On December 22, President Donald Trump signed into law a bill to provide for tax reform and legislation to continue funding the federal government under fiscal year (FY) 2017 levels through January 19. Lawmakers from various states impacted by hurricanes and wildfires this year were seeking billions more in disaster aid funding, but Congress stopped short of sending an $81 billion relief package to the President before the end of the year.
At an executive session on December 13, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the nomination of Barry Myers as Administrator of NOAA, the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Reauthorization Act of 2018 and the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Reauthorization Act of 2017.
Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX-21) announced in a statement shared on Twitter on November 2 that he will not seek re-election in 2018 for his seat representing the 21st district of Texas. Representative Smith has served as a member of Congress since 1987, and will complete his six-year term as Chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology at the end of the 115th Congress, which will conclude on January 3, 2019.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations has four major appropriation bills remaining to consider during the current Congressional session, including an appropriations bill for the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which will determine the FY 2018 budget for the U.S.
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.
After Congress returns from the August recess, the Senate will have 17 legislative days and the House will have 12 legislative days remaining before the September 30 deadline to agree upon and pass all discretionary appropriations legislation in order to avoid a government shutdown.
On June 7, the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing about the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Program. The AML Program is set to expire in 2021.
Geoscience information is integral to the strength and growth of communities and provides the resources for economic growth. All building materials, energy resources, construction projects, and hazard mitigation efforts are fundamentally based on geoscientific data and the geoscience workforce.
The industrial materials and minerals used to construct buildings/infrastructure
The importance of readily available construction materials and the resulting demand for mines and quarries throughout the U.S.
How geoscience is used to determine whether or not sites are suitable for infrastructure development
How geoscience is used to help guide design and construction to enhance the quality of life, economic strength, and physical security of coastal areas
Webinar Co-sponsors: American Association of Petroleum Geologists; American Geophysical Union; Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Geological Society of America; National Ground Water Association; National Science Foundation; Soil Science Society of America
Twenty-three science organizations, including AGI and 16 Member Societies, have signed a letter urging Congress to provide continued funding to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Library, "one of the world’s largest and most important Earth and natural resources libraries." Read the full letter here.