U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) — a commercial space advocate and global warming skeptic — announced Nov. 8 his intentions to vie for the chairmanship of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee when the new Congress convenes in January. The current chairman, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), is term-limited under current House rules.

Other members said to be interested in the post include Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and F. James Sensennbrenner (R-Wisc.), who wielded the committee gavel during the 1990s. 

 Here’s Rohrabacher’s hot-off-the-presses announcement: 

Washington, DC-  Today, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) announced his candidacy for Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

“I intend to be a chairman who exemplifies the Republican philosophy that science, technology and innovation offer a pathway to a better, more prosperous future, and solve problems that bureaucracy and rampant government spending cannot,” said Rohrabacher.

As chairman, Rep. Rohrabacher’s priorities would include: making certain NASA has a real, achievable plan for near-term human space exploration; directing  the Department of Energy to concentrate their resources on advanced energy concepts leading to energy independence; reforming all departments and agencies under SST jurisdiction by bringing them back to their core missions and proper roles; increasing opportunities to achieve national science goals by leveraging the capabilities and resources of industry; and making the committee a forum for respectful debate and discussion of science and science policy.

Rep. Rohrabacher has already made great strides toward these goals during his time as chair of the Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee for 8 years and the SST Energy & Environment Subcommittee for 2 years.  

“Our nation’s science and technology enterprise is the source of our international strength, promotion of new industries and new jobs,” said Rohrabacher. “As a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I’ve been uniquely positioned to assist in cooperative international space and technology efforts that serve everyone well and will continue to do so as Chairman of the Science Committee.”

Going into the 113th Congress, Rep. Rohrabacher will  have the most years of active experience on the Committee, excluding those who have already been Chairman.