AGI policy news briefs summarize geoscience policy activities and related events in Washington, D.C. Every month our news briefs are compiled into the Geoscience Policy Monthly Review digest, along with important announcements and opportunities, as part of a continuing effort to keep AGI member societies and other audiences informed about relevant federal policy and legislative updates.
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The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing led by Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Paul Tonko (D-NY) to gather information in order to move forward with federal licensing of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing on the Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act (H.R. 5577).
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a markup of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (S. 3084) and a number of other bills on June 29.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing led by Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) to discuss bills addressing contentious tribal water rights in Montana and Arizona (S. 3013 and S. 2959) and repealing obsolete laws relating to Native Americans (S. 2796).
The Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a hearing to evaluate the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) sage grouse conservation amendments and address concerns over the incorporation of individual state plans to the federal initiative.
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources convened to receive testimony on the Wildfire Budgeting, Response, and Forest Management Act (S. ___) put forward by Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
The U.S. District Court for Wyoming ruled that the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have no authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” on public and tribal lands.
The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report entitled, "The Economics of Coal Leasing on Federal Lands: Ensuring a Fair Return to Taxpayers".
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held an oversight hearing this June to examine the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) scientific integrity and accountability.
The Advances in Earth Science Coalition, a group of professional geoscience societies and federal agencies, held a briefing to discuss how earthquake, air quality, and environmental data can inform policy making on natural resource management and disaster preparedness.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a report outlining the projected costs of the Senate’s reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). CBO projects the bill will cost an estimated $10.6 billion over the next decade.
Nearing the end of President Obama’s second term, the Office of Press Secretary has released an impact statement listing 100 Examples of President Obama’s Leadership in Science Technology and Innovation.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director, Neil Kornze, faced tough questions during a Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee hearing this June, where committee members were able to question him about the agency’s new Planning 2.0 rule.
President Barack Obama celebrated the National Park Service’s (NPS) upcoming 100th anniversary at Yosemite National Park this June. The Obama Administration and House and Senate Appropriations Committees have included language in their budgets to increase funding for NPS in FY 2017.
The International Resource Panel’s (IRP) working group on Land and Soils released a report outlining tools and policies for utilizing land resources sustainably into the future.
The House Committee on Science Space and Technology voted overwhelmingly to pass the NSF Major Research Facility Reform Act of 2016 (H.R. 5049).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) held their Monthly Climate Briefing telecast summarizing NOAA’s May U.S. and global climate analyses, monthly and seasonal forecasts, and the outlook for La Niña development.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees each passed their fiscal year (FY) 2017 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bills this June, allocating funding for BLM, BOEM, BSEE, EPA, NPS, the Smithsonian Institution, and USGS from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held an executive session to consider the Coastal Coordination Act of 2016 (S. 3038), which would update and reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).
The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing to discuss emerging energy technologies in the United States.
France Córdova, Director of the National Science foundation (NSF), recently released a research vision for NSF centered on nine ‘big ideas” after a two-day offsite planning retreat for the agency’s leadership in April.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court stay of the President’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing to discuss how partnerships between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the private sector can be strengthened to improve weather forecasting.
Inspired by recent milestones in domestic offshore wind energy and persistently low oil and gas prices, Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW 2016) included a panel on potential changes to U.S. offshore energy portfolios.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and China’s Minister of Transport Yang Chuantang announced new efforts to reduce emissions from city bus fleets.
A list of notices from the federal register for May 2016 from agencies including the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, USGS, NOAA, NASA, and more.
This May, the House Appropriations Committee approved their fiscal year (FY) 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued three final rules earlier this month to reduce emissions of methane, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other air pollutants from new and modified existing oil and gas production sources.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $4 million to 4 R&D projects at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Washington, the University of Utah, and the University of Wyoming.
The National League of Cities (NLC) and Value of Water Coalition (VWC) held a briefing on water infrastructure and security across the United States on May 19, 2016, with examples of solutions from multiple cities.
The proposed program calls for 10 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, 3 in the Arctic, and none in the Pacific or Atlantic OCS regions.
Resources for the Future (RFF) and Duke University co-hosted a seminar on how oil and gas development impacts local governments and communities, highlighting several recently released reports.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing this May to discuss a suite of water bills aimed at addressing the drought across the West.
The Advances in Earth Science Coalition (AES), a consortium of professional geoscience societies and federal agencies, held a briefing on offshore energy (oil, gas, and wind) in the United States.
After floods hit the Houston area hard on April 17 and 18, forcing road and school closures and causing the death of eight people, Texas Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recognized the need for better emergency preparedness in the region.
Along the Ohio River in Kentucky and West Virginia, 4 dams originally built for passage of large ships in the 1960s and 70s are being retrofitted for hydroelectricity production.
Two new bipartisan bills have been introduced in both chambers of Congress in an effort to expand the use of nuclear energy.
The House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing this week regarding the proposed rule issued in January 2016 by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reduce natural gas, or methane, emissions via venting, flaring, and leaks on federal lands.
Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chair and Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), introduced the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA) today.
The Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement on the mitigation, adaptation, and financing of green house gas (GHG) emissions worldwide, was adopted during the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) held in Paris, France, in 2015.
On April 20, the Senate voted to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) within bipartisan energy reform legislation (S. 2012) sponsored by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2017 on April 21.