Delaware ACS Government Affairs Committee Meets with U.S. Senators
John Gavenonis, Delaware Section Councilor
Members of the Delaware ACS Government Affairs Committee meet with Senator Thomas R. Carper in Wilmington on Friday, February 22, 2008. Participants are (from left to right) Joshua Ayers, Narmada Gunawardena, Senator Thomas R. Carper, John Gavenonis, and Al Denio.
During the week of February 18, as part of the National ACS Contact Congress Week, members of the Delaware ACS Government Affairs Committee met with Delaware’s delegation to the U.S. Senate.
On Tuesday, February 19, Josh Ayers, John Gavenonis, Martha Holomon, Eric Holowka, and Kai Qi met with Mr. John DiEleuterio, State Director for Senator Joseph Biden, at Senator Biden’s Wilmington office. The Government Affairs Committee reviewed the ACS mission, including its 1937 Congressional Charter, and discussed Section availability as a non-profit, non-partisan scientific resource to assist with policy evaluation and deliberation. The group reviewed several specific legislative items, including the Research Competitiveness Act of 2007 (S.41), America’s Climate Security Act of 2007 (S.2191), the CPSC Reform Act of 2007 (S.2045), and the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (S.1145). Mr. DiEleuterio affirmed Senator Biden’s commitment to energy research, including his support of ARPA-E and the Apollo Energy Project. ARPA-E is the agency that would be formed from passing the Energy Research Act of 2007 (S.696.IS). The proposed agency’s mission is to initiate high risk, innovative energy research to improve the energy security of the United States, and is a response to the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) report Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. The New Apollo Energy Act of 2007 (H.R.2809.IH) is currently in the House of Representatives. This bill is designed to ensure that the United States leads the world in developing and manufacturing next generation energy technologies, to grow the economy of the United States, to create new highly trained, highly skilled American jobs, to eliminate American overdependence on foreign oil, and to address the threat of global warming.
On Friday, February 22, Josh Ayers, Al Denio, John Gavenonis, and Narmada Gunawardena met with Senator Thomas Carper and his staff in his Wilmington office. The Delaware ACS members reviewed the ACS mission and the specific legislative items highlighted above. Senator Carper indicated that he voted to report S.2191 to the full Senate (December 5, 2007) as a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He expects a final vote on S.2191 to take place in June. In addition, Senator Carper sponsored the Clean Air Planning Act of 2007 (S.1177) and the Mercury Emissions Control Act (S.2643), both amendments to the Clean Air Act and topically related to S.2191. Senator Carper indicated that S.2045 is out of committee and will likely pass in 2008. The Senate Judiciary Committee recommended that S.1145 be considered by the Senate as a whole.
In addition to legislative items, Senator Carper and ACS representatives discussed the Senator’s interest in mentoring activities for children. The Government Affairs Committee described the various Delaware ACS outreach activities, including the National Chemistry Week Open House, held each year. Delaware ACS offered to assist Senator Carper with ongoing science-related outreach activities.
The Delaware ACS Government Affairs Committee thanks Senator Carper, Senator Biden, and Mr. DiEleuterio, for taking the time to review policy items of interest to the ACS.