Monthly Review: June 2004
This monthly review goes out to the leadership of AGI's member
societies, members of the AGI Government Affairs Advisory Committee,
and other interested geoscientists as part of a continuing effort
to improve communications between GAP and the geoscience community
that it serves.
Appropriations Bills Begin Their Legislative Journey
Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Department of Agriculture Appropriations
Commerce-State-Justice and the Judiciary Appropriations
'Energy Week' in House Gets Mixed Results
Yucca Mountain Funding Gets Possible Legislative Fix
House Science Committee Keeps Tabs on Visa Delays
New Fees for Exchange Visitors and Scholars
Geologic Mapping Reauthorization Gets House Hearing
NEHRP Reauthorization Makes Progress in Senate
LNG Terminals Need Standards
House Science Committee Votes to Reauthorize DOE Metals
DOE Agrees to Clean Up 99% of Waste Sites
Pipeline Safety Slowly Improving
Senate Searches for the Cause of High Gasoline Prices
NOAA Organic Act Moving Forward
NASA Merges Earth Science and Space Science
CNSF Exhibition a Success
NSF Funding Supported by 157 House Representatives
NSF Major Research Equipment Projects Ranked
National Academies to Issue Report on Science and Technology
G8 Leaders Focus their Energy on an Earth Observation
Climate Change Not the Biggest Global Problem
Evolution in the Classroom Update - California
Government Affairs Program Seeks Director
Intern Comings and Goings
Key Federal Register Notices
New Updates to website
Begin Their Legislative Journey
On June 17th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Interior
Appropriations bill by a vote of 334 to 86. Overall, the House decided
to reduce funding for grant programs and new initiatives proposed
by the administration request and instead provide funding for core,
The FY05 Interior Appropriations bill restores the $18 million in
program cuts from the US Geological Survey and partially restores
cuts to key energy research programs. Total funding for the Department
of Interior is $9.8 billion, $213 million below the request and $108
million above FY04. The Bureau of Land Management was funded $1.7
billion, $46 million below FY04 and $12 million below the request.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is funded at $1.3 billion, $45 million
below FY04 and $62 million below the request. The U.S. Forest Service
received $4.2 billion, $8 million above the request and $294 million
below 2004. The Smithsonian was allocated $620 million, $24 million
above FY04 and $8 million below the request.
A detailed chart and explanation of the House action is available
on AGI's website at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2005_interior.html#House.
Energy and Water Appropriations
On June 25th the House approved the FY05 Energy and Water Appropriations
Bill, allocating $28 billion for the Department of Energy. This amount
is $49 million above the President's request and $735 million above
the FY04 enacted level, with the majority of this increase directed
toward the Army Corps of Engineers.
Information about funding levels within the Energy and Water is available
Department of Agriculture Appropriations
The House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY05 Agriculture
Appropriations bill June 23rd, cutting funding 12% for the bill as
a whole. Funding for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
was cut by 3%. Watershed Surveys and Planning was provided $11.1 million.
Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations was allocated $86.5 million.
Funding for the Agricultural Research Service was cut to $1.057 billion,
$25 million less than FY04 and $132 million less than the President's
More detailed information is available by accessing http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2005_ag.html#House.
Commerce-State-Justice and the Judiciary Appropriations
Congress passed the Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary FY05
Appropriations bill July 8th without offering any amendments that
would boost funding for the severe cuts to NOAA. The amount appropriated
by the bill for NOAA is $2.3 billion, a decrease of $543 million from
the FY04 enacted level and $215 million less than the President's
requested amount. With overall funding cut by 36%, many one-time,
non-recurring projects will be terminated. Funding for ocean and fisheries
programs received the most significant cuts, while many of the atmospheric
programs remain funded at the president's requested levels. In cutting
NOAA's funding, the Committee went against the recommendation of two
reports published earlier this year by the Pew Oceans Commission and
the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. Both reported that significantly
higher levels of funding were necessary for ocean and coastal protection
Information about programmatic funding levels can be found on-line
'Energy Week' in House
Gets Mixed Results
House Republicans introduced comprehensive energy legislation and
other energy-related bills during "Energy Week" debates
June 15th and 16th. Environment and Energy Daily predicted that high
gasoline prices and Democratic opposition to many energy-related bills
would serve as important contexts for the debates. The Republican
sponsored Energy Week; however, was delayed due to the death of former
President Reagan, postponing the debates one week. During this time,
gas prices began to fall and the Bush Administration reported that
prices were expected to fall throughout the summer. The bills were
debated on the House floor under rules that prohibited amendments.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) introduced
H.R. 4503, the energy bill conference report that the House has already
approved. It passed with a 244-178 vote. This bill was reintroduced
with hopes of spurring the Senate to action. Provisions in the bill
included energy conservation, research and development, and energy
Other bills approved by the House include H.R. 4517, which will speed
up the permitting process for the construction of new petroleum refinery
facilities in areas of high unemployment. This bill will allow the
Department of Energy (DOE) to establish "refinery revitalization
zones" in communities with an unemployment rate 20% above the
national average and either a closed refinery or history of major
industrial layoffs. House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo
(R-CA) introduced and passed H.R. 4513, which will streamline the
process of environmental impact assessments required under the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for new renewable energy projects.
It allows federal agencies to propose renewable energy projects without
identifying more than one possible location for the project. H.R.
4515 also passed, providing energy companies with incentives to produce
natural gas from methane hydrate resources, which have been found
to contain significantly more gas than all other conventional natural
gas resources combined. Although the technology to exploit hydrate
resources is not yet available, the bill provides incentives for companies
to develop that technology and begin extraction by the year 2018.
Two bills did not make it out of the House. A bill calling for a
portion of the revenues from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
oil and natural gas drilling to be used for the cleanup of abandoned
coal mines and health benefits for coal miners, H.R. 4529, was hotly
debated and eventually removed from floor consideration due to lack
of support. These two issues were linked in an effort to gain support
from those who oppose ANWR energy exploration. However, the United
Mine Workers of America, one of the groups expected to benefit from
the bill, issued a letter to Congress June 15th opposing the bill.
Another bill, H.R. 4545, would have lowered the price of gasoline
blends, commonly known as "boutique fuels." It would also
have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to waive Clean
Air Act fuel requirements for up to five days is there is a significant
disruption in the fuel supply.
Additional information about Energy Week is available at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy.html.
Yucca Mountain Funding
Gets Possible Legislative Fix
The funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository remains
at $131 million after the House Appropriations Committee passed the
FY05 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill on June 16th.
The original budget request for the project was $880 million, with
only $131 million coming from Congress and the other $749 million
from a reclassification of the nuclear industry's annual contributions
to the Nuclear Waste Trust Fund. The reclassification legislation,
H.R. 3981, would guarantee funding for the licensing and construction
of the project. Unless this legislation passes both Houses of Congress
and is signed into law by the President, the currently appropriated
funding would be insufficient to meet the scheduled 2010 opening date.
On June 25th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R.
3981 that would allow money from an annual nuclear waste fund to be
used for the Yucca Mountain project through 2009. It is expected that
the money from the trust fund will keep Yucca Mountain on schedule
for its site license approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
in December and its expected 2010 opening. However, the Committee
was only authorized to allocate $576 million for Yucca Mountain in
FY05 due to the budget passed by the House earlier this spring. This
means funding for Yucca Mountain is still $173 million short of the
$880 million requested in the president's budget. Because Congress
only passed a one-year budget this year, Energy Committee staff estimate
$750 million will be authorized from the trust fund for FY06 and beyond.
H.R. 3981 is expected to be passed by the full House prior to the
August recess despite the fierce opposition from the Nevada congressional
delegation. Even if the House does approve this bill, it faces an
uphill battle in the Senate where Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-NV)
is leading the opposition. He is the number two democrat in the Senate
and up for reelection this fall.
More information about Yucca Mountain is available at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/yucca.html.
House Science Committee
Keeps Tabs on Visa Delays
Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), the House Science Committee
Chairman, Curt Weldon (R-PA), and Bart Gordon (D-TN), Ranking Minority
Member, issued a letter June 16th requesting the Government Accounting
Office (GAO) investigate further the status of issuing visas to foreign
science students and scholars. They expressed their concern that the
delays were discouraging the best scientists from coming to the United
States. Although national security is a high priority since September
11th, they argued it is no excuse for the inefficiency that has delayed
the visa permitting process anywhere between a few to 300 days. Of
particular concern was the Visas Mantis, or the security check designed
to protect against the transfer of sensitive technologies. A report
issued by the GAO in February (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04371.pdf)
found that guidelines were unclear as to when a Visas Mantis check
was applicable to a visa application, which is one of the main causes
of the delays. In this report, the GAO also recommended that the State
Department, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Department of Homeland
Security work together to develop specific goals and guidelines that
would speed up the process. The letter requests an update investigation
by the GAO on how well these organizations have implemented the recommendations.
The GAO was also asked to pay particular attention to the status of
Russian visas, which is an interest of Congressman Weldon.
The full text of the letter can be viewed at http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/084.html.
More details about the Committee's request are available at http://www.house.gov/science/press/108/108-259.htm.
New Fees for Exchange
Visitors and Scholars
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on June
30th that, beginning September 1st, a new $100 fee will be incurred
on visa applications of international students, exchange visitors,
and scholars attending school or conducting research in the U.S. This
fee will be used to cover the costs of the electronic Student Exchange
and Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which is designed to maintain
up-to-date data on applicants and process visa request more quickly.
The fee applies to F, J and M nonimmigrant classifications, but some
exchange visitor programs will have a reduced fee or will be fee-exempt.
There are currently 730,000 students and exchange visitors registered
on SEVIS. According to Jill Drury, Director of the Student Exchange
Visitor Program (SEVP): "The new fee payment procedure is a continuation
of our commitment to manage a system that enhances the integrity of
America's immigration system while facilitating the legal entry of
legitimate international students and scholars into the United States."
Geologic Mapping Reauthorization
Gets House Hearing
On June 24th, the House Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral
Resources met to discuss H.R. 4010, a bill to reauthorize the National
Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program at the United States Geological
Survey (USGS) through 2010. The bill was introduced by Subcommittee
Chair Barbara Cubin (R-WY) and committee member and former geologist
Jim Gibbons (R-NV). The subcommittee heard testimony from Patrick
Leahy, Associate Director for Geology at the USGS, and John Steinmentz,
President of the Association of American State Geologists. Both witnesses
testified in support of the bill, and all members of the subcommittee
who attended the hearing expressed their support as well. Leahy outlined
some of the successes of the NCGNP including the ways in which USGS
has worked in cooperation with agencies and states. He noted the high
economic return of dollars invested in mapping programs as seen in
the state of Kentucky, which is the only state that is completely
mapped. Leahy also said that mapping aids security efforts by providing
information on energy, mineral, and water availability as well as
More information on the hearing and H.R. 4010 can be found on AGI's
website at http://stage.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/geologicmapping.html.
Makes Progress in Senate
The Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space met on
June 24th to discuss the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
Reauthorization Act (NEHRP; H.R. 2608). Senator Brownback (R-KS) presided
over the hearing and was joined by Senator Wyden (D-OR) of Oregon.
Witnesses from the USGS, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Science
Foundation (NSF) each testified that their agencies were pleased with
the House-passed bill. The major difference in this reauthorization
process has been the shift of NEHRP from the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, which has since been absorbed into the DHS, to NIST. NIST
will continue to work with the USGS, DHS, and the NSF on the program.
The only change suggested in the Senate hearing was proposed by Dr.
David Applegate, Senior Science Advisor for Earthquakes and Geologic
Hazards at the USGS. He advocated for a NEHRP Advisory Committee to
be formed in order to give the program stronger direction and more
The full committee is expected to mark up the bill before the August
recess. A full wrap-up of the hearing can be found online at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/nehrp_hearings.html#june25.
LNG Terminals Need
The House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Natural Resources, and Regulatory
Affairs met June 23rd to discuss the federal and state roles in siting
liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals at both onshore and deepwater
ports. Chairman Doug Ose (R-CA) stressed the importance of LNG, explaining
that increasing energy demands require the U.S. to import more LNG
and consequently build more ports with the ability to accept these
imports. The responsibility of licensing and securing these ports,
however, has not been clear and the Committee called for federal standards
that would specifically outline the LNG terminal permitting and siting
process. As decided by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of
2002, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction over
the siting and construction of onshore terminals while the Department
of Transportation, including the Coast Guard, is in charge of offshore
terminal licensing and security. Currently, five new terminals have
been approved by federal regulators, but all with different criteria,
raising questions of how secure they are from terrorist attacks and
what danger they pose to nearby residents. To read more about the
hearing, log on to http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/naturalgas.html.
House Science Committee
Votes to Reauthorize DOE Metals Program
The House Science Committee unanimously approved H.R. 3890, a bill
to reauthorize $20 million a year for the Metals Program at the Department
of Energy through 2009. The Metals Program provides funding and guidance
for the development of energy efficiency technologies in the metals
industry. It aims to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
such as greenhouse gas emissions of metals companies, while improving
international competitiveness. The version of the bill that was introduced
in subcommittee authorized only $10 million a year to the program,
but its sponsor Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA) succeeded in passing an amendment
to double the funds before the full committee. The bill requires industry
partners in the program to match 30 percent of the funding they receive
and provide progress reports to Congress each year. The $20 million
authorization may provide clout for increased FY 2006 funding, although
an amendment has been added to the bill to flatline funding for FY
2005. The Bush administration requested $6.5 million for metals industry
efficiency programs in next year's budget. The House Science Committee
Republicans blocked an amendment to the bill funding energy efficiency
projects in other sectors. They pointed out that such amendments could
slow down the bill and that similar measures are included in other
legislation. To read a summary of the May 2004 hearing on the Metals
Program, go to http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy_hearings.html#may20.
DOE Agrees to Clean
Up 99% of Waste Sites
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met June 17th to
discuss the Department of Energy's (DOE) nuclear waste accelerated
cleanup program. One hundred fourteen sites are being cleaned up through
the program, which costs $7.4 billion or one third of the DOE budget.
There are some critics of the program, such as Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR),
who said that accelerated cleanup is "just walking away faster."
The committee heard testimony from Jessie Roberson, the Assistant
Secretary of Environmental Management at DOE, who has been in charge
of the program since 2001. Two federal investigators also testified
regarding DOE compliance with worker safety at the Hanford site in
Washington. A hearing summary is available on AGI's website at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy_hearings.html#jun17.
Pipeline Safety Slowly
On June 15th, Senator McCain (R-AZ) presided over the full committee
hearing on pipeline safety. Testimony was given by eight witnesses
on the implementation of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002
(H.R. 3609). This act was originally proposed by Senator Lautenberg
in 1994 in response to a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in
New Jersey. The aging pipeline infrastructure in the U.S. has lead
to concern over the safety and environmental hazards they present.
Pipes are a critical component of our economy; roughly 63% of U.S.
energy is transported through these pipelines which are a safer, more
efficient mode of transportation compared to barge or truck transportation.
Additionally, the threat of terrorist attacks has heightened the need
for Federal assistance in maintaining the safety of the pipes.
In the past two years, the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) has attempted
to implement the rules and regulations defined by this act concerning
oil and natural gas pipelines. The general consensus of the witnesses
was that OPS has done a good job overseeing the repair and improvement
of the pipelines and the act overall is working well. They also point
out that it is still too early to truly know its effectiveness and
there is still much improvement needed, especially in regard to the
permitting process. A full recount of the hearing is available at
Senate Searches for
the Cause of High Gasoline Prices
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met June 15th to
discuss the causes of recent high fuel prices. Guy Caruso of the Energy
Information Administration at the Department of Energy told the committee
that oil prices have dropped in the last three weeks, and should continue
to drop to $35 per barrel from the current $37.50 cost by the end
of the year absent any major disruptions. Republican committee members
urged passage of the Senate energy bill throughout the hearing, while
Democrats continued to argue in favor of other solutions to current
energy problems. One solution offered by Democrats is the opening
of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Democrats Charles Schumer (NY),
Ron Wyden (OR), and Byron Dorgon (ND) pressed the issue of the reserve
during the hearing, arguing that it can be used as a tool to pressure
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to lower crude oil prices.
Topics discussed at the hearing included corporate market manipulation,
risk factors in determining oil prices, tight refinery capacity, "boutique
fuels" and drilling in ANWR. A thorough hearing summary is available
NOAA Organic Act
A report issued in April by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy recommended
legislation be passed that would clearly outline the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) responsibilities and emphasize
an ecosystem-based management approach. In response, the Bush administration
submitted a proposal in June to restructure the agency. Since 1970,
the agency has been operating without a congressional mandate. Vernon
Ehlers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Environment, Technology, and
Standards Subcommittee, has also prepared an organic act for NOAA,
which is expected to be introduced before the August recess.
More information about both of the proposals can be found at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/ocean.html.
NASA Merges Earth
Science and Space Science
NASA announced June 24th that it will restructure the agency to streamline
its operations and more effectively implement its Vision for Space
Exploration. Effective August 1st, these changes will result in the
consolidation of eight previously separate enterprises and a reduction
in the number of support offices from 14 to six. The enterprises will
be reorganized into four main categories labeled Aeronautics Research,
Science, Explorations Systems, and Space Operations. The Earth Science
and Space Science programs, which were formally separate under NASA's
organizational structure, will now be combined under the Science category.
The reasoning behind this was to achieve a more holistic understanding
of the earth and solar system where information from studying the
earth can be applied to research on the solar system and vice versa.
A press release as well as charts illustrating the organizational
changes can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2004/jun/HQ_04205_Transformation.html.
CNSF Exhibition a
On June 22nd another successful Coalition for National Science Funding
(CNSF) exhibition was held in the Rayburn House Office Building. Six
members of Congress attended the evening event, including Roscoe Bartlett
(R-MD), Howard Coble (R-NC), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Bob Etheridge (D-NC),
David Hobson (R-OH), and Ralph Regula (R-OH). John Marburger, Science
Advisor to the President and Director of OSTP, was also present, along
with several others from OSTP and the NSF, including Dr. Arden Bement
the interim Director of NSF.
Geological Society of America (GSA), American Geophysical Union (AGU)
and the American Geological Institute (AGI) jointly hosted a booth
showcasing EarthScope, a program designed to explore the structure
and evolution of the North American Continent. As one of over 25 organizations
presenting research, the Earthscope exhibit featured pictures, instrumentation
from an actual GPS station as well as video and informational brochures.
More information on Earthscope can be found at their website http://www.earthscope.org/.
NSF Funding Supported
by 157 House Representatives
A letter encouraging maximum funding for the National Science Foundation
(NSF) in FY05 was signed by 157 members of the House on June 9th.
The letter outlined the value of NSF research programs to the country's
economy and security and emphasized the accomplishments of the organization
while working with only a small portion of the total federal research
and development budget. The FY05 President's budget request for NSF
was $5.7 billion, a 3% increase from last year but still short of
the guidelines set in the NSF Authorization Act of 2002. The letter
was written by Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ) and was addressed
to James Walsh (R-NY) and Alan Mollohon (D-WV), who are the Chairman
and Ranking Member, respectively, of the House Appropriations Subcommittee
responsible for NSF appropriations. The letter and signatures can
be found at http://www.ncseonline.org/Updates/page.cfm?fID=3733.
NSF Major Research
Equipment Projects Ranked
The National Science Board (NSB), responding to Congressional requests,
released a list ranking proposed NSF Major Research Equipment projects
in order of funding priority. The National Ecological Observatory
Network is second on the list, after the Scientific Ocean Drilling
Vessel. The NSB white paper defining the priority-setting process
for competing research facility projects is online at http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/documents/2004/priorstnglrgefcltyproj.doc.
to Issue Report on Science and Technology Appointees
The National Academies Committee on Ensuring the Best Science and
Technology Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Appointments
is interested in receiving comments from the science community on
the issue of the appointment of scientists, engineers, and health
professionals to presidentially appointed positions within the federal
government and to federal advisory committees whose charge is science-based
policy or to review research proposals. The Committee is charged with
addressing the barriers to appointing the most qualified candidates
for science and technology presidential appointments and will examine
the appointment process and the principles that should be observed
in selecting scientists, engineers, and health professionals to serve
on federal advisory committees.
The topics upon which the Committee seeks comment are available online
along with instructions on how to comment and due dates.
G8 Leaders Focus
their Energy on an Earth Observation System
Representatives from the industrialized nations that comprise the
Group of 8 (G8) - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the
United Kingdom, and the U.S. -- met June 9th and 10th to discuss environmental
issues and evaluate their progress since last year's meeting in Evian,
France. Some of the subjects discussed included cleaner and more efficient
energy use, agricultural sustainability and productivity, and improved
communication of new ideas pertaining to these issues.
The focus of this meeting was the creation of an Earth Observation
System (EOS) that was proposed last year at the Evian meeting. This
project would link together thousands of satellites, ocean buoys,
weather stations, and other instruments around the world, allowing
data to be shared and communicated with all nations to track monsoons,
droughts, and changes to the climate and atmosphere. This data could
be used to find new ways to help improve agriculture, energy use,
and other environmental issues.
Last April, 47 industrialized nations met in Tokyo to begin making
the framework for a 10-year implementation plan. The goal of next
year's G8 meeting will be to finalize this plan. The momentum for
this project continues to build. Since the Evian meeting, two additional
summits have continued the discussion of how to create an EOS, including
the 2003 Earth Observation Summit in Washington.
Climate Change Not
the Biggest Global Problem
The issue of climate change has been demoted in global importance
by some of the world's top economists at international meeting called
the "Copenhagen Consensus." The meeting was moderated by
the controversial writer Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote the 1999 book "The
Skeptical Environmentalist" challenging conventional environmental
wisdom. Panelists at the meeting hailed HIV/AIDS, malaria, and malnutrition
to be more pressing issues than global climate change, and ranked
climate projects such as the Kyoto Protocol as cost ineffective. The
group did express support of funding for development of low carbon
technologies. The meeting was sponsored the by The Economist and the
Danish Environmental Assessment Institute.
Evolution in the
Classroom Update - California
For much of the past year, the Roseville Joint Union School District
board of trustees has been occupied by a proposal to mandate that
alternatives to evolution be included in science courses. On June
1, 2004, the school district near Sacramento voted down a resolution
that would have established "The Quality Science Education Policy."
Ultimately, the proposal was only supported by the school board president,
Dean Forman, and board member Kelly Lafferty. Three board members
opposed the resolution. According to the Roseville Press-Tribune,
in public debate in opposition to the proposal, board member Jan Pinney
stated: "We need [teachers] with us, not against us. They have
spoken with one voice."
To learn more about evolution battles across the country, see http://www.agiweb.org/gap/evolution/index.html.
Program Seeks Director
On June 9th, the Selection Committee seeking to fill the AGI Director
of Government Affairs position revised its criteria. The new position
description and directions on how to apply can be found on the Government
Affairs website at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/index.html#job.
Intern Comings and
Ashlee Dere, the newest AGI/AIPG 2004 Summer Intern, arrived on June
9th. She is a senior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo on the central coast
of California where she is majoring in earth science with a sustainable
environments minor. Originally from San Diego, CA, she has worked
as an intern with the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department
and has participated in soil judging and other student activities
sponsored by the Soil Science Society of America. Ashlee's internship
will extend through the first of September.
List of Key Federal
Below is a summary of Federal Register announcements regarding federal
regulations, agency meetings, and other notices of interest to the
geoscience community. Entries are listed in chronological order and
show the federal agency involved, the title, and the citation. The
Federal Register is available online at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/frcont04.html.
Information on submitting comments and reading announcements are also
available online at http://www.regulation.gov.
EPA, Direct final rule regarding national primary drinking water
regulations analytical method for uranium compliance determinations.
This rule is effective on August 31, 2004, without further notice,
unless EPA receives adverse comment by July 2, 2004. comments, identified
by Docket ID No. OW-2003-0067, to Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov
or by mail to OW Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode:
4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Volume 69,
Number 106 (2 June 2004): pp. 31008-31013.
DOT Office of Pipeline Safety, Notice of meeting of the Technical
Pipeline Safety Standards Committee and the Technical Hazardous Liquid
Pipeline Safety Standards Committee. Conference call June 30, 2004,
from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., EST. Members of the public may attend the meeting
at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW.,
Washington, DC Room 6332-6336. To offer a short oral statement notify
Jean Milam, (202) 493-0967, not later than June 25, 2004. Volume 69,
Number 119 (22 June, 2004): pp. 34720-34721.
USGS, Federal Geographic Data Committee public review of framework
data standards developed through the Geospatial One-Stop initiative.
Comments to Ms. Julie Binder Maitra, FGDC Standards Coordinator c/o
U.S. Geological Survey, 590 National Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley
Drive, Reston, Virginia 20192 or by phone 703-648-4627 or by facsimile
703-648-5755 or Internet at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volume 69, Number 120
(23 June, 2004): pp. 35057-35058.
The following updates and reports were added to the Government Affairs
portion of AGI's web site http://www.agiweb.org/gap
since the last monthly update:
- National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Act (6-29-04)
- High-Level Nuclear Waste Legislation (6-29-04)
- Mercury Policy (6-29-04)
- National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program hearings (6-25-04)
- Natural Gas Policy (6-25-04)
- Clean Air Issues (6-25-04)
- Climate Change Policy Overview (6-24-04)
- Energy Policy Overview (6-18-04)
- Ocean Policy (6-18-04)
- Energy Hearings (6-18-04)
Monthly review prepared by Emily Lehr Wallace, AGI Government Affairs
Program and Ashlee Dere, AGI/AIPG 2004 Summer Intern.
Sources: American Institute of Biological Sciences, American
Institute of Physicists, Environment and Energy Daily, Greenwire,
House of Representatives hearing testimony, House of Representatives
Science Committee press releases, NASULGC Washington Update, National
Academy of Sciences, National Council for Science and the Environment,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, THOMAS legislative
database, United States Senate hearing testimony, Washington Post.
Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI
Government Affairs Program.
Posted July 12, 2004