Geoscience Policy Monthly Review
november 2013

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Executive Order to prepare for climate change

On November 1, President Barack Obama signed an executive order, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. The Executive Order directs federal agencies to take steps to help local communities strengthen their resilience to extreme weather and prepare for the impacts of climate change. A Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, composed of state, local, and tribal leaders will advise the Administration on how the federal government can help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change. The order also establishes an interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to implement federal efforts.  The Executive Order builds on the Climate Action Plan issued in June 2013 by the President.

The Climate Action Plan aims to cut carbon pollution and lead international efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The plan includes reducing domestic carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent between 2005 and 2020. It also increases renewable energy production on federal lands, raises efficiency standards and prepares communities to prepare for increasing global temperatures.

Sources: The White House

Full Committee on Natural Resources markup of H.R. 2824

The House Committee on Natural Resources met to markup the bill on Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America (H.R. 2824), and other bills. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) introduced H.R. 2824 on July 25, 2013 with the purpose of stopping the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) from moving forward with its Stream Protection Rule (SPR). A majority of the Committee disapproves of SPR due to its increased regulation at mines, which is aimed to protect waterways. H.R. 2824 was adopted and favorably reported to the House of Representatives by a vote of 24 yeas and 15 nays. The bill awaits approval by the full House, Senate, and must be signed by the President before it can be enacted.

Sources: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, The Library of Congress