Policy & Critical Issues News

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 Briefs

Policy News Briefs feature the most up-to-date geoscience policy information. The Policy Monthly Review and other special updates cover geoscience policy activities and related events in Washington, D.C.

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Latest Policy News Briefs

The White House
As directed by the President’s Executive Order 13792, the Department of the Interior (DOI) is conducting a review of certain national monuments designated or expanded since 1996 under the Antiquities Act.
The Senate passed the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act (S.141) on May 2 to develop an integrated strategy for the coordination of federal government activities to improve the nation’s ability to prepare for, mitigate, and respond to the impacts of space weather events.
Badlands Topography, Drumheller
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on May 24 to examine three major laws affecting the management of federal and tribal lands, as well as designated wilderness areas.
Excavator mining
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on a discussion draft of the Community Reclamation Partnerships Act (H.R.__) to be introduced by Representative Darin LaHood (R-IL-18).
U.S. Capitol with flag
The Department of Energy (DOE) requests public comments and information regarding the implementation of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13771, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs.”
Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida Coast
On May 4, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Florida Shores Protection and Fairness Act (S.1041).
Atlantic waves
On May 10, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced that it will reconsider applications from ocean seismic survey companies to carry out geological and geophysical activities off the Atlantic coast.
Atlantic waves
On May 25, the Senate passed the Digital Coast Act (S.110) to help coastal communities prepare for storms, adapt to rising sea levels, and strengthen economic planning efforts.
U.S. Capitol with flag
Representative John Delaney (D-MD-6) introduced the Climate Solutions Commission Act (H.R.2326), which aims to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, on May 3.
U.S. Money
President Trump proposed a budget of $922.2 million for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in his request for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which is a 15% cut from the FY 2017 enacted level.

Latest Policy Monthly Reviews

Federal Geoscience Funding

AGI provides testimony to several subcommittees on programs of importance to the geoscience community.

You can keep up-to-date with the Library of Congress Table on Current Status of FY 2017 Appropriations Bills. The AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Project website has information on trends in federal research and development funding, including information on the president's request, congressional budget resolution, 302(b) allocations, and each science-related appropriations bill.

Blog Posts

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

Latest Policy & Critical Issues Blog Posts

U.S. Geological Survey library in Hooe Building, Washington DC. Note rotating bookcase at left, next to card catalogs, left to right: J.M. Nickles, J.L.V. McCord original Survey librarian, J.E. Latimer, and Mary Coats. 1917.
Twenty-three science organizations, including AGI and 16 Member Societies, have signed a letter urging Congress to provide continued funding to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Library, "one of the world’s largest and most important Earth and natural resources libraries." Read the full letter here...
Coastal hazards webinar flyer. Image Credit: C. Hegermiller, USGS
Register now for this upcoming Critical Issues Webinar! July 6, 2017 at 1:30pm EDT. 90 minutes.   This special 1.5 hour-long AGI Critical Issues webinar will focus on efforts to anticipate, mitigate, and respond to coastal storms, erosion, and associated hazards at the federal, state, and local...
Welcome to June! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: Our next Critical Issues webinar, “Planning for Coastal Storm & Erosion Hazards”, will take place on Thursday July 6th, 1:30pm EDT/10:30am PDT. This 1.5-hour webinar will focus on efforts to anticipate, mitigate, and respond...
Welcome to May! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: On April 14th we held our most recent webinar, “State Responses to Induced Earthquakes,” showcasing the steps that Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio have been taking to monitor and reduce earthquakes triggered by oil and gas operations. We...
March for Science logo
At the most recent AGI Member Society Council meeting in Houston, we discussed many topics of interest to our community, including the upcoming March for Science, which will be held on April 22, 2017. To embrace our role as a respected, nonpartisan source of information that reflects the breadth...
Welcome to April! Here’s what’s new from the Critical Issues Program: We have begun publishing a new suite of information products: case studies and factsheets on specific issues at the interface of geoscience and society. Our first factsheet, on groundwater use in the United States, is now live on...
Gifford Wong photo
Looking for science storytelling in DC? Free next Thursday night? The Story Collider is hosting a storytelling event featuring our 2015-16 Fisher Congressional Fellow Gifford Wong! Wong received his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College, and he now works for the U.S. State Department as a...
Screenshot of the KGS injection and disposal wells interactive map
Today's Map of the Day from the Critical Issues resource platform is an interactive map of disposal and injection wells in Kentucky from the Kentucky Geological Survey. Follow AGI's Critical Issues Program on Twitter to get your daily map! 
U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) map of groundwater depletion
It's Groundwater Awareness Week 2017 (#GWAwarenessWeek if you're on twitter)! Today's Critical Issues Map of the Day from the USGS and shows the cumulative depletion of groundwater for 40 aquifer systems across the U.S (excluding Alaska). The map depicts depletion over the time period of 1900 to...
Map of the Day: Below-Normal Streamflow in the U.S.
While it's been a wet winter for California, there are many places in the Eastern U.S. that experiencing below normal streamflow. Today's "Map of the Day" is from the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch program. The map identifies drought conditions ranging from extreme hydrological droughts to below...