U.S. Rep. Randy Weber said Wednesday he wants to remain in a leadership role of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, even as a new Democrat controlled Congress readies to reshape the focus of the group in the wake of Tuesday’s election.

Weber, a Friendswood Republican, on late Wednesday announced he wanted to remain on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and that he is running to be the ranking member of the committee.

In Tuesday’s midterm election, Democrats won enough races nationally to take over a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives. In January 2019, the new leaders of the house will assign members of congress to serve on committees that review proposed legislation and oversee federal agencies.

The ranking member of a committee is usually the most senior member of the minority party. Ranking committee members have some power to influence committee meetings, including calling witnesses to testify.

“Since joining the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I have made it my top priority to fight for sane energy policies, research and development to spur economic growth, and investments in our long-term national interests, all while maintaining the much- needed balance of fiscal conservatism,” Weber said.

Weber has served on the committee since 2013. The committee oversees federally funded science research and development, and has jurisdiction over agencies including the National Science Foundation, NASA and the National Weather Service.

The science committee was previously chaired by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, who announced his retirement before the midterm elections.

Under Smith’s tenure as chairman, the committee has held widely criticized hearings where members questioned mainstream theories about climate change and sea-level rise.

With Democrats taking over control of the House, a member of that party is all but assured to take over control of the committee. U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Democrat from Waco, already has announced she plans to run for the committee chairmanship.

In a statement Tuesday, Johnson said some of her priorities on the committee would be addressing climate change and science, technology, engineering and math education.

She would also seek to “restore the credibility” of the committee, she said.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(36) comments

Steve Fouga

Eddie Bernice Johnson and Randy Weber running the House Science, Space & Technology Committee... Heaven help us. [huh][unsure][ohmy][scared]

George Croix

"...mainstream theories about climate change and sea-level rise."

Muddy waters in those streams....

Diane Turski

NO!!! There should be NO climate change deniers on this committee or any other committees! I expect common sense to prevail now that the Dems are in control of the House!!!

Victor Krc

Good grief!

Carlos Ponce

There is climate change. There has been climate change since God created climate. As for "man-made climate change", that is highly questionable. It's just a ploy to get federal money for "study" and to gain control over our lives. Data has been falsified.
"I expect common sense to prevail now that the Dems are in control of the House!!!"
Realistically, if they pass any legislation how far will it get? There are TWO houses in Congress. The Senate would also have to pass it. Then unless it passes a 2/3 majority in both houses, the President would have to sign it.
If the legislation is worthwhile, the Senate and President will agree to it. If the Democrat House pursues legislation that is questionable, it will pass the House then die! Diane got her blue House and she's ecstatic! She will call it obstruction when her pet legislation gets blocked or ignored by the Senate. The rest see it as "checks and balances". Isn't that what you wanted? I hate to question another person's religion but those who belong to the "Church of Man-Made Climate Change" are a gullible lot.
Randy wants to remain in a leadership role of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Good for him.
Diane, it you don't like it, write your Congressman.[beam]

Victor Krc

"Under Smith's tenure as chairman, the committee has held 'widely criticized' hearings hearings where members questioned 'mainstream' theories about climate change and sea-level rise."


Here we go again.

I just got another cup of coffee so here goes.

The geocentric model of the solar system was "mainstream" until Copernicus came along. Newton's physics were considered "mainstream" until Einstein came along. Einstein's general and special theories of relativity were considered "mainstream" until quantum mechanics came along. The essence of science is to PURSUE the truth. No real scientist will tell you that they have the final answer. I would ask Mr. Ferguson why "mainstream" theories about climate change shouldn't be questioned. Every time I hear that ignorant phrase "settled science" it drives me up the wall. If any purported scientist makes that statement you can bet that something else is motivating them other than following the scientific method in the pursuit of truth.


In the contentious arena of climate change debate the main issues are, as I understand it, are is the earth getting warmer and, most importantly, if so what are the causes.


The earth is long term been getting warmer since the last Ice Age. There is ample evidence in the geological record of the earth heating and cooling drastically well before mankind was on this earth. Scientists know this very well and there are theories about the reasons for these temperature fluctuations that are very technical and are beyond my competence.


There are many scientists who question the theory of "man-made" climate change who do not get much "press" because it is too inconvenient for the mass media to interrupt their current narrative of the doom and gloom of man-made climate change with the presentation of the views of reputable scientists who have reasonable and plausible alternatives or criticisms to present to the public. One can search You Tube for many powerful and persuasive critiques by reputable scientists of man-made climate change. Dr. Judith Curry and Freeman Dyson are just a couple of examples, there are many more.

The main argument as far as I can see that is presented against current theories of man-made climate change is the utter failure of the models used by advocates of man-made climate to predict temperature increases over time. Over a period of 30 years the man-made climate change models projected temperature increases well over those which were subsequently measured. That suggests to me that they have a severe problem with the variables in their models, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere being one of them. If their models cannot predict temperature changes with any reasonable degree of accuracy then what makes them think that they have a grip on what is causing temperature increases?

Skeptics (not "deniers" for heaven's sake) of man-made climate change theory (again, a theory is not by definition settled) do have a tough time in getting their message out because of a scientifically
illiterate or dishonest press. Scientific journals will select against any research which tends to upset the apple cart. This is nothing new in the history of science. Also, scientists have to make a living and grant money necessary to conduct their research is harder to come by if they are not consistent with the current conventional attitudes. Freeman Dyson makes this very point in his You Tube presentation and he should know. Also scientists are human beings that are affected by the attitudes and politics of those around them. They do not want to be ostracized by those around them for expressing any skeptical views. Fortunately there are enough unheralded scientists that will swim upstream rather than float downstream.


Coffee is cold now.

George Croix

So, should Homeland Security and ICE now be staffed by people who don't believe in limiting illegal immigration because Democrats won?
Of COURSE the climate changes. That's why you walk your dog, not your T-Rex.
Selling 'carbon credits' and spending 2 MILLION bucks EACH to artificially create 'green energy' jobs and wrecking the economy in this country, while the rest of the world sign 'accords' they ignore, because a bunch of ideologues say so, is the stuff of madness....it's deja vu all over again.....Evidently, a roaring economy and historic high jobs opportunities are just too much good news for the Party of Dependency and Government Control.
Here we go....as the usual suspects repeat the same things that have failed for 50 years, plus, looking to get a different outcome....
It's all very 'progressive'....

Unfixable.....[whistling]

Gary Scoggin

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.... The same old stuff.
1. Climate forecasts models are not that far off. They are getting better as the resolution improves. Running a model with a 1km grid takes 10,000 times the computing power that a 100km grid uses.
2. Why do the largest oil companies in the world all acknowledge man made climate change and are forming their business plans accordingly? Maybe they need to read the GDN comments so that they would be better informed.

Victor Krc

1.Climate forecast models are not that far off. Absolute baloney. If you bothered to take a look at the data you would see that this is absolutely not true. I have no idea what point you are trying to make in your second sentence. What has that got to do with anything? Perhaps you can 'splain it to me.

2. Oil companies will do whatever it takes to make their life easier in the current political climate. This is totally irrelevant to the science behind man-made climate change and its validity.

Gary Scoggin

1. They are getting better and I have looked at the data. Higher computer power makes for more accurate models. But moving on....
2. In my previous life I engaged with very senior leaders in the oil company I worked for and with colleagues from other companies in the same position. They all take it very seriously and are adopting strategies that acknowledge climate change. Look at Exxon’s purchase of XTO and BP’s acquisition of BHP for examples of strengthening their US gas portfolio. Look at the decline of Canadian Oil Sands development. There are many other examples around the world. You can argue whether or not their strategy is correct but you can’t argue whether or not this is their strategy. The producers of about 2/3 of the world’s oil and gas are in the climate change boat.

Carlos Ponce

Gary, Gary, Gary. There's an old computer axiom - "Garbage in, garbage out". The "data" has been manipulated.
"Former NOAA Scientist Confirms Colleagues Manipulated Climate Records"
https://science.house.gov/news/press-releases/former-noaa-scientist-confirms-colleagues-manipulated-climate-records

Victor Krc

The point is that the computer models that generated the current hysteria of man-made climate change were developed years ago and the validity of the models were shown to be bogus because subsequent measurements of actual temperature change over a long period of time were shown to be way under what the models had predicted. If the models are "getting better" how would we know until there is a long term test of their validity? Maybe the models are more accurately inaccurate, say to the twelfth decimal point.

Again, acknowledging climate change doesn't mean that it is man-made as there is no reasonable scientific basis behind that allegation, only bogus climate prediction models. Being in the "climate change boat" is not necessarily being in the "man-made climate change boat" and it may be that years from know we will regret being fixated on the carbon dioxide model of climate change that prevented us from implementing more robust defensive policies against a climate that will always change.

George Croix

Because the largest oil companies are POLITICAL as a well as BUSINESS entities, Gary, as you darn well know. You made a career of it, as did I.
AND the largest companies do business GLOBALLY, and therefore have to deal with countries where THOSE countries don't give a fig about 'climate change' and will cheerfully pollute to their heart's and pocketbooks' content.
AND the largest oil companies are in for the long game, and KNOW that eventually the country(s) will be run by people invested heavily ideologically and economically in claims of global catastrophe unless steps are taken, steps which just happen to be a boon to those making the rules and directing the efforts.
Of COURSE there's 'climate change', but thinking that putting solar cells on rooftops and banning plastic bags will make any impact, is unfixable....

Gary Scoggin

It much less about politics and more about responding to investors and customers. How fast did the Federal Government’s position on climate change with the new administration? The same thing happened a few years ago in Australia. And to a lesser degree in Europe. These are multi-decade strategies that can’t be shifted on a dime. They can be tuned on the edges to please whomever is in power but it’s hard to fundamentally alter them. Many investors, though, worry about a company’s long term viability and press companies on having sound strategies to manage climate risk. Also, these companies have to think now about what the word’s fuel mix will look like in 20 years - natural gas vs oil vs renewables, traditional engines vs hybrids vs electric vehicles, etc. These strategies are a lot more than rooftop panels and plant bags.

Victor Krc

If the CO2 - driven model of climate change is correct then in order to make any kind of difference we will all have to stop driving our cars, stop flying in airplanes, start burning wood again, etc. Energy drives the development of third-world countries. The third-world population is slowly being pulled up from extreme poverty by the very energy sources that the current global warming alarmists want to suppress. Happily though the C02-driven model of global warming has absolutely no foundation, but if you want to act on the bogus projections of these models then you must start draconian policies now. Let's start chopping down those trees before its too late.

George Croix

Yes, they are. Agreed it's a long term game.
What is the strategy for replacement powering of diesel 18 wheel rigs, those that FEED us by restocking shelves? Any electric passenger airplanes on the horizon?
Hybrid bulldozers?
Fossil fuels WILL power the world for the next century, at least.....even if a viable replacement were available TODAY, just the changeover and infrastructure support is a decades long proposition.

"It much less about politics and more about responding to investors and customers."
What do you suppose the investors and customers are responding to....
We've got little blue haired old ladies convinced they are saving the planet, one cloth shopping bag at a time....[beam]
All the while NOBODY can answer the question "How big was the Antarctic ozone hole BEFORE we ever had a satellite up there to find it, much less measure it"....
'Climate change' is irrefutable.
Whether it's really worse NOW that we can measure it all over everywhere versus even just 200 years ago when we could not do so accurately or widely, or 500 years ago when we could not do so at all, is NOT a 'settled science'....if it were, we'd be 'settled' into our parkas and riding our snowmobiles around Texas City right about now....

Manage climate risk? Good idea.
Question:
In the TC industrial complex, that part outside the levee, would the most likely risk to manage be sea level rise due to man caused climate change, or land subsidence due to the many decades of unregulated subsurface water removal along with natural erosion and soil displacement?
How does one tell the difference for sure.....

Steve Fouga

Aside from climate change, I'd just like to see the Science Committee run by people with a better foundation in science and technology, even if they're relatively junior. I realize there are only a few, but jeez, Johnson and Weber?

Carlos Ponce

Weber would be a good choice. He currently holds a key leadership role on the Science, Space, and Technology (SST) committee, serving as the Chairman of the Energy Subcommittee.
Steve, if you don't like the idea, write your congressman.[beam]

Steve Fouga

I think I'll write Leader Pelosi instead. [cool]

George Croix

That would be Speaker, not Leader.....
I look forward to seeing if we get a different result this time from pushing for the same things since, oh, 1970 or so.....[innocent]

Victor Krc

Isn't the German word for "leader" "fuhrer"? [smile] (Pretend there is an umlaut over the "u".

George Croix

Two years of high school German and about all I got out of it was being able to follow, somewhat, the basics on the old Vic Morrow show "Combat"....I do recall that an umlaut is not made with eggs....[huh]

One positive outcome of the new Speaker.....if, as I fully expect, it IS deja vu all over again, then that pretty well cements 2020....but, till then, we'll at least not have to listen to her speeches, to find out what's in them...same old same old....
Maybe this time we CAN tax our way to prosperity.....[beam][beam][beam][beam][beam]

Victor Krc

Well, it certainly will be taxing for me and a lot of others.[crying]

Steve Fouga

She won't be speaker until January. I suspect it'll be too late to change her mind on committee assignments by then.

Carlos Ponce

"She won't be speaker until January."
BUT.... BUT..... BUT...many of these Democrat Representatives PROMISED they would not vote for her. [whistling] Is Steve admitting that they......LIED?

Jim Forsythe

DEMOCRATIC NOMINEES AGAINST PELOSI (47) is not enough voted to stop Pelosi,
She may not get enough votes, but it is up to the Democrats in the House to determine.

Victor Krc

I think that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be a great choice for the demos. [lol]

Steve Fouga

Carlos, I've told you over and over, against your objections, that I am not a Democrat, so no need for "admissions" on my part. [cool]

George Croix

All that opposition to Pelosi among the ranks is just window dressing...as long as she delivers the CASH, she'll be the Speaker....
Gotta have money to buy and print up those truckloads of 'found' ballots that just happen to favor the left.....[beam][beam]

George Croix

ps:
Ms. Cortez will not be available...she's gonna be busy standing on streetcorners with a coffee can getting that 32 TRILLION bucks for her 'Medicare for All' plan......
[beam][beam]
It actually says less about her to be so blindingly..off....than it does about anyone voting for her just for the 'free stuff'........

Carlos Ponce

Steve posts, "Carlos, I've told you over and over, against your objections, that I am not a Democrat".
Sorry, Steve but you DO pass the the Democrat "duck" test with flying colors.

Gary Scoggin

George, I was in the heart of these policy discussions at our previous employer and was involved in briefing the top of the house. I can say without doubt they believe climate change is an existential risk to many companies in the industry, including them. The top most leadership at most of the other super majors have the same view. Most countries in the world take climate change seriously and being able to address it is part of doing business there. The ones that don’t are generally very economically challenged such as Russia, some of Africa, Iran and a few others. China and Saudi Arabia are very aware of the issue and are taking transformative steps to address climate change.

Victor Krc

Is it climate change that is an existential threat or the politics of climate change that is the existential threat? Recognizing that the climate is changing in no way implies that the strategies employed to address it are helpful.

Corporate executives are usually highly intelligent and politically astute, but they do put their knickers on one leg at a time like the rest of us. In other words they can be wrong. Almost every day you can read in the Wall Street Journal of CEOs and other senior executives of large corporations being fired by boards of directors for policy and strategy missteps. So appeals to being privy to high level strategy tactics are useless in persuading me.

George Croix

I know what you did, Gary, and you did it well, by all accounts I ever got feedback on.
BUT I stand by what I said about business and politics being BOTH core interests of Big Oil, as well, of course, as most global business operations. That is precisely IN line with your comments, rather than outside of them.
I also know, very up close and personal, that the same Top Management of at least one company named believed wholeheartedly that there was an existential risk to their preferred business model to continue to operate as had been done, and ended up with a disaster, before reversing course enough to regain some measure of parity between plans for what they wanted and the realities of what was in play.
So, I may be forgiven if I never actually briefed anybody in the highest places...never got any higher than Plant Manager with attempting to try to ward off overplaying a losing hand, I stayed busy dealing locally from a few inches away with the results of theory placed before reality.
It's GOOD to have a plan....it's even better to not ever have to use it........
I recall talks in meetings and planning look ahead sessions decades ago about how we'd operate when average temperatures were a lot COLDER......
There was a firmly believed existential threat from that, at the time......

Victor Krc

Thanks, George. I had forgotten about the about "nuclear winter". There are a few benefits to being an old guy.[scared]

George Croix

That's about the only one, Victor.....[wink]

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