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Geology & Public Policy News Archive


The Looming Cliff
Congress and the Obama Administration remain in negotiations to find a solution to the nationís budget woes to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts at the beginning of 2013.
[ learn more about the “sequester” ]

What does the future of energy really hold?
SWITCHLearn About GSA Switch Energy Awareness & Efficiency Program

Geoscientists Ask Congress for Continued, Sustained Science Funding
In mid-September, GSA members were part of a contingent of 50 geoscientists that came to Washington, D.C., for the 5th annual geoscience Congressional Visits Day. In more than 100 congressional meetings, participants highlighted the benefits of scientific research to the nation and asked for continued, sustained funding for the geosciences. [ full story ]

Task Force on American Innovation
GSA urges Congress “to keep our nation on an innovation path that makes it possible for our economy to grow and our citizens to prosper.” [ read letter ]

Science Funding Problems Ahead
Federal agencies are awaiting possible cuts of approximately 9% on 2 Jan. if Congress and the Administration do not reach agreement on deficit reduction. With no agreement in sight, and limited time after the election for Congress to devise a solution, agencies are bracing for a decline. [ more ]

GSA Endorses Science Debate
GSA recently endorsed Science Debate. This nonpartisan organization highlights the important role of science in policy issues. Read the answers from President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney to questions submitted by Science Debate.

GSA Supports Rare Earth Research
Geoscience organizations applaud Bingaman, Murkowski, and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee for their efforts on the substitute amendment to S.1113 representing a vital step toward addressing the critical minerals challenges we face. [ read letter ]

"Rising to the Challenge: U.S. Innovation Policy for Global Economy"
This report from the National Academies notes that America's position as the source of much of the world's global innovation has been the foundation of its economic vitality and military power in the post-war. No longer is U.S. pre-eminence assured as a place to turn laboratory discoveries into ...
[ read more ]

Fire, Food, and Water: 40 Years of Landsat Satellites
GSA cosponsored a congressional briefing highlighting 40 years of Landsat on Monday, 23 July.
[ watch video of the briefing | AGU blog post ]

GSA Testifies in Support of USGS, NSF
Soon after the release of the Obama Administration's Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 2013) budget request, GSA played an active role in advocating for geoscience research by testifying three times in 24 hours. GSA President John Geissman, GSA Treasurer Jonathan Price, and GSA Fellow Harvey Thorleifson each spoke in support of the critical role the USGS plays in understanding and documenting mineral and energy resources, researching and monitoring potential natural hazards, and determining and assessing water availability and quality. Within the same time-frame, GSA Director of Geoscience Policy Kasey White testified at two hearings, one in support of the NSF, and the other also in support of the USGS. [ full story ]

Earthquake Briefing VideoGSA Cosponsors Congressional Briefing on East Coast Earthquakes
The New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones affect 8 states — Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone in August 2011 was felt over much of the Eastern U.S. The earthquake shut down the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant and caused damage in Virginia, Washington DC, and beyond. Seismic activity in the eastern U.S. tends to surprise people who are not accustomed to earthquakes. This 29 Mar. 2012 briefing discussed efforts to understand earthquakes in the East and to reduce risks to life, property, and infrastructure. [ watch video ]

Researh That Pays OffResearch that Pays Off: The Economic Benefits of Federally Funded R&D
GSA and eight other scientific and engineering societies hosted a briefing on 16 March, in Washington, D.C. An engaging panel discussed the critical contributions that federal R&D have made to American industry in recent decades, how federally-funded R&D could continue to return dividends, and what effect this investment could have on long term economic prosperity.  [ watch video ]

FY 2013 Budget Request Proposes Increases for R&D
The Administration released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget request on 13 February. Overall, the budget proposes $140.8 billion for federal R&D, a 1.4% increase over FY 2012 with a focus on innovation and manufacturing, clean energy, and STEM education. The proposed increases for many science agencies, including NSF and USGS, stand in contrast to overall non-defense discretionary spending, which stayed flat for the second year in a row. The action now goes to Congress, where additional pressures to reduce the deficit, combined with November elections and the looming sequestration in January 2013, will continue to squeeze spending levels. [ full story ]

Administration Requests an Increase for USGS in FY†2013
The budget request is $1.1 billion, a $34.5 million increase over FY 2012. Director Marcia McNutt explained the difficult choices that were made in the tight budget environment, noting that targeted decreases were necessary to make room for priorities, which include programs that protect lives and human property, long-term monitoring, and R&D. [ full story ]

GSA joined 83 other scientific organizations to express concerns about legislation that would require all funded grant proposals to be published online and identify peer reviewers.
[ read GRANT Act Letter ]

FY 2013 Budget Request Proposes Increases for NSF, other COMPETES Agencies
For the second year in a row, non-defense discretionary spending stayed flat, making the increases proposed for science notable. Overall, the Administration proposes an increase over FY 2012 with a focus on innovation and manufacturing, clean energy, and STEM education.
read more ]

GSA Participates in Climate Science Day
Executive Director Jack Hess and GSA Director for Geoscience Policy Kasey White joined a dozen scientific societies on 1 Feb. for Climate Science Day on Capitol Hill and were part of a contingent of scientists visiting Members of Congress and their staff to discuss climate science. [ more ]

USGS Budget Release
The U.S. Geological Survey releases its FY2013 budget on Tuesday, 14 February; at 1:00 pm ET, in the Dallas L. Peck Auditorium in Reston, VA. Please RSVP to Karen Wood, if you plan to attend the briefing in person.

NSFNSF Budget Presented
National Science Foundation Director Subra Suresh presented the president's fiscal year 2013 NSF budget request to Congress on Monday, 13 February, at 3:30 pm ET.
more info ]