Monthly Review: December 2006
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.
1. Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Stalled Indefinitely by
2. Water Resources Development Act Dies
3. Low Pressure Pipeline Legislation Becomes Law
4. Much-Debated, but Limited Offshore Drilling Legislation
5. Drought and Tsunami Legislation Signed By President
6. US-India Nuclear Trade Agreement Approved as Arab
Nations Consider Nuclear Energy
7. The 110th Congress: Let's Get It Started
8. Calendar for the First Session of the 110th Congress
9. DOE Releases Short-Term Energy Outlook Report
10. DOE Inspector General Report Recommends Relocating
Strategic Petroleum Reserve's Alternate Site
11. NASA's Exploration Plans
12. USGS Publishes Land Use Report
13. Wiley and Blackwell Merger Could Result in Changes
for Academic Community
14. Science Editor in Chief Responds to Fraudulent
15. Cobb County School Board Abandons Evolution Disclaimer
16. Flock of Dodos Documentary: Do Likeable Scientists
17. Join Us for Congressional Visits Day on May 1-2
18. William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship:
Deadline February 1st
Key Federal Register Notices
New Updates to the Web
1. Fiscal Year 2007
Budget Stalled Indefinitely by Continuing Resolution
The 109th Congress returned from the mid-term election recess and
was unable to complete any of the unfinished appropriation bills.
Only the appropriations for the Department of Defense and the Department
of Homeland Security were finished in September and only these large
departments started fiscal year 2007 on October 1, 2006 with new budgets.
Before turning out the lights, Congress did pass another continuing
resolution (CR) through February 15, 2007. The CR means that all of
the other federal agencies will be funded at the lowest funding level
of three options, the fiscal year 2006 budget, the House approved
FY 2007 budget or the Senate committee approved FY 2007 budget.
The 110th Congress, which started their first session on January
4, 2007, has indicated that they plan to extend the CR for the full
year, rather than trying to work out a new budget for the 9 unfinished
bills. This means that the National Science Foundation (NSF), the
Department of Energy's Office of Science and the National Institute
of Standards and Technology have started FY 2007 without the potential
budget increases proposed by the President and the previous Congress.
The 109th Congress had supported the President's American Competitiveness
Initiative by increasing funding for the Department of Energy's Office
of Science by 15 percent, the National Science Foundation by almost
8 percent and the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories
by 21 percent in appropriations work.
These proposed increases will be lost if the CR is extended for a
full year. The 110th Congress has indicated that it might consider
"limited adjustments" to some appropriations when they bring
forward a new CR that will be extended until September 30, 2007. Adjustments
might include bringing all programs to at least their FY 2006 funding
levels to avoid some of the steep cuts proposed by the House or Senate
or providing specific funding increases for some specific programs.
If the CR is extended for a full year without any adjustments, here
is how federal agencies that support Earth science research and development
would be affected. The National Science Foundation would see a reduction
in funding of about $439 million and this reduction would translate
into a loss of about 800 new research grants for FY 2007. The National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would be funded at the
House-proposed level of $3.4 billion, which is $288 million below
the President's request, almost $1 billion below the Senate-proposed
level and more than $500 million below the FY 2006 budget. Such a
significant reduction for NOAA would impede progress for core programs,
such as the National Weather Service functions and stifle the development
of new programs, such as the National Water Quality Monitoring Network,
a national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and the implementation
of the recently updated Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and
Management Act. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
(NASA), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) would receive almost the same funding as they
received in FY 2006 with no significant increases or decreases to
research and development funding.
One quirk of the current CR is that congressionally-designated FY
2007 funding for specific projects (earmarks) are not specified, allowing
the funds designated for these earmarks to be used for other projects.
This gives federal agencies with earmarks some flexibility in transferring
funds to alleviate shortfalls in core programs.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has a useful
summary of the affect of the CR on the FY 2007 budget for research
and development (R&D) that is available online.
The AAAS analysis concludes that the federal investment in basic and
applied research funding will decrease for the third straight year,
that the federal investment for development is increasing, and that
the increases for research and development will go primarily to the
Department of Defense. The Department of Defense research and development
budget for FY 2007 is a record-breaking $76.8 billion, thanks to a
4.8 percent increase (about $3.5 billion). The Department of Homeland
Security research and development funding will be slashed by 22 percent,
giving them a FY 2007 budget of about $1.0 billion.
Please see the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, R&D Budget and Policy
Program for more details on the federal budget for R&D.
More information about the elections and the new Congress is available
from the AGI Government Affairs Special Updates on Midterm
Elections and New
2. Water Resources
Development Act Dies
On December 6, 2006, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
Chairman James Inhofe (R-) stated, "WRDA is dead." Senate
and House aides met during the first weekend of December to negotiate
discrepancies between the two versions of the bill, but made little
progress. Infrastructure proposals for water protection and other
environmental purposes in the House bill, H.R.2864,
were met with opposition from the Senate which stated that some projects
would need to be omitted in order to cut costs.
The Congressional Budget Office put a price tag of $10 billion on
the 700 plus projects the House bill would have authorized. The Senate
would have authorized over $13 billion for more than 200 projects.
Concern over the quantity of earmarks in the bill led members to opt
out of passing such a "porky bill" at a time when Congress
already faces criticism for not completing FY 2007 appropriations.
Traditionally, WRDA has been reauthorized annually, however, a re-authorization
bill has not been passed since 2000.
Lawmakers that sought funding for projects important to their states
were disappointed by the outcome of negotiations. Senator Mary Landrieu
(D-LA) made a final attempt to pass one provision from WRDA in a standalone
The bill would authorize funding the Morganza-to-the-Gulf hurricane
and storm protection project which would build a series of locks,
levees, and other systems that would protect 1700 square miles of
land and 120,000 people in southern Louisiana. The federal government
would fund 65 percent of this $841.1 million project which was authorized
in 2000, but was never started due to a late Army Corps feasibility
report. The outcome of S.4105 was similarly doomed and the bill died
in the closing hours of the session. "I intend to carry on our
fight when the 110th Congress convenes in January," declared
3. Low Pressure Pipeline
Legislation Becomes Law
Late on December 7th, the House and Senate sent a bipartisan bill
5782) to improve existing pipeline regulations to President Bush.
The legislation which has been moving through Congress for many months,
received some additional amendments in response to the partial shutdown
of BP's low pressure pipelines in Prudhoe Bay Alaska in August. The
bill extends the Department of Transportation oversight to all low-pressure
oil and gas pipelines. The legislation will cover 5,400 miles of low-stress
lines compared to a proposed rule by the Bush Administration to cover
"unusually sensitive" low-stress lines which would have
covered only 1,200 miles. It also contains provisions to hire 45 safety
inspectors over several years and strengthen state programs preventing
construction-related pipeline accidents. The President signed the
bill, the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety
Act of 2006 into law on December 29th.
but Limited Offshore Drilling Legislation Approved
Congress approved a tax bill, S.3711,
which opens 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling.
The newly opened area is estimated to contain 1.26 billion barrels
of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The bill does not,
however, expand oil and gas drilling to the east and west coasts as
had been proposed in the House version of the bill. The House approved
the measure on Friday, December 8th in a 367-48 vote and the Senate
approved the bill the next day in a rare weekend vote, by a comfortable
margin of 79-9.
About 37.5 percent of the royalties will go to Louisiana, Alabama,
Mississippi and Texas initially. In ten years, royalties from revenues
from previously existing leases in the Gulf will also be shared with
these states. This will provide $13 billion over the next 30 years
to the state of Louisiana, a triumph for Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
who calls this bill "essential for the recovery and long-term
economic vitality of South Louisiana." The bill also steers 12.5
percent of the royalties to the Land and Water Conservation Fund initially
from newly opened reserves and later from other Gulf areas.
The bill also extends numerous tax incentives for alternative energy
resources through 2008, including the wind energy tax credit, biomass
and geothermal facility credits, tax incentives for new cellulosic
ethanol plants and a 30 percent tax credit to consumers and businesses
that purchase solar equipment and fuel cell power. In addition, the
bill extends the 54-cents-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol until
2009. The tax provisions have been met with some concern because they
will reduce federal revenues collected by the Treasury by over $45
billion over the next 10 years.
An amendment by Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) and other Democrats
to bar companies from obtaining new oil leases until flawed leases
from 1998 and 1999, which mistakenly omitted "price thresholds"
were renegotiated, was defeated in a close 205-207 vote.
Lawmakers also included a no drill-buffer provision for Florida in
order for representatives from that state to agree to the bill. The
provision bans drilling within 125 miles south of the Florida Panhandle
and over 235 miles from Tampa until mid-2022.
The bill also reauthorizes the Abandoned Mine Land Act which requires
the cleanup of old mine sites and extends onshore restrictions along
the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana. Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY) predicts
that the Abandoned Mine Land Act will generate $1.6 billion for the
state of Wyoming. Ranchers and hunters in Montana are celebrating
the extended restrictions too.
5. Drought and Tsunami
Legislation Signed By President
Congress passed two bills related to natural hazards, the "National
Integrated Drought Information System Act", H.R.
5136 and the "Tsunami Warning and Education Act", H.R.1674.
Both bills provide new infrastructure and research funding to the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to improve
forecasting and reduce the impacts of droughts and tsunamis. The drought
bill authorizes a forecasting and monitoring network, which NOAA is
already developing, to help anticipate, mitigate and react to droughts
more effectively. The tsunami bill authorizes a new NOAA research
program and standardizes existing warning systems. The President signed
these bills into law on December 8th. The programs will be reviewed
by the National Academy of Sciences and the Government Accountability
Office. Although the bills authorize new funding to NOAA, the congressional
appropriation committees will ultimately decide how much of this funding
is provided annually.
6. US-India Nuclear
Trade Agreement Approved as Arab Nations Consider Nuclear Energy
In the early hours of the morning on Saturday, December 9th, Congress
passed a nuclear trade agreement which will give the President the
authority to negotiate nuclear trade for civilian purposes with India.
This agreement, H.R.5682,
sponsored by Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator
Henry Hyde (R-IL), is the first to allow such an agreement in thirty
years and passed by a vote of 330-59 in the House and a voice vote
of 85-12 in the Senate.
The Bush Administration claims that this bill will make an exception
for India, a country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, to relieve it from poverty through alternative forms of energy.
Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) supported the bill because it would
result in U.S. inspections on two-thirds of nuclear activities in
India as opposed to none at present. Critics, however, state that
the agreement would supply India with enough nuclear material and
technology to build 40 to 50 nuclear weapons each year, instead of
their current production of seven a year.
Leader of the opposition to H.R.5682, Representative Edward Markey
(D-MA), expressed concern that India's neighbors Pakistan and Iran
will not tolerate this agreement. Other critics echoed Markey's concerns
stating that it opens up the way for Israel and Pakistan to seek the
This legislation passed at the same time as Arab leaders of the Gulf
Cooperation Council met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a two-day meeting
on December 9th and 10th, to discuss the beginnings of a joint nuclear
energy development program. The meeting called for a peaceful nuclear
program in Iran and insisted that Arab nations have a right to peaceful
civilian nuclear development to ease the costs of energy despite their
oil resources. Arab officials stated that the meeting was "an
announcement so there will be no misinterpretation of what we are
doing." However, some analysts interpreted the announcement as
a message to warn the U.S. against cooperating with Iran on nuclear
issues in order to settle the conflict in Iraq as the recent Baker-Hamilton
Iraq Study Group has suggested.
7. The 110th Congress:
Let's Get It Started
The 110th Congress started their first session on January 4, 2007
with the historic election of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as the first
female Speaker of the House. The Democrats will hold majorities in
both chambers with 233 Democrats and 202 Republicans in the House
and 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans and 1 Independent in the Senate.
Senator Timothy Johnson (D-SD), who underwent brain surgery in December
to alleviate an intracranial hemorrhage caused by arteriovenous malformation,
remains hospitalized and may require months to recover. The Democrats
remain undecided on Senator Johnson's role on committees as the new
Congress has reorganized the appropriations subcommittees so that
they are balanced in number and jurisdiction. This should make it
easier for Congress to complete the federal budget on time. There
are now 12 subcommittees in the House and 12 subcommittees in the
Senate. One new subcommittee is being created in both chambers: Financial
Services and General Government, which will oversee the Treasury Department,
the federal judiciary, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and
the District of Columbia. The former Transportation-Treasury-Housing
subcommittee will become the Transportation-Housing subcommittee.
The House State-Science-Justice-Commerce subcommittee will be renamed
Commerce-Justice-Science, to correspond with the Senate subcommittee.
The House also will re-establish a Legislative Branch subcommittee;
the Senate never abolished its panel.
The new Congress also began to set-up some new rules on spending,
authorizing and tax legislation. The House has issued a new earmark
disclosure rule that requires sponsors to be identified, provide justification
and certify that neither they nor their spouses will benefit from
the proposed legislation. The House and Senate also introduced separate
resolutions on pay-as-you-go budget requirements. The proposed resolutions
are slightly different, but basically require offsets for any new
entitlement spending or tax cuts.
Finally the House has proposed some new ethics rules. House votes
can no longer be held open for longer than the standard 15 minutes
and the purpose of this rule is to prevent the high pressure tactics
used to change or delay some votes during the extended voting process
in the 109th Congress. In addition, lobbyists cannot pay for any travel,
gifts or meals for members.
More information about the elections and the new Congress is available
from the AGI Government Affairs Special Updates on Midterm
Elections and New
8. Calendar for the
First Session of the 110th Congress
Congress expects to be working very long and hard in 2007. Below
is a calendar of the days that the House and/or the Senate will be
in recess and there are fewer breaks than the past few years. In addition,
the House Democratic Leadership plans to be working 5 days a week
and they are already scheduling votes on all five days. The Senate
appears to be following the House lead and planning five-day work
weeks. A longer work week may change the way that members handle travel,
housing, family schedules and collegial communications because they
will need to spend more time in Washington DC, less time in their
home states and probably less time in transit.
Even with these additional work hours, Members and staff emphasize
the importance of constituent meetings and constructive and concise
communications on issues of concern to constituents. If you have an
important issue of relevance to federal policy, please consider visiting
your senator or representative in their local office while they are
on recess or in Washington DC, while Congress is in session.
The following are the dates when Congress will be in recess:
January 15: Martin Luther King Day
January 25-26: House Republican Conference retreat
February 1-2: House Democratic Caucus retreat
February 19-23: President's Day Recess
April 2-9: Easter Recess for the Senate
April 2-13: Easter Recess for the House
May 28 - June 1: Memorial Day Recess
July 2 - July 6: Fourth of July Recess
August 6 - September 3: August Recess
October 26: Target Adjournment for the House (Senate not known)
9. DOE Releases Short-Term
Energy Outlook Report
On December 12th, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released
official energy statistics from the U.S. Government in a Short-Term
Energy Outlook Report. Highlights from the report include short-term
energy price estimates of oil, gas and average household heating expenditures.
The report states that West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices
were above $60 per barrel in the last week of November due to cuts
in production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC), a recent decline in surplus U.S. product inventories and projected
increase in energy demand during the winter season. The EIA projects
that WTI prices will average $66 per barrel in 2006 and $65 per barrel
in 2007. Natural gas prices are projected to increase in the first
quarter of 2007 compared to the first quarter of 2006 due to predictions
of a colder winter by about $0.65 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) to
an average of $8.65 mcf. This winter average household heating is
projected to cost $938 compared to $948 last winter. The next update
will be released from EIA on January 9, 2007.
Energy Outlook Report is available online.
10. DOE Inspector
General Report Recommends Relocating Strategic Petroleum Reserve's
Experience from Hurricane Katrina has prompted the Department of
Energy's Inspector General to recommend the relocation of the Strategic
Petroleum Reserve's alternate operating station in a December 2006
Audit Report. The Stennis Space Center in Mississippi serves as the
emergency operating facility for the 727 million barrel reserve. However,
located only 55 miles from the primary site in New Orleans, this alternate
site was "rendered inoperable" synchronously with the main
station during Hurricane Katrina due to problems with its computer
network system. In the Audit Report, the Inspector General commended
the department for providing 21 million barrels of oil in loans and
sales during the Gulf of Mexico's oil production shutdown. However,
it urged DOE to move SPR's alternate site to avoid the potential shutdown
of both operating facilities at the same time. The department said
it plans to evaluate the reserve's alternate site in the future.
General's report is available online.
11. NASA's Exploration
On December 4, 2006, NASA disclosed two crucial elements of the new
U.S. space policy aimed at returning humans to the Moon - the initial
stages of a Global Exploration Strategy and a proposed U.S. lunar
architecture. The Global Exploration Strategy will address why humans
are returning to the Moon and what they will do on the surface. In
April 2006, NASA met its congressional mandate and began developing
the strategy. The strategy has been created through a dialogue with
over 1,000 individuals from NASA, 13 other international space agencies,
non-governmental organizations and private interests.
The lunar architecture will examine how to achieve the goal of exploring
the Moon. Chartered in March 2006, NASA's Lunar Architecture Team
plans to create a solar-powered lunar base near one of the lunar poles
in order to learn how to use the Moon's natural resources to human
advantage and eventually travel to Mars. Four person crews will begin
seven-day visits to the Moon in 2020. Following these short visits,
180-day missions to prepare for journeys to Mars will be launched.
NASA will continue to refine and develop its Global Exploration Strategy
and lunar architecture through open dialogue in 2007.
press release on these plans is available online.
12. USGS Publishes
Land Use Report
A new USGS publication - Rate, Trends, Causes, and Consequences of
Urban Land-Use Change in the United States (Professional Paper 1726)
- studies the change in land use associated with increasing urbanization
and its impacts at local, regional, and national scales. Based on
the broad view of satellite imagery, the twenty scientific contributions
that make up the publication examine urban land change in the United
States from many perspectives - historical, geographic, economic,
and ecological. Together the analyses provide new insights into critical
issues of concern for both science and society.
An online version of Professional
Paper 1726 is available.
13. Wiley and Blackwell
Merger Could Result in Changes for Academic Community
John Wiley and Sons announced its plans to buy out Blackwell Publishing
for $1.08 billion in December. The merger will result in company control
of over 1,200 titles, including many society journals. In the past,
mergers have resulted in considerable price increases for libraries.
Wiley is required to file this transaction with the Department of
Justice. The department then has 30 days in which to consider the
merger or ask the company to provide more information for an extended
review. The Information Access Alliance (IAA), a coalition of five
library organizations, has asked that the Department of Justice require
a review of the transaction and has submitted a white paper entitled
"Publisher Mergers: A Consumer-Based Approach to Antitrust Analysis."
The IAA is also contacting the New York State Attorney General's Office
and the California State Attorney General's Office to inform them
of the merger. These agencies have antitrust enforcement authority
and can choose whether or not to act in accord with the Department
IAA is also compiling a list of libraries willing to discuss their
commercial publisher experience with officials. If you would like
to participate, please contact Karla Hahn, Director of the Office
of Scholarly Communications or the Association of Research Libraries
at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 296-2296.
14. Science Editor
in Chief Responds to Fraudulent Papers
On December 1st, Donald Kennedy, Science Magazine's editor-in-chief,
released an editorial entitled "Responding to Fraud." The
committee assembled to examine the publishing process also released
a report which analyzed the magazine's handling of two fraudulent
papers. It recommended steps for Science and the scientific community
to take to respond to publication fraud. Following this committee
report, Kennedy provided a response. The release of this editorial,
report and response continues a running anthology from Science magazine
on its response to two fraudulent stem cell papers by Dr. Woo Suk
Hwang and his colleagues that were published in the magazine in 2004
The committee report recommends changes in order to prevent such
an occurrence in the future. It calls for the creation of a "formal,
required 'risk assessment' for papers selected for publishing with
"special scrutiny" on those that are highly visible on topics
such as climate, energy and human health. It recommends the development
of a method to clarify the contributions and responsibilities of authors
and co-authors, and more extensive information in the published supporting
material. Finally, the committee calls for common standards for Science
and Nature so that authors will not choose a journal based on its
standards. "The report is notable for its thoroughness, insight
and candor," stated Kennedy in his editorial.
The editorial, committee report and response are available online.
15. Cobb County
School Board Abandons Evolution Disclaimer Stickers
On December 20, the Cobb County School Board decided to abandon their
court case to retain stickers in biology textbooks that question the
theory of evolution. After four years in court, the school board decided
it would be too expensive and time-consuming to proceed with their
appeal. The Cobb County School Board agreed in federal court never
to use a similar sticker or to undermine the teaching of evolution
in science classes.
More background on this and other legislative and legal battles about
the teaching of evolution are available from AGI's
Government Affairs web page on evolution
In addition, the National Center
for Science Education tracks and evaluates threats to the teaching
of evolution and provides tools to help teachers and other professionals
deal with the controversy.
16. Flock of Dodos
Documentary: Do Likeable Scientists Exist?
Randy Olson, an evolutionary biologist and filmmaker has produced
a documentary entitled "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent
Design Circus" that looks into the public debate on evolution
versus intelligent design. Olson wanted to examine, through live interviews,
taped public debates and informal discussion groups, why scientists
in America are having a difficult time explaining evolution to the
general public. The documentary suggests that scientists are not as
likable as the intelligent design advocates (at least among those
who participated in the documentary) and this may be one reason why
scientists have been ineffective in explaining evolution to the public.
The documentary has received some early acclaim and thoughtful reviews
that can be read on the documentary's web site. Flock of Dodos will
be available to audiences around the country starting in February
2007 and several museums/institutions, that will be showing the documentary,
plan to hold workshops or discussion panels around the anniversary
of Darwin's birthday on February 12. The web site also has a list
of times and locations.
More information about the Flock of Dodos documentary is available
17. Join Us for
Congressional Visits Day on May 1-2
Join us for the 12th annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD) on May
1-2, 2007. This two-day annual event brings scientists, engineers,
researchers, educators, and technology executives to Washington to
raise visibility and support for science, engineering, and technology.
Participants will spend the first day learning about how Congress
works, the current state of the budget process and how to conduct
congressional visits. The second day will consist of visits with members
of Congress. In addition to the workshops and visits, participants
will get to meet other scientists and engineers, meet federal science
agency representatives and attend a reception and breakfasts at which
members of Congress will speak and meet with the audience.
Please consider participating in these visits and plan early to come
to Washington DC. Many scientific societies are involved in CVD, including
several of AGI's Member Societies. The American Association of Petroleum
Geologists, the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society
of America and the Soil Science Society of America are very active
participating societies in CVD and can help coordinate your visits.
In addition these societies and AGI will coordinate some geoscience
activities on May 1.
Individuals interested in participating should contact the Government
Affairs Program at email@example.com.
L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship: Deadline February
The American Geological Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce the
William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship. The successful
candidate will spend 12 months (starting September 2007) in Washington,
DC, working as a staffer for a Member of Congress or congressional
committee. The fellowship is a unique opportunity to gain first-hand
experience with the legislative process and contribute to the effective
use of geoscience in crafting public policy.
Minimum requirements are a master's degree with at least three years
of post-degree work experience or a Ph.D. at the time of appointment.
The fellowship carries an annual stipend of up to $55,000. Support
for the fellowship is provided by an endowment, established through
the AGI Foundation, in honor of William L. Fisher.
All application materials must be transmitted by February 1, 2007.
For more details on this fellowship and similar fellowships offered
by AGI Member Societies (AGU, GSA and SSSA), visit www.agiweb.org/gap/csf.
AGI is an equal opportunity employer.
DOE: The Department of Energy is implementing provisions in the Energy
Policy Act of 2005 that require DOE to establish revised energy efficiency
performance standards for the construction of all new Federal buildings,
including both commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings
and low-rise residential buildings. The amendment made by this interim
final rule is effective January 3, 2007. The incorporation by reference
of certain publications in the interim final
Comments must be received by DOE no later than February 2, 2007 to
http://www.regulations.gov. For further information contact Cyrus
Nasseri at (202) 586-9138, firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Federal Register: December 4, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 232)]
DOI: The National Park Service is extending the public comment period
for the National Park Service Benefits-Sharing Draft Environmental
Impact Statement until January 29, 2007. Information will be available
for public review and comment on the Internet at http://parkplanning.nps.gov.
For further information contact Susan Mills, Benefits-Sharing EIS
at (307)344-2203, email@example.com.
[Federal Register: December 8, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 236)]
NSF: The National Science Foundation is publishing its fall 2006
regulatory agenda. For further information on a particular item, call
or write the individual identified as agency contact. General comments
or inquiries about this agenda may be directed to Penelope C. Baker,
Administrative Officer for the Office of the General Counsel of NSF
at (703) 292-8060.
[December 11, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 237)]
DOT: The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration is
publishing the following list of special permit applications that
have been in process for 180 days or more. The reason(s) for delay
and the expected completion date for action on each application is
provided in association with each identified application. For further
information contact Ann Mazzullo at (202) 366-4535.
[Federal Register: December 13, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 239)]
NOAA: The draft Report for one of the U.S. Climate Change Science
Program (CCSP) Synthesis and Assessment Products is available for
public comment. This draft Report addresses the following CCSP Topic:
Product 4.5 Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use
in the United States. After consideration of comments received on
the draft Report, the final Report along with the comments received
will be published on the CCSP web site. Comments must be received
by February 1, 2007.
The draft Report is posted on the CCSP Program Office web site. The
web addresses to access the draft Report is: Product 4.5 (Energy Production)
instructions for making comments on the draft Report is provided with
the Report. Comments should be prepared in accordance with these instructions.
[Federal Register: December 18, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 242)]
NSF: The National Science Board Commission on 21st Century Education
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics will hold a meeting
to discuss preliminary draft recommendations of the Commission on
Wednesday, January 10, 2007, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST (teleconference
meeting) at the National Science Foundation, Room 545, Stafford II
Building, 4121 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230
[Federal Register: December 29, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 250)]
DHS, MMS, EPA and Coast Guard: The Coast Guard, the Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection
Agency and the Minerals Management Service, in concert with representatives
from various State governments, industry, environmental interest groups,
and the general public, developed the National Preparedness for Response
Exercise Program (PREP) Guidelines to reflect the consensus agreement
of the entire oil spill response community. This notice announces
the PREP triennial exercise cycle for 2007 through 2009, requests
comments from the public, and requests industry participants to volunteer
for scheduled PREP Area exercises.
Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility
on or before February 27, 2007. You may submit comments identified
by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2006-26560 to the Docket Management
Facility at the U.S.
Department of Transportation at http://dms.dot.gov
[Federal Register: December 29, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 250)]
New Updates to
The following updates and reports were added to the Government Affairs
portion of AGI's web site www.agiweb.org/gap since the last monthly
- Action Alert: Support Increased Funding for NSF (12-18-06)
- Hearings on Climate Change (12-8-06)
Monthly Review prepared by Linda Rowan, Director of Government Affairs
and Rachel Bleshman 2006 AGI/AAPG Fall Intern.
Sources: New York Times, AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program,
EIA Website Associated Press, Washington Post, Greenwire, E&E
Daily, Library of Congress, Congressional Quarterly, and Department
of the Interior.
This monthly review goes out to members of the AGI Government Affairs
Program (GAP) Advisory Committee, the leadership of AGI's member societies,
and other interested geoscientists as part of a continuing effort
to improve communications between GAP and the geoscience community
that it serves. Prior updates can be found on the AGI
web site under "Public Policy". For additional information
on specific policy issues, please visit the web site or contact us
at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703)
379-2480, ext. 228.
Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Government
Posted January 8, 2007.