Capitol Hill is about to experience a massive shuffle. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), current Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was recently nominated by President Obama to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to China.
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman for the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, subpoenaed records from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) early this August. Rep. Smith hopes the records will show how the agency decided to instate newer and stricter air quality regulations in the United States. By subpoenaing the records, the committee wishes to independently verify the EPA’s decisions regarding the controversial regulations.
Congratulations to Kristen Mitchell, the 2013-2014 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellow for the American Geosciences Institute (AGI). The William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship offers geoscientists the unique opportunity to spend 12 months in Washington, D.C. working as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or on a congressional committee. Every year, the AGI fellow joins more than two dozen other scientists and engineers for an intensive orientation program on the legislative and executive branches, organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which also guides the placement process and provides educational and collegial programs for the fellows throughout the year.
Beginning March 1, 2013, the Federal Government's discretionary spending accounts will be cut by $85 billion through the rest of the fiscal year. These across-the-board spending reductions, known as the sequester, were first proposed in 2011 as a penalty so severe they would force Congress to work together to solve the nation's deficit woes. Unfortunately, no agreement on a package of replacement cuts or additional revenue in time to avoid the sequester has been made. We now face substantial cuts to critical programs, and want to know how the sequester is affecting geoscientists.
The American Geosciences Institute's (AGI) Geoscience Policy program has launched a new webpage detailing the estimated impacts of the impending sequestration on federal geoscience funding. The sequestration, set to take effect on January 2, 2013 unless Congress agrees on a path to avoid it, could severely impact geoscience research and development (R&D) across the board.
What do energy resources for the future, understanding earthquakes to improve resiliency, and educating the next generation of geoscientists all have in common? Federal policymaking informed by the geosciences. If you are passionate about the role geoscience plays in the federal legislative process, consider applying for the American Geosciences Institute's William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship for 2012-2013. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to spend a year on Capitol Hill working in a congressional office and learning about the legislative process.
About 75 million Americans in 39 states face a significant risk from a strong earthquake. Because of this significant risk, the Congressional Hazards Caucus Coalition will sponsor an earthquake hazards briefing Tuesday, September 20 at 3:00 pm, in room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.
The American Geological Institute (AGI), as an active member of the Congressional Hazards Caucus Coalition, helps to provide resources on the mitigation and response to natural hazards. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, AGI would like to remind the public of the availability of information and educational tools related to understanding the causes and effects of hurricanes as well as preparing for and responding these events.