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Two OU Experts to Provide Testimony on Capitol Hill

February 15, 2022

Two OU Experts Provide Testimony on Capitol Hill

 Tomás Díaz de la Rubia and Renee McPherson
Tomás Díaz de la Rubia and Renee McPherson

Two research leaders from the University of Oklahoma provided expert testimony on separate initiatives before two U.S. House of Representatives committees today.

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, Ph.D., vice president for research and partnerships for the OU Norman campus, and Renee McPherson, Ph.D., university director of the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center at OU, testified on Thursday, Feb. 17 in two separate congressional hearings.

At 9 a.m. CT Thursday, Díaz de la Rubia presented expert testimony on behalf of the research community for the hearing, “H2Success: Research and Development to Advance a Clean Hydrogen Future” for the Subcommittee on Energy of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The purpose of the hearing was to examine the state of hydrogen research and development in the United States. Díaz de la Rubia testified on the role of hydrogen in the decarbonization of energy and industrial sectors and opportunities and challenges for fundamental research on hydrogen production, storage, transport and utilization. The recording can be viewed on the Energy Subcommittee’s website.

In July 2021, Díaz de la Rubia was selected to represent the contributions of research and workforce development across Oklahoma’s higher education institutions in a state-led task force to investigate the issues regarding hydrogen production and distribution in Oklahoma. The Hydrogen Production, Transportation and Infrastructure Task Force was formed in accordance with Senate Bill 1021 and culminated Dec. 1, 2021, with the release of the committee’s report.

At noon CT Thursday, McPherson presented expert testimony in support of House Resolution 6654, the Climate Adaptation Science Centers Act, for the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the Natural Resources Committee. The title of the hearing is “Securing the Future of Climate Adaptation Science at the USGS.” More information about the legislative hearing and panel presenters is available on the Natural Resources Committee’s website. The hearing can be viewed on YouTube.

McPherson is an associate professor of geography and environmental sustainability in OU’s College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, and also serves as university director of the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center. The South Central CASC provides natural and cultural resource managers with the science, tools and information needed to address the impacts of climate variability and change on their areas of responsibility. The CASC is a collaborative effort of OU, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Chickasaw Nation, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech University, Louisiana State University and the University of New Mexico. The CASC at OU focuses on the generation of data, decision-support tools and other products that are practical and relevant to managers’ climate change monitoring and adaptation work.

*Page updated 1:44 p.m., Feb 17.