Printable Version

Monthly Review: September 2003


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.

Energy Conference Faces Contention, Delay
FY2004 Appropriations -- Not Yet Showing the Money
USGS Coalition Sends Funding Letter to Conferees
National Petroleum Council Releases Natural Gas Policy Report
Congressional Natural Gas Task Force Issues Report
Evolution at Issue in Texas, Minnesota, Wyoming
Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing on New EPA Administrator
Hearing on EPA Elevation to Cabinet Level Raises Restructuring Debate
House Passes Bill to Minimize Earthquake Hazards
Marine Mammals to Get Added Protections
Geoscientists to Storm Capitol Hill March 3-4, 2004
AGI Foundation Announces Congressional Fellowship Endowment
Celebrate Earth Science Week 2003 from October 12th-18th!
AGI Government Affairs Program Wins USGS Powell Award
AGI/AAPG Spring Semester Intern Applications Welcome
List of Key Federal Register Notices
New Material on Web Site

 

Energy Conference Faces Contention, Delay

Senate Democrats scored an apparent victory in August when the Senate Republican leaders, eager to recess, replaced their version of comprehensive energy legislation with a version passed last year when Democrats held the majority. But that victory was short-lived. Since the first and only meeting of the House-Senate conference committee that is hammering out a final bill, Democrats have largely been excluded from the process. As drafts have been vetted by staff on both sides of the aisle, Republicans have taken control of the conference and negotiated each provision that will ultimately be presented to the full House and Senate. Since senators will spend October 6 - 10 in their districts followed by House members spending Columbus Day week with their constituents back home, the conference committee is not expected to resume work on the energy bill until October 20th at the earliest. Here is how things are beginning to shape up.

  • The difficult ethanol debate centers on how the energy bill will address methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The issues are a federal MTBE ban and liability protection for MTBE producers, both of which are important to petroleum-state representatives led by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). These issues have tied the conference in knots, even splitting the GOP caucus along regional lines. Adding to the turmoil is the rumor that some Republicans want an October 1, 2003, start date for the MTBE liability waiver, rather than simply using the energy bill's date of enactment, according to a source familiar with negotiations. The language would mean that September 30th was the last day any lawsuit could have been filed against an MTBE producer using a defective product claim.
  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) must work out differences between the House energy bill's $18.1 billion in tax breaks and the Senate energy bill's $14.5 billion in tax breaks. The latest reports suggest that these negotiations have not yet begun.
    The electricity provisions of the bill are being honed to do two things: delay the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's contentious proposal on standard wholesale power market design and mandatory regional transmission organizations, while preserving the commission's ability to continue crafting voluntary market structures and policies that would help promote reliability, particularly in the wake of the August 14th blackout.
  • Language authorizing an Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas inventory and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling will most likely survive into the final conference report. At the same time, renewable portfolio standards and climate change provisions favored by some Democrats and environmentalists will not be included, according to E & E Daily and Greenwire. All of these topics are virtually guaranteed to provoke filibusters in the Senate.
  • In a victory for oil companies, draft energy conference report language prohibits the U.S. EPA from regulating a controversial oil and gas extraction method under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The language, which House and Senate conferees have already released as part of the oil and gas title to the energy bill, refines "underground injection" under the Safe Drinking Water Act to exclude hydraulic fracturing from the definition of the term. EPA would not be permitted to bar the drilling technique for "operations related to oil and gas production activities," the draft states. The provision, which was in the House bill, also excludes natural gas storage from the definition of underground injection. According to E & E Daily, this underground injection language overturns a 2001 decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals requiring EPA to regulate hydraulic fracturing -- the process of injecting high-pressure water and other fluids into oil reservoirs to enhance permeability and flow in order to extract more oil and natural gas -- as a drinking water contaminant.

For a thorough history of the energy legislation, see http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/energy.html .

FY2004 Appropriations -- Not Yet Showing the Money

Continuing Resolution -- So that lawmakers can continue to debate the funding levels for various agencies past the date when the 2004 fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1st, last week Congress was forced to pass its first continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government operating at fiscal year (FY) 2003 levels, plus some supplemental spending, through Halloween. The CR allows federal agencies with budgets not yet approved by Congress to begin the new fiscal year at current levels. Earlier this year, Congress approved eight CRs before finally agreeing in February to a $396 billion omnibus package for FY 2003.

VA/HUD Appropriations -- The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2004 VA, HUD & Independent Agencies spending bill during a mark-up session on September 4th. The committee funded the National Science Foundation (NSF) at $5.585 billion, up $276 million from last year and $104 million above the budget request. The accompanying report (S. Rpt. 108-143) notes that "the Committee continues to be supportive of … the pursuit of a doubling path for NSF funding. However, due to funding constraints, the Committee is not able to provide such funding at this time, but will continue to pursue these efforts in the future."

Within NSF, the Research and Related Activities account is slated to receive a total of $4.22 billion, a 4% increase. Within this account, the Geosciences Directorate is provided with $692 million, $5 million more than requested but the same level as FY 2003. The Office of Polar Programs is funded at $342 million, nearly $12 million over the request. The Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account totals $150 million, a slight increase over the FY 2003 funding level but almost $53 million less than the budget request. Earthscope is provided with $43.7 million, approximately $1.3 million less than requested. (It is our understanding that NSF revised the request, and the committee granted that amount.) The committee also provided $8 million to continue construction of the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) and $1.3 million for the South Pole Station modernization effort. As the Committee did not fund any "new starts" for FY04, there is no funding for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) or International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), both of which were funded in the House bill. NSF's Education and Human Resources activities are funded at $976 million, an increase of $73 million above last year's level and $38 million above the budget request figure. Within that total, the Math and Science Partnerships (MSP) program would receive $145 million for MSP, $55 million short of the budget request of $200 million, but $18 million above existing funding.

In other of the bill's provisions, the Committee correctly noted that NASA is at a "crossroad in history." They provide NASA a total appropriation of $15.3 billion in FY2004, which is level with last year's funding and $130 million below the president's request. As the House Science Committee wraps up its investigation into the tragic loss of the Shuttle Columbia, the House and Senate conferees will most certainly make changes to NASA's funding level in conference to reflect new or different priorities. In funding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Committee allocates $8.18 billion, which is $552 million above the budget request and $105 million above last year's allocation. This bill, along with five others, is waiting to be passed by the full Senate sometime in October. For a more detailed account of the Senate's allocations for the VA/HUD bill, see http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2004_vahud.html#senate .

Interior Appropriations -- The Senate finally passed its version of the FY 2004 Interior & Related Agencies spending bill on September 23rd, two months after the bill passed the Appropriations Committee. Part of the hold-up has been a contentious provision proposed by Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid (D-NV) to add language to the Senate bill that would prohibit the use of funds for new competitive sourcing studies in the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. Although Reid's amendment failed, that will not be the last of this debate. The House included language similar to that proposed by Reid when it passed the Interior bill this summer. The House and Senate will have to reach an agreement on this language when they meet to hammer out the differences between their bills. They will also have to consider the administration's position on this language -- the President has threatened to veto any bill barring competitive sourcing studies. The conference must also reach compromises on funding for the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Energy's Fossil Energy Research and Development program, the Bureau of Land Management, the Minerals and Management Service, the National Park Service and the Smithsonian, among other geoscience-related programs. More at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/appropsfy2004_interior.html .

USGS Coalition Sends Funding Letter to Conferees

On September 30th, the USGS Coalition sent a joint letter signed by 33 coalition organizations to members of the conference committee for the Fiscal Year 2004 Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The letter thanks conferees for restoring proposed cuts in the president's budget request, and encourages them to provide additional support to "help USGS meet the tremendous need for science in support of public policy decision-making." The conferees are representatives and senators who sit on the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior and Related Agencies as well as the chairman and ranking member of the full appropriations committees. The conference could start as early as October 8th with hopes of crafting a final bill by the end of October. Copies of the letter are available at http://www.usgscoalition.org .

National Petroleum Council Releases Natural Gas Policy Report

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham was on hand at the 112th meeting of the National Petroleum Council in Washington, DC on September 25th. There, the Council presented, approved and released their report, "Balancing Natural Gas Policy -- Fueling the Demands of a Growing Economy." Penned by industry leaders and members of the Bush administration, the report asserts that a "fundamental shift" in the nation's gas supply-and-demand balance has led to price volatility and the doubling of natural gas prices in the past two years. The report recommends increased imports of liquefied natural gas, construction of an Alaskan natural gas pipeline and allowing drilling in currently protected coastal areas and federal lands, particularly in the Rocky Mountains. Further, it recommends lifting moratoria and allowing gas production off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida panhandle. Conservation and greater energy efficiency were touted as possible near-term fixes to prevent prices from skyrocketing. A complete draft of the Summary of Findings and Recommendations is available at http://www.npc.org. Print copies will be available in mid-October.

 

Congressional Natural Gas Task Force Issues Report

In response to the current natural gas issues, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) created the Task Force for Affordable Natural Gas, which is composed of 18 Republicans from the Energy and Commerce Committee and Resources Committee. The intended purpose of the task force is to report to the Speaker on the causes of the gas supply shortage and possible short-term solutions. On September 30th, the task force issued its final report, which found several shortcomings in U.S. policies that have led to tight supplies of gas. These include: lack of regulatory certainty and incentives to produce and transport gas on federal lands; lack of ability to identify potential natural gas resources using 21st-century technology; and difficulty in obtaining access to federal lands. The task force also recommended several solutions, including: conducting a natural gas resource inventory on federal lands; creating a federal office to coordinate permitting and environmental review of natural gas projects; facilitating cooperation among federal and state agencies and stakeholders on leasing and permitting for natural gas production and transportation projects; streamlining the permitting of natural gas projects on federal lands; and ensuring timely decisions on lease applications for gas production on federal lands, thus permitting requests for natural gas pipelines and production on federal lands.

In response to the report, House Speaker Hastert issued a statement calling on the task force members and chairmen to "continue working together to find environmentally responsible ways to increase domestic supplies of natural gas and promote fuel diversity." In response, one of the task force chairs, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA), told E & E Daily that this report was merely "stage one" in a process of monitoring how natural gas supply, production and demand relate to the use of other fuels that will continue through the next year. In other words, the Task Force lives on. Information about the Task Force, its members, and the report is available at http://energycommerce.house.gov/naturalgastaskforce/ .

Evolution at Issue in Texas, Minnesota, Wyoming

State and local challenges to the teaching of evolution have been coming fast and thick this summer and fall. The AGI Government Affairs Program web site now features a map that highlights the affected states (which we're adding to at the rate of one or two per month) and has information on how geoscientists can get involved at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/evolution/index.html . This month's developments include:

  • The Texas State Board of Education held its final hearing on biology textbook adoption on September 10th. The hearing lasted nearly 12 hours, and 140 Texans testified. Drafts are due from publishers on October 3rd, with a vote scheduled for November 7th. Individual districts may choose their own textbooks, but will only be reimbursed for those that are state-approved. Most of the biology textbook authors have signed a statement supporting evolution.
  • The Minnesota State Department of Education released draft science education standards authored by a "citizens committee." The standards do not mention alternative theories, despite Education Commissioner Cheri Yecke's urging to the contrary. Following the public hearings currently being conducted in 14 towns and cities across the state, a final draft is due to state legislators on February 1, 2004.
  • In late September, according to reports from the Associated Press, the Park County School District #6 in Cody, Wyoming adopted a new Religion Policy. Among other provisions, the policy, as reported by the AP, "...also spells out religious curriculum. Religions can be taught in school, but one religion cannot be endorsed. Creationism can be taught in science classes but only among a variety of theories."
  • Also in Wyoming, the Washakie County School District #1 in Worland granted initial approval to a measure that would permit science teachers to teach alternatives to the theory of evolution. The policy reads: "It shall by the policy...when teaching Darwin's theory of evolution that it is only a theory and not a fact. Teachers shall be allowed in a neutral and objective manner to introduce all scientific theories of origin and the students may be allowed to discuss all aspects of controversy surrounding the lack of scientific evidence in support of the theory of evolution." The board must approve the evolution-education measure two more times before it is officially approved, so there is still a short period of time for concerned residents in the Worland school board's jurisdiction to become engaged in the process.

For commentary on the spate of anti-evolution flare-ups around the country, please see "Opposition to Evolution Takes Many Forms" in the September issue of Geotimes, online at http://www.geotimes.org/sept03/scene.html .

Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing on New EPA Administrator

On September 23rd, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a confirmation hearing for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator nominee Utah Governor Mike Leavitt (R). Remaining cordial on Leavitt's background, Senate Democrats denounced President Bush's environmental record even as Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) chastised them for using the hearing to attack the administration. Leavitt remained noncommittal on EPA policy, instead focusing on his skills as a "problem solver." Environmental groups are leery about Leavitt's decentralized environmental approach, as evidenced by the National Environmental Trust's web site sporting the slogan "The Environment: Love It or Leavitt!" This discord underscored the frustrations faced by any EPA administrator. Leavitt has already encountered an obstacle in Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton (NY), Joseph Lieberman (CT), John Kerry (MA) and John Edwards (NC), who have vowed to procedurally block Leavitt's confirmation until the White House answers a number of environmental questions. Republicans could override the blocks by passing a motion of cloture, but this would require 30-60 hours of floor debate, giving Senate Democrats the opportunity to further scrutinize the White House's environmental record and cluttering an already busy fall schedule. More at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/epa_admin.html .

Hearing on EPA Elevation to Cabinet Level Raises Restructuring Debate

On September 9th, the Bush Administration indicated for the first time that it would support the restructuring of EPA during a House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs hearing on the elevation of EPA to departmental status. This fifth hearing to date on the matter focused on two bills. H.R. 37 would simply transform EPA into the Department of Environmental Protection while H.R. 2138 would revamp it, creating three Offices (Policy, Planning and Innovation; Science and Information; and Implementation, Compliance and Enforcement), and establish a Bureau of Environmental Statistics (BES) to collect and analyze environmental data. Acting EPA Administrator Marianne Horinko and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman James Connaughton, speaking on behalf of the Administration, acknowledged that the new structure would be more manageable and well coordinated. They also said that a BES would allow EPA initiatives to be based upon more sound science -- a weakness for which EPA has been criticized in the past. Subcommittee Ranking Member John Tierney (D-MA), on the other hand, voiced concerns that EPA's "new" mission as written in H.R. 2138 would limit EPA's jurisdiction and that EPA elevation could become mired in a restructuring debate. Additional misgivings arose about decreased public access to information and a new set of coordination problems that might result from H.R. 2138. More at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/epa_science.html .

House Passes Bill to Minimize Earthquake Hazards

While not quite in September, the House passed an important piece of geoscience legislation on October 1st: H.R. 2608, a bill to reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. After a non-contentious debate, the House approved the measure by voice vote. The bill now goes over to the Senate for their consideration. When the Senate staff was briefed on the bill during the August recess, they indicated that a hearing would be held in late winter or early spring of next year. The Senate appears likely to develop its own version of the bill rather than adopting the House version. More at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/nehrp.html.

Marine Mammals to Get Added Protections

An amended Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), H.R. 2936, passed through the House Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans on September 25th. One particularly relevant revision to the act, which outlaws marine mammal capture or import, is a change in the definition of the word harassment. Formerly denoting activities that "injure" marine mammals, harassment would now include any activity that "disturbs or is likely to disturb" them. Research projects on oceanographic vessels have been nixed in the past for potentially disturbing marine mammals with their high-powered sound waves used in seismic surveys. Geotimes reported on one such incident earlier this year (http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/jan03/NN_whales.html and http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/mar03/WebExtra030403.html). Addressing this issue after the subcommittee meeting, Subcommittee Chairman and bill sponsor Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) explained: "We have worked hard to find balance, to maintain protections while providing relief in certain areas to let much-needed research continue." Subcommittee action on MMPA follows an unrelated federal court decision earlier this month to protect marine mammals by limiting U.S. Navy sonar use to "self defense, times of defense and in times of war, combat or heightened threat conditions."

Geoscientists to Storm Capitol Hill March 3-4, 2004

AGI encourages geoscientists to plan now to attend the 9th annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (CVD) in Washington on March 3-4, 2004. This event brings over 200 scientists and engineers to Capitol Hill to visit Members of Congress and their staff early in the congressional budget cycle in an effort to increase federal investment in science. AGI would like to see a strong contingent of geoscientists at this event. We especially encourage Member Society leaders to consider it. Attendees spend the first day receiving briefings from federal agency officials and congressional staff followed by a day of visits. As part of the first day, AGI and the American Geophysical Union organize a special briefing specifically on geoscience issues. In coming months, additional information will be available at http://www.setcvd.org .

AGI Foundation Announces Congressional Fellowship Endowment

For the past six years, the AGI Foundation has provided support for the AGI congressional science fellowship, making it possible for AGI to bring geoscience expertise to Capitol Hill in the most direct way possible: as congressional staff. Now the foundation is announcing the establishment of an endowment to ensure lasting support for the fellowship. The endowment honors William L. Fisher, the Leonidas T. Barrow Chair in the Department of Geosciences and Director of the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas, Austin. It is a recognition of Bill Fisher's outstanding service to the nation, his home state of Texas and the geological profession. For three decades, as Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, Bill Fisher was the State Geologist of Texas. At the national level, Bill served as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Energy and Minerals under President Ford. Over several administrations, he has been an advisor to the President, Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Interior, and he has chaired countless National Research Council committees and boards. Bill's record of government service is matched by his service to the geosciences, including the presidency of AGI and three of its member societies as well as key roles in many others. During his AGI presidential year, Bill had the vision to establish the Government Affairs Program, now in its eleventh year of serving as a voice for shared interests of the geoscience community in Washington.

At this time, just under $1.5 million has been raised thanks to a series of major donations, led by the late John A. Jackson who gave $500,000 to honor his friend. The AGI Foundation is seeking to raise over $2 million so that the endowment can fund one and possibly two fellows every year. The Fisher endowment is the first of its kind among all the many scientific and engineering societies that have supported fellows over the year.

For more on the fellowship, please see http://www.agiweb.org/gap/csf/ . An article on the endowment appears in the October 2003 issue of Geotimes, available online at http://www.geotimes.org/oct03/scene.html.

Celebrate Earth Science Week 2003 from October 12th-18th!

Called "Eyes on Planet Earth: Monitoring our Changing World," this event gives students and citizens new opportunities to discover Earth sciences and encourages stewardship of the Earth. It highlights the important contributions that Earth and environmental sciences make to society and engages the public in current scientific exploration. AGI invites you to attend an event, visit a classroom or go on a field trip! For more information on how you can participate, please visit http://www.earthsciweek.org . Address any questions to info@earthsciweek.org.

AGI Government Affairs Program Wins USGS Powell Award

At an awards ceremony on September 25th, AGI's Government Affairs Program was one of three recipients of the U.S. Geological Survey's 2003 John Wesley Powell Award, named for the Survey's second director. The Powell award recognizes individuals or organizations that have "made significant contributions to the advancement of the programs of the USGS."

AGI/AAPG Spring Semester Intern Applications Welcome

AGI is seeking outstanding geoscience students and recent graduates with a strong interest in federal science policy for a twelve-week geoscience and public policy internship in spring 2004. Interns will gain a first-hand understanding of the legislative process and the operation of executive branch agencies. They will also hone both their writing and Web-publishing skills. AGI gratefully acknowledges support from AAPG for the semester internships. Applications must be postmarked by October 15, 2003. For more information, please visit http://www.agiweb.org/gap/interns/index.html.

List of Key Federal Register Notices

What follows 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/frcont03.html. Information on submitting comments and reading announcements are also available online at http://www.regulation.gov.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) Meeting Notice. October 15, 2003: 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Open Session. Grove Park Inn Resort, 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina. Volume 68, Number 176 (11 September, 2003): p. 53607

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Advisory Committee for Regulatory Negotiation Concerning All Appropriate Inquiry Meeting Notice. October 14-15, 2003: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Open Session. EPA East Building, 1201 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460. Volume 68, Number 177 (12 September, 2003): p. 53687

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Science Advisory Board Staff Office; Ecological Processes and Effects Committee; Public Advisory Committee Meeting notice for Consultation on EPA's Strategy on Suspended and Bedded Sediments; Discussion of EPEC Activities in Fiscal Year 2004. October 2, 2003: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Open Session. Location to be announced at http://www.epa/sab. Volume 68, Number 177 (12 September, 2003): p. 53735-53736

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Notice and request for comments for Proposed Bulletin on Peer Review and Information Quality. Volume 68, Number 178 (15 September, 2003): p. 54023-54029

Department of Energy (DOE) Request for Comments on proposed new survey Form EIA-913, ``Monthly and Annual Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Storage
Reports.'' Volume 68, Number 179 (16 September, 2003): p. 54215-54218

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) National Science and Technology Council; Committee on Science; Subcommittee on Research Business Models meeting notice October 27, 2003, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Building 50 Auditorium; Berkeley, CA 94720, November 12, 2003, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota; 300 Washington Ave. S.E.; Minneapolis, MN 55455, Monday, November 17, 2003, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The University of North Carolina, Carolina Inn, 211 Pittsboro Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, December 9, 2003, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday, December 10, 2003, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Jefferson Auditorium, South Building; U.S. Department of Agriculture; 1400 Independence Ave., SW; Washington, DC 20250, Open Session. Volume 68, Number 179 (16 September, 2003): p. 54225-54226.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering Notice of Meeting October 7, 2003, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. October 8, 2003, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Open Session. The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA, Room 1235S. Volume 68, Number 183 (22 September, 2003): p. 55067

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Meeting Notice. Weeks of September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27, 2003 Open and Closed Sessions. Commissioners' Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. Volume 68, Number 186 (25 September, 2003): p. 55415-55416

Department of Energy (DOE) Notice of Availability of a Financial Assistance, "Support of Advanced Coal Research at U.S. Colleges and Universities." Volume 68, Number 187 (26 September, 2003): p. 55599-55604

Department of the Interior (DOI) Reopening of comment period on Federal Oil Valuation Proposed Rule. Volume 68, Number 187 (26 September, 2003): p. 55556-55557

Department of Energy (DOE) Request for comment on Proposed Form EIA-1605, ``Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases," (long form) and Form EIA-1605EZ, ``Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases," (short form). Volume 68, Number 190 (1 October, 2003): p. 56626-5662.

New Material on Web Site

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:

  • State Challenges to the Teaching of Evolution (10-1-03)
  • President Nominates Utah Governor Leavitt for EPA Administrator (9-29-03)
  • FY2004 VA/HUD (NSF, NASA, EPA) Appropriations (9-12-03)
  • Science at the Environmental Protection Agency (9-12-03)
  • Energy Policy Overview (9-11-03)
  • OMB Data Quality Standards (9-9-03)
  • Superfund and Brownfield Legislation (9-3-03)
  • Clean Air Issues: New Source Review (8-18-03)
  • Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan (9-2-03)
  • Climate Change Policy (9-2-03)

Monthly review prepared by Emily M. Lehr, Fall 2003 Geoscience Policy Intern Ashley M. Smith, and David Applegate.

Sources: Environment & Energy Daily, Greenwire, Hearing Testimony, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Washington Post, Minnesota State Department of Education website, Dallas Morning News website, THOMAS legislative database, House of Representatives website, Casper Star Tribune, the Associated Press.

Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Government Affairs Program.

Posted October 2, 2003 Technical Correction: October 6, 2003