Tomorrow, TechFreedom’s General Counsel, James E. Dunstan, will testify before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on U.S. leadership in commercial space at home and abroad. Dunstan’s testimony summarizes his new paper “Regulating Outer Space: Of Gaps, Overlaps, and Stovepipes.

“Space is heating up. Not in terms of the environment, but in terms of business activity,” Dunstan’s testimony begins. “Advances in space technology, especially the advent of cheaper access to space created by space entrepreneurs, have opened entirely new opportunities for U.S. businesses to be the catalyst for the creation of a robust cis-lunar economy. But the current patchwork regulatory environment is a labyrinth of mouseholes that new entrants must traverse.”

“Moreover, there is a real question as to whether any of the agencies currently regulating outer space activities have the full regulatory authority they claim,” Dunstan continues. “After West Virginia v. EPA, it is clear that agencies must point to more than just vague language in their authorizing statutes in order to regulate.”

“Congress should consider a comprehensive National Space Act to properly delegate rulemaking and enforcement authority to one or more agencies,” Dunstan concludes. “Failure to develop an understandable and frictionless regulatory system would drive  U.S. companies overseas. It would slow the U.S. portion of the cis-lunar economy down. It would only help  our adversaries dominate the high ground of outer space.”


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