseas competitors.
Environmental technology is particularly important to New Hampshire. As a region, New England has one of the highest concentrations of environmental technology companies in the country.