Policy News Briefs & Monthly Review

PDF versionPDF version

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.

To search for news briefs for a specific Monthly Review digest, enter the year and month of the Monthly Review in the search fields below.

Subscribe to receive the Geoscience Policy Monthly Review directly to your inbox.
Note: After signing up, you will receive a confirmation request via email. Click the link in the corresponding email to activate your subscription.

To browse Monthly Reviews from 1996 through 2010, please visit the Monthly Review Archive.

Use a comma to filter by multiple years
Use a comma to filter by multiple months
The White House
Federal Register - May 2016
Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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.

 

U.S. Capitol with flag
Senate passes Energy and Water appropriations bill, House unable to do so
Date: Thursday, May 26, 2016
The Senate passed their fiscal year (FY) 2017 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill this May. The House, however, was unable to pass its version of the bill due to a controversial rider on LBGT rights included within it.

 

Drilling rig
National Academies Roundtable holds workshop on use of flowback and produced waters from the oil and gas industry
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
The National Academies’ Unconventional Hydrocarbon Roundtable held a two-day workshop on “Use of Flowback and Produced Waters: Opportunities and Challenges for Innovation”.

 

U.S. Capitol with flag
House Appropriations Committee approves funding for NASA, NSF, NIST, NOAA and OSTP
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This May, the House Appropriations Committee approved their fiscal year (FY) 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill.

 

Earth
EPA releases final rule on curbing methane emissions
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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.

 

IES Water Glyph
DOE awards $4 million in R&D projects to recover critical materials from geothermal fluids
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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.

 

IES Water Glyph
Briefing highlights need for investment in water infrastructure
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2016

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 Noble John Sandifer jackup rig
BOEM five-year OCS plan meets opposition in Senate hearing
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2016

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.

 

Natural gas pump
RFF and Duke University hold seminar on impacts of oil and gas development on local governments and communities
Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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.

 

IES Water Glyph
Five Senate bills focus on western water
Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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 Noble John Sandifer jackup rig
AES holds briefing on offshore energy in the United States
Date: Monday, May 16, 2016

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.

 

Atlean Lake in British Columbia
New World Bank report outlines how water scarcity could impact us in the future
Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The report projects that water scarcity will increase globally and impact economies, migratory patterns of populations, and create geopolitical conflict.

 

Atlantic waves
COAST Act would help protect Houston from flooding
Date: Monday, May 2, 2016

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.

 

Ice Fields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
KY and WV tapping into new hydroelectric power
Date: Monday, May 2, 2016

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.

 

U.S. Capitol with flag
Federal Register - April 2016
Date: Sunday, May 1, 2016
A list of notices from the federal register for April 2016 from agencies including the Department of the Interior, USGS, NOAA, NASA, and more.

 

Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
New House and Senate bills would advance nuclear energy technology
Date: Friday, April 29, 2016

Two new bipartisan bills have been introduced in both chambers of Congress in an effort to expand the use of nuclear energy.

 

Natural gas pump
House committee debates BLM natural gas flaring rule
Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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.

 

Sun
Senate committee passes the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act
Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee passed the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act (S. 2817) on April 27.

 

Atlean Lake in British Columbia
Senate hopes to pass WRDA to support aging water infrastructure
Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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.

 

Earth
Sec. John Kerry signs landmark climate agreement on behalf of US
Date: Friday, April 22, 2016

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.

 

Atlean Lake in British Columbia
LWCF reauthorization passes the Senate
Date: Thursday, April 21, 2016

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).

 

IES Water Glyph
AWRA releases second volume of report on flood and drought management in the US
Date: Thursday, April 21, 2016
The American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Policy Committee released the second volume of their report, “Proactive Flood and Drought Management”.

 

U.S. Capitol
Senate Committee passes bill funding NASA, NIST, NSF, NOAA
Date: Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2017 on April 21.

 

U.S. Capitol
New bipartisan climate change caucus
Date: Thursday, April 21, 2016

The new House bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus held its first meeting this week.

 

U.S. Capitol
Bipartisan energy bill passes Senate, includes provisions for minerals and data preservation
Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (S. 2012) passed the Senate with overwhelming support on April 20.

 

Capitol at night
FAA reauthorization allows for UAVs to help monitor oil and gas facilities
Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Senate has approved an amendment to streamline the permitting process for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

 

Capitol at night
House Energy and Water Appropriations bill passes out of committee
Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The House Committee on Appropriations met on April 19 to markup the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which provides funding for the Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies.

 

Natural gas pump
BLM proposed venting and flaring rule spurs debate in Senate subcommittee hearing
Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held an oversight hearing on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) proposed rule to reduce venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and gas production on Federal and Indian lands.

 

Earth
Senate oversight hearing on USGS
Date: Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met on April 7 to conduct an oversight hearing on programs at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

 

Earth
EESI holds webinar on adaptations to the declining coal industry in coal-impacted communities
Date: Tuesday, April 5, 2016
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a webinar entitled, "Can Coal Country Thrive in a Clean Energy Economy?" to discuss the range of adaptations, investments, and development programs underway in coal-reliant regions.

 

U.S. Capitol with flag
Federal Register - March 2016
Date: Friday, April 1, 2016

A list of notices from the federal register for March 2016 from agencies including the Department of the Interior, USGS, NOAA, NASA, and more.

 

Cracked road from earthquake
USGS holds briefing on induced seismicity in the United States
Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), with sponsorship from the Seismological Society of America, held a briefing on induced seismicity in the United States.

 

Earth
DOI announces review of federal coal program
Date: Friday, March 25, 2016

The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a notice of intent (NOI) that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program.

 

Study group
Two bills aimed at increasing diversity in STEM pass the House
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Two bills were introduced and passed in the House of Representatives, aimed at encouraging women to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

 

IES Water Glyph
White House holds water summit, federal agencies invest in water-research projects
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

In celebration of World Water Day, The White House held a Water Summit on March 22 to highlight the need to conserve, protect, and better manage the nation’s water resources.

 

The Noble John Sandifer jackup rig
BOEM releases proposed five-year offshore drilling plan
Date: Friday, March 18, 2016

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released the second of three proposals for the 2017–2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

 

Capitol at night
Rep. DelBene introduces legislation to reduce losses from landslide hazards
Date: Thursday, March 17, 2016

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) has introduced new legislation in an effort to decrease losses and damages as a result of landslides.

 

Galaxy NGC 3310
House Space Subcommittee discusses NASA FY17 budget
Date: Thursday, March 17, 2016

In a hearing hosted by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Space, Chairman Brian Babin (R-TX) lead a discussion of the fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017) Presidential Budget Request for NASA.

 

U.S. Capitol
EESI and GEA hold briefing on the state of the geothermal energy industry
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) held a briefing on the state of geothermal energy on both national and global scales.

 

Mount Saint Helens
House Natural Resources Committee markup on NPS centennial bill
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The House Committee on Natural Resources marked up 14 bills today, including one titled the National Park Service Centennial Act (H.R. 4680) in honor of the National Park Service (NPS) celebrating their 100th year this August.

 

U.S. Capitol
Senate committee discusses presidential natural resource mitigation policy
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing this week to discuss a memorandum released in November 2015 by President Obama, detailing his proposed policies for mitigating the environmental impacts of natural resource development.

 

U.S. Capitol with flag
Federal Register - February 2016
Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A list of notices from the federal register for February 2016 from agencies including the Department of the Interior, USGS, NOAA, NASA, and more.

 

Atlean Lake in British Columbia
House committee holds hearing on California water supply
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans held a hearing to discuss the state of California’s water supply.

 

Nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
DOE nuclear waste disposal study in North Dakota
Date: Monday, February 15, 2016

The Department of Energy is conducting a study to determine whether a site in North Dakota could potentially replace the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository for storing long term, high level nuclear waste.

 

Cracked road from earthquake
Oklahoma hit by magnitude-5.1 earthquake, calls for wastewater disposal cutbacks
Date: Monday, February 15, 2016

One month after the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) directed 27 oil and gas wastewater disposal wells to end wastewater injections, a magnitude-5.1 earthquake has shaken Fairview, Oklahoma.

 

Excavator mining
DOD study finds certain rare earth minerals critical for defense
Date: Monday, February 15, 2016

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published a report detailing how the Department of Defense (DOD) can better manage supply chain risks for critical rare earth minerals and materials (rare earths).

 

Earth
“Keep It in the Ground Act” introduced in the House
Date: Thursday, February 11, 2016

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced new legislation, along with 16 democratic co-sponsors, that would prohibit new drilling leases in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and new coal leases on federal land.

 

U.S. Capitol with flag
Scientific Research in the National Interest bill
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
The Scientific Research in the National Interest Act (H.R. 3293) passed the House of Representatives on February 10 with a vote of 236-178.

 

The White House
President Obama releases his final federal budget request
Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On February 9, President Obama announced his final federal budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2017.

 

Capitol at night
House science committee discusses NSF management reform
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology, held a hearing to discuss recommendations for management reform at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

 

Pages