Policy News Briefs

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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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Overview of Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations

Click on a link below to view AGI's analysis of the President's Budget Request and Appropriations Bills, including detailed program and account information for key geoscience-related federal agencies.

 

The White House
Federal Register: January 2018

Summary of the relevant notices posted to the Federal Register in January 2018 from various federal science agencies, including the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Science Foundation (NSF) and more.

 

U.S. Capitol with flag
Geoscience Policy Monthly Review: January 2018

The Monthly Review is part of a continuing effort to improve communications about the role of geoscience in policy.

Current and archived monthly reviews are available online.

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January 2018

 

U.S. Supreme Court building
Two-year delay to WOTUS applicability date finalized after the Supreme Court ruled that challenges belong in federal district courts
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

On January 22, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that any challenges to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule must be filed in federal district courts, not federal courts of appeals. While the Supreme Court’s ruling would have permitted enforcement of the WOTUS Rule in 37 states, the EPA and USACE finalized a rule on January 31 that creates a new applicability date for the WOTUS rule two years from now.

Document Type: News Brief

 

Ocean Core Sampling
Senate passes bipartisan ocean monitoring and research act
Date: Monday, January 8, 2018

On January 8, the Senate unanimously passed Senator Roger Wicker’s (R-MS) Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act (S.1425). The bipartisan bill revises and reauthorizes the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act of 2009, which established the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) to consolidate and coordinate the efforts of hundreds of federal, state, and local observing programs through fiscal year (FY) 2021. In addition to reauthorizing the ICOOS Act, S.1425 promotes best practices regarding data sharing for public use, investment in autonomous unmanned underwater and surface ocean research vehicles, closing gaps in high frequency radar, and assisting Coast Guard search and rescue operations.

Document Type: News Brief

 

Cracked road from earthquake
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds hearing on natural hazards programs
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

On January 30, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a full committee hearing to address the role of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in preparing for and responding to natural hazards, as well as the current status of mapping and monitoring systems. Several witnesses testified regarding early warning systems and programs for earthquake, volcano, and tsunami hazards.

Document Type: News Brief

 

Capitol at night
President Trump briefly covers energy and infrastructure issues in 2018 State of the Union address
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on January 30. Despite the administration’s efforts over the past year to make energy independence and dominance a priority, the President only made a few passing remarks relating to energy and natural resource issues during his speech. “We have ended the war on American energy, and we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal,” President Trump stated, adding that, “We are now, very proudly, an exporter of energy to the world.”

Document Type: News Brief

 

Earth from Space showing Africa and Antarctica
White House announces intent to nominate Director of the U.S. Geological Survey and re-nominates heads of key science agencies
Date: Friday, January 26, 2018

President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Dr. James Reilly to be Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Department of the Interior. After a 13-year career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Dr. Reilly currently serves as a technical advisor on space operations for the U.S. Air Force’s National Security Space Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Reilly worked for 15 years as an oil and gas exploration geologist with Enserch Exploration, Inc. prior to joining NASA. After 98 presidential nominees were rejected on January 3, President Trump sent a list of several of these nominations back to the Senate on January 8 seeking to fill other key science positions in his administration.

Document Type: News Brief

 

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