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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Mammatus clouds that are usually associated with thunderstorms.
National Science Foundation awards over $5 million in grants to study hurricanes
Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

In the wake of this year’s disastrous hurricane season, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded 59 grants totaling $5.3 million for projects that aim to that study how hurricanes form and intensify, and how we can best respond to the devastating effects of such disasters. 

Document Type: News Brief


House chamber
Congress passes $36.5 aid package for recent natural disasters; more funds needed
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017

Responding to the widespread destruction from three catastrophic hurricanes, massive wildfires, and a bankrupt federal flood insurance program, the House passed a $36.5 billion disaster aid package on October 12.

Document Type: News Brief


U.S. Capitol
Federal Register - September 2017

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


U.S. Capitol
Congress considers presidential nominations to key agency positions
Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on September 27 for four presidential nominations, including Howard “Skip” Elliott to head the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, and Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet, an oceanographer and climate expert, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

Document Type: News Brief


Atlean Lake in British Columbia
Senate moves legislation to address harmful algal blooms
Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Senate unanimously passes the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2017, introduced on May 4 by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Rob Portman (R-OH).

Document Type: News Brief


Hazards fire houses
Committees discuss forest management and wildfire mitigation
Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On September 27, both the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held hearings to explore methods of restoring the health and resiliency of national forests and to mitigate the threat of catastrophic wildfires. 


House chamber
House passes 8 remaining appropriations bills
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017

The House passed 8 remaining appropriations bills in a single package on September 14 to provide all discretionary funding for the Federal Government in fiscal year (FY) 2018.

Document Type: News Brief


Jim Bridenstine nominated to NASA Administrator
Date: Saturday, September 2, 2017

President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK-1) to serve as the next Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). If confirmed by the Senate, Bridenstine would be the first NASA Administrator to be appointed with a professional background in politics, rather than a science and engineering background.

Document Type: News Brief


Bingham Copper Mine
Hardrock mining reform bill introduced in Senate
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), along with four Democratic cosponsors, introduced the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2017.

Document Type: News Brief


Excavator mining
House discusses 3 bills on energy and mineral development
Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources discussed three bills introduced before the August recess. Two of these bills seek to amend to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, while the third bill proposes a new method for state onshore oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

Document Type: News Brief



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