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Environment

GREEN CHEMISTRY

House Science Committee unveils legislation to target emerging science

by Susan R. Morrissey
March 22, 2004 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 82, ISSUE 12

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Credit: COURTESY OF THE HOUSE SCIENCE COMMITTEE
House Science Committee members heard from Bement (from left) and Gilman, as well as Berkeley W. Cue Jr., vice president of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Pfizer, and Steven Bradfield, vice president of Environmental Development at Shaw Industries.
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Credit: COURTESY OF THE HOUSE SCIENCE COMMITTEE
House Science Committee members heard from Bement (from left) and Gilman, as well as Berkeley W. Cue Jr., vice president of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Pfizer, and Steven Bradfield, vice president of Environmental Development at Shaw Industries.

The House Science Committee, at a hearing on March 17, announced new legislation that would place a federal focus on green chemistry R&D. Introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), the bill (H.R. 3970) would involve a coordinated effort by EPA, NSF, NIST, and the Department of Energy to fund R&D grants, promote green chemistry education, and collect and circulate information about green chemistry.

"I am very excited about the potential economic, environmental, and national security benefits from the emerging field of green chemistry," Gingrey said at the hearing. He noted the importance of using green chemistry to prevent pollution and the role new processes could play in spurring economic growth.

At the hearing, committee members heard testimony from NSF Acting Director Arden L. Bement Jr. and EPA Assistant Administrator for Research & Development Paul Gilman. Both men outlined their agencies' support of green chemistry R&D, but noted that the Administration did not believe legislation was needed.

The committee also heard from industrial representatives and a political scientist who studies technological decision-making. The witnesses noted the economic and environmental benefits of using green chemistry as well as some of the barriers.

The American Chemical Society has pledged its support for the bill. In a letter to Gingrey, ACS President Charles P. Casey wrote, "We commend you for introducing this forward-looking bill, which would improve federal coordination and dissemination of green chemistry R&D and facilitate increased federal investment in this area." The bill is also receiving the support of industrial leaders.

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