Policy & Critical Issues News

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Stay up-to-date with the latest geoscience policy information and news by reading our policy news briefs and monthly review digests, reviewing the latest trends in federal geoscience funding, and reading our recents posts on the AGI Geotimes blog about events and other items of interest related to our Geoscience Policy and Critical Issues programs.

Policy News

AGI's Geoscience Policy program publishes up-to-date news that covers geoscience policy activities and related events in Washington, D.C. Stay current with our Policy News Briefs, read our Monthly Review for a digest of policy information and activities, or peruse our Annual Review for a summary of the year's major developments in federal geoscience policy.

You can also sign up to receive the Policy Monthly Review as an email digest.

Recent Policy News Briefs

Drilling rig
Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26) introduced the first Republican carbon pricing bill in nearly a decade on July 23. The proposal, called the MARKET CHOICE Act (H.R. 6463), seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by imposing a federal tax on carbon, and to use the revenue to fund...
The White House
A summary of notices posted to the Federal Register by geoscience-related federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, and more.
Atlean Lake in British Columbia
In late June, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Rob Bishop (R-UT-1) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-3) introduced bills in each chamber to address the backlog of maintenance at U.S. national parks via a new funding program. S. 3172 and H.R. 6510 are nearly identical to address the $11.6...
U.S. Capitol with flag
Following numerous ethics investigations, President Donald Trump announced the resignation of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on July 5, with Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler now as acting administrator. On July 18, President Trump nominated Lane...
Geoscientist working in a wetland.
On July 19, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (E.O. 13845) establishing the President’s National Council for the American Worker. The council will develop recommendations for a national strategy to empower American workers. In late July, Congress passed and the President signed into...
Silhouette of an idealized head with radiating profile outlines, cogs inside to show that there are new thoughts being constructed.
The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Mick Mulvaney sent a memorandum on July 31 to heads of executive departments and agencies highlighting the administration's research and development (R&D) priorities and providing guidance to agencies as they formulate their fiscal year...
IES Materials and Minerals Glyph
On July 19, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources convened a hearing on critical minerals. The hearing was held to review the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) recently published final list of critical minerals, which are minerals required for basic civilian and/or military...
The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a full committee markup on July 24 to consider the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act (S. 141), which passed the Senate by unanimous consent in May 2017. During the House markup, committee members offered three amendments to the...
Natural gas pump
On July 17, two subcommittees of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee – the Subcommittee on Energy and the Subcommittee on the Environment – held a joint hearing to discuss the future of fossil fuel as a primary energy source. The hearing also focused on the Department of Energy’s (...
Atlantic waves
The acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, appeared before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard on July 24 to answer questions about NOAA’s Blue Economy Initiative. At the hearing...

Recent Policy Monthly Reviews

2017 Annual Review of Geoscience Federal Policy

Education Policy Review (January-June 2018)


Federal Geoscience Funding

Stay up-to-date on the budget process and appropriations by fiscal year with the Library of Congress Appropriations and Budget page. The AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program provides information on trends in federal research and development funding, including information on the president's budget request and appropriations bills. AIP's Federal Science Budget Tracker also has useful information on the status of budgets and appropriations relevant to the physical sciences.


Federal Geoscience Nominations

Track the confirmation process of key geoscience presidential nominations. You can also track the nominations process through the Library of Congress and the websites of Senate committees of jurisdiction. Learn more About Nominations by the U.S. President and the confirmation process through the Library of Congress.

Blog Posts

Read our recent posts from the AGI Geotimes blog about Policy & Critical Issues topics.

Latest Policy & Critical Issues Blog Posts

A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA
Welcome to March! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: If you’ve ever looked at an earthquake hazard map for the United States, you’ll have noticed familiar areas of high risk on the West Coast, Alaska, and parts of the Rockies. But if you let your eyes drift east, you’ll see a...
A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA
Welcome to February! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: On January 26th we held our most recent webinar, “Tracking the Global Supply of Critical Materials”, which featured speakers Nedal Nassar from the U.S. Geological Survey and Vitor Correia from the European Federation of...
A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA
As the first month of 2018 draws to a close, we thought it’d be a good time to look back over 2017 in the Critical Issues program. We would like to thank you for being part of the Critical Issues community this year, whether you were one of the 10,000+ people who watched a webinar live or on...
A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA
Happy New Year! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: On December 6th we held our most recent webinar, “Geologic Mapping to Empower Communities: Examples from the Great Lakes”, which featured speakers from the Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition (GLGMC), a group of states and...
A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA
Welcome to December! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: Our next webinar, “Geologic Mapping to Empower Communities: Examples from the Great Lakes” will take place on Wednesday December 6th at 1:30pm EST. Detailed geologic maps help communities around the country to make informed...
A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA
Welcome to November! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: Last week was the Geological Society of America’s 2017 Annual Meeting, which took place in Seattle, WA. Our manager Cassy Rose presented a poster at the meeting about recent successes in our webinar series, which have...
The Lawn On D (across street from Boston Convention Center). The opening reception, which had a "Bostonopoly" theme, took place among games, performers, tasty food, and lots of mingling among attendees.
As an organization, we believe that it is absolutely critical that we communicate the importance of geoscience for informed decisionmaking at the regional, state, and local levels. So from August 6-9, AGI's Critical Issues Program Manager Cassaundra Rose attended the National Conference of...
A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA
Welcome to October! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: Around the U.S. and the world there are thousands of projects that enhance the drainage of water into the ground. These efforts improve stormwater management and help to recharge groundwater supplies, but they’re easy to...
A satellite image of the Earth. Image Credit: NASA
Welcome to September! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program:We are pleased to announce the publication of the final report for our 2016 Critical Issues Forum, “Addressing Changes in Regional Groundwater Resources: Lessons from the High Plains Aquifer.” This forum brought together a...
Cover of the July 2017 AEG News
The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists continues to track changes and challenges to professional geologist licensure across different states. In addition to a current summary, a new article in the July 2017 issue of AEG News also discusses potential ways to track bills...