Policy News Briefs

The Policy News Briefs page features an ongoing newsfeed of the most up-to-date geoscience policy information. Click on the topic(s) in the filter menu below to learn more!

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U.S. Capitol
Federal Register - August 2017

A list of notices from the federal register for June 2017 from agencies including the Department of the Interior, EPA, and more.

Document Type: News Brief


The Noble John Sandifer jackup rig
Federal agency declares Gulf of Mexico safe for seismic surveys
Date: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Four years after beginning an Environmental Impact Survey, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) declared that the Gulf of Mexico is safe for seismic surveys. 

Document Type: News Brief


NASA hurricane satellite image
Federal science agencies help prepare and respond to Hurricane Harvey
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In anticipation of Hurricane Harvey making landfall on the Gulf Coast, several federal science agencies prepared for the massive storm by monitoring its development and helping direct FEMA's resources to the likely hard-hit areas.

Document Type: News Brief


Hazards fire houses
Wildfires emerging as a hot topic on the Hill
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2017

As the U.S. endures another fire season, legislators on the Hill are seeking to address some of the challenges associated with managing wildland fires on federal land. A hearing held by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on August 3 tackled the complex challenges in reducing wildland fire risk, focusing primarily on wildfire management programs and technologies.

Document Type: News Brief


Technology background
USGS provides information for partnering with 3DEP in 2018
Date: Thursday, August 17, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hosted two informational webinars about partnering with the 3-Dimensional Elevation Program (3DEP) for fiscal year (FY) 2018, and changes for this year's Broad Agency Announcement.

Document Type: News Brief


House chamber
Senate confirms Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominees
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Senate confirmed two new members for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on August 3. Neil Chatterjee, former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Robert Powelson from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission have joined Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, bringing the number of empty FERC seats down to two.

Document Type: News Brief


Scientific societies question red team/blue team climate debate
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sixteen scientific societies sent a letter to EPA Administrator Pruitt questioning the need for a red team/blue team debate on climate science in light of the decades of peer review done on the subject.

Document Type: News Brief


Capitol at night
Legislative deadlines loom as August recess comes to an end
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2017

After Congress returns from the August recess, the Senate will have 17 legislative days and the House will have 12 legislative days remaining before the September 30 deadline to agree upon and pass all discretionary appropriations legislation in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Document Type: News Brief


Mammatus clouds that are usually associated with thunderstorms.
Hurricane Harvey puts additional strain on the federal appropriations process
Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Gulf coast of Texas as a category 4 storm on August 25, dumping massive amounts of rain on southeast Texas and surrounding areas. The projected disaster relief costs may put a large financial strain on Congress when it returns to session after the August recess.

Document Type: News Brief


The White House
White House releases research and development budget priorities for FY 2019
Date: Thursday, August 17, 2017

The White House issued guidance for reasearch and development priorities for fiscal year 2019, focusing on shifting projects to private industry and supporting basic research that can best serve the American people.

Document Type: News Brief



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