Policy News Briefs

PDF versionPDF version

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!

Subscribe to the Policy Monthly Review.
Subscribe to our Policy News Briefs RSS feed.

The White House
President Trump nominates Assistant Secretary of the Interior as Congress continues confirmation process for numerous nominees
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2017

On November 13, President Donald Trump nominated Dr. Tim Petty to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, with direction to oversee the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation. On November 2, the Senate confirmed by voice vote three previous nominees to serve at the Department of Energy: Steven Winberg as Assistant Secretary of Energy (Fossil Energy), Mark Wesley Menezes as Under Secretary of Energy, and Paul Dabbar as Under Secretary for Science. 

Document Type: News Brief


Icebergs in Greeland
Trump administration releases draft of comprehensive report on latest climate science
Date: Friday, November 3, 2017

The U.S. Global Change Research Program released a draft of the highly-anticipated Fourth National Climate Assessment for public comment on November 3. The NCA is a quadrennial scientific assessment, which analyzes the impacts of both human-induced and natural global climate change, mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990.

Document Type: News Brief


Drilling rig
Nebraska approves Keystone XL pipeline
Date: Monday, November 20, 2017

Nebraska regulators from the Nebraska Public Service Commission approved the building of the Keystone XL pipeline on November 20. 

Document Type: News Brief


The Noble John Sandifer jackup rig
Senate takes first step to open ANWR for oil and gas leasing
Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On November 8, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources introduced reconciliation legislation, fulfilling instructions in the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution for the committee to provide legislative recommendations to the Senate Committee on the Budget that would result in $1 billion in new revenue over ten years to offset federal tax cuts. 

Document Type: News Brief


Books and Apple
House passes legislation repealing tax exemptions of tuition waivers for graduate assistants
Date: Friday, November 17, 2017

On November 16, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, introduced by Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX-8). Generally, the bill restructures the tax code with fewer tax brackets and repeals or modifies a number of provisions. The House bill would repeal Sec. 117(d)(5) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, which allows for the tax exemption of tuition waivers for graduate students serving as teaching and research assistants. If the provision was to become law, student taxable income would include both the graduate assistant stipend and the value of the tuition waiver.

Document Type: News Brief


U.S. Money
Senate releases spending bill for Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
Date: Monday, November 20, 2017

The Senate Committee on Appropriations released the fiscal year 2018 appropriations legislation for Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which outlines their proposed budget for the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, among other agencies. The appropriations bill totals $32.6 billion in discretionary funding, including $12.17 billion for the Department of the Interior.

Document Type: News Brief


NASA and NOAA successfully launch next-generation polar orbiting satellite
Date: Saturday, November 18, 2017

On November 18, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched a new satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which has significantly better imaging capabilities than any of its predecessors.

Document Type: News Brief


Icebergs in Greeland
Geoscience in the Arctic: Permafrost, Energy, and Trade Routes in the Last Frontier
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Geoscience information is integral to strengthening the economy of the last frontier. This briefing will highlight the importance of the geosciences for sustaining infrastructure, supplying energy to the nation, and expanding commerce in the Arctic.

At this widely attended briefing, learn more about the critical applications of geoscience information as communities brace for dynamic subsurface freezing and thawing, maritime trade routes expand, and new energy resources are discovered. In this dynamic landscape, geoscience is critical to inform economic decision making.


U.S. Capitol
Federal Register - October 2017

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


U.S. Capitol with flag
Geoscience Policy Monthly Review: October 2017

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.

Subscribe to receive the Monthly Review directly to your email.

October 2017



-------------- ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------ ---------------- ------------