American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program


***Field Hearings -- Opportunities to Provide Input on Policies***

May 2, 1997

In an effort to engage the public and ascertain opinions outside of Washington, congressional committees and executive agencies often schedule hearings in the field. Following visits to Capitol Hill in February, several members of the Government Affairs Program (GAP) Advisory Committee suggested that the program alert the member societies to field hearings on issues of interest to the geoscience community. We encourage geoscientists to attend these hearings and share their views and expertise, taking advantage of a key opportunity to influence the policymaking process.

The following field hearings have been scheduled for May. Please contact Kasey Shewey (703/379-2480 or for more information.

The House Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee will hold two field hearings to examine the risks and benefits of retail competition in the utility industry. Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley (R-VA) is convinced that the utility deregulation issue has gained momentum in Washington and it is now time to take the issue "on the road to the American people." Hearings will be held in Chicago, Illinois on May 2, and Dallas, Texas on May 9. For more information on the utility restructuring issue, visit the AGI web site under "Government Affairs".

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has recently formed a task force to address "section 3809" regulations on hardrock mining. The task force will focus on several issues, including alternative approaches to address the current 5-acre "threshold" notice, redefining the mandate to avoid "unnecessary or undue degradation", operational and reclamation requirements for hardrock mining, and coordination with State regulatory programs. Field hearings will be held:

May 13 - Spokane, WA Cavanaugh's Inn at the Park, 303 N. River Drive
May 13 - Denver, CO Colorado Room, Holiday Inn, 14707 W. Colfax Ave., Golden, CO
May 15 - Fairbanks, AK Carleson Center, Pioneer Room, 2010 Second Avenue
May 15 - Phoenix, AZ Park Suite, Best Western Executive Park Hotel, 1100 North Central
May 20 - Reno, NV Silver Legacy, 407 N. Virginia Street
May 22 - Washington, DC Pan American Room, Capitol Hilton, 16th and K Streets, NW
May 28 - San Francisco, CA Holiday Inn, 1300 Columbus Avenue
May 28 - Helena, MT Colonial Inn, 2301 Colonial Way
For more information, visit the BLM homepage.

The National Science Foundation will be holding hearings on data and information systems. Workshops seeking community input will be held May 8-9 in Boulder, Colorado; June 9-10 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and June 19-20 in Santa Barbara.

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

Contributed by Kasey Shewey, AGI Government Affairs.
Last updated May 2, 1997

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