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ALERT: Support for the Energy and
Mineral Schools Reinvestment Act

(Posted 9-27-05)


This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's member societies.

In A Nutshell: The Energy and Mineral Schools Reinvestment Act (EMSRA) provides funds for existing programs at accredited petroleum and mining schools, applied geology and geophysics programs, and to individuals for degrees in petroleum & mining engineering, petroleum/mining geology & geophysics and mineral economics. EMRSA was in a reconciliation draft of a budget bill from the House Committee on Resources until September 25 when it was moved into the National Energy Supply Diversification and Disruption Prevention Act as section 674. This new energy bill will be considered by the House Resources Committee starting on September 28 and it may move to mark-up and consideration by the full House during the first week of October. The full text of the bill is available at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/issues/emr/energyprint0926.pdf. It is unclear whether this new energy bill will be passed by Congress because it includes other more controversial measures, such as section 683 which discusses drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). It is possible that EMSRA might be moved to another part of legislation that could be passed by Congress this year if there is enough support for the section.

Please consider sending a letter by FAX to the members of the House Resources Committee to offer your support for EMSRA, section 674. A list of the members and their FAX numbers are given below.

************************************************************************************************

The Energy and Mineral Schools Reinvestment Act (EMSRA) provides funds for existing programs at Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited petroleum and mining schools, applied geology and geophysics programs, and to individuals for degrees in petroleum & mining engineering, petroleum/mining geology & geophysics and mineral economics. All schools accepting the funds have a duty to increase the number of undergraduates enrolled in the supported programs and to produce more engineers, geologists and geophysicists for the petroleum and mining industries. All students receiving a scholarship have a duty to complete a degree program in energy and mineral resource geosciences or engineering.

Below is a list of what EMSRA entails and a list of talking points explaining why EMSRA is important and should be supported by Congress. You may use these talking points in your letter. Finally there is a list of the House Resources members and their FAX numbers, so you can send your letter by FAX to them as soon as possible.

*************************************** What EMSRA does *****************************************

*Repeals the currently unfunded and inoperative Mining & Mineral Resource Institutes Act of 1984 which vested the Secretary of the Interior with responsibility for the program.

*Makes it national policy to preserve and foster the human capital necessary for National economic, energy and minerals security

*Declares that petroleum and mining schools and applied geology and geophysics schools which produce the human capital are national assets which will be assisted with Federal funds.

*Creates funding to maintain and encourage the growth of the energy and minerals workforce to meet the national needs.

*Focuses on the exploration and production of energy and mineral resources.

*Like the repealed 1984 Act, EMSRA continues to keep the Secretary of the Interior in charge, but the process also creates a strong voice for the states and industry

*Funds go to support existing programs at Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)-accredited petroleum and mining schools, applied geology and geophysics programs, and to individuals for degrees in petroleum & mining engineering, petroleum/mining geology & geophysics and mineral economics.

All schools accepting the funds have a duty to increase the number of undergraduates enrolled in the supported programs and to produce more engineers, geologists and geophysicists for the petroleum and mining industries.


********************************* Why EMSRA? (talking points) ***********************************

*Without an adequate workforce, the basic building blocks of the economy - energy and minerals cannot be domestically produced

*Workforce availability has become a significant problem for the domestic petroleum and mining industries.

*Industry reports worker shortages at all levels of operations - including skilled miners, rig workers and engineers and geologists.

*At a Resources subcommittee hearing in the 108th Congress, witnesses from both the petroleum and mining industry confirmed the lack of readily available personnel.

*The domestic petroleum and mining industries pay some of the highest wages and salaries to hard working men and women who are qualified.

*The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission's Petroleum Professionals Blue Ribbon Task Force called on all levels of government and industry to take steps to address the professional worker shortage.

*Enrollments in domestic petroleum and mining programs have been in sharp decline for the last two decades and many of the formerly active schools of petroleum and mining engineering have been closed - the industries looking for qualified people to fill these jobs are often forced to turn to foreign schools to fill their vacancies.

*Industry and professional society reports have repeatedly warned that not enough students are graduating from these programs schools to replace the large number of active engineers and geologists who will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years.

*Economic pressures and demands for cost savings placed on the University Systems have forced school leaders to scrutinize high cost programs, often leading to the closure of petroleum and mining despite the obvious need for their continued existence - the nation is now down to 17 petroleum schools (from 34 in 1983) and 12 mining schools (from 25 in 1983).

*Federal funding of studies and research in petroleum and mining has been under attack by OMB and the death of the old Federal Bureau of Mines killed all funding for mining schools under the Mining and Mineral Resource Institutes Act of 1984.

******************************** House Committee on Resources ********************************

Republican Members and their FAX numbers

Jim Saxton NJ
202 225 0778

Elton Gallegly CA
202 225 1100

Don Young – AK
202 225 0425

John J. Duncan Jr – TN
202 225 6440

Wayne T. Gilchrest – MD
202 225 0254

Ken Calvert – CA
202 225 2004

Barbara Cubin – WY
202 225 3057

George P. Radanovich – CA
202 225 3402

Walter B. Jones, Jr. – NC
202 225 3286

Greg Walden – OR
202 225 5774

Chris Cannon – UT
202 225 5629

Henry Brown – SC
202 225 3407

Luis Fortuno – PR
202 225 2154

John E. Peterson – PA
202 225 5796

Cathy McMorris – WA
202 225 3392

Marilyn Musgrave
202 225 5870

Louie Gohmert
202 225 5866

Steve Pearce – NM
202 225 9599

Thelma Drake
202 225 4218

Bobby Jindal – LA
202 226 0386

Jim Gibbons – NV
202 225 5679

Thomas Tancredo – CO

Rick Renzi – AZ
202 226 9739

JD Hayworth – AZ
202 225 3263

Jeff Flake – AZ
202 226 4386

Richard Pombo – CA – Chair
202 226 0861

Democrat Members and their FAX numbers

George Miller – CA
707 645 1870

Ed Markey – MA
202 226 0092

Dale Kildee – MI
202 225 6393

Peter DeFazio – OR
202 225 0032

Eni Faleomavaega – Somoa
202 225 8757

Neil Abercrombie – HI
202 225 4580

Frank Pallone, Jr – NJ
202 225 9665

Donna M. Christensen – V. Islands
202 225 5517

Ron Kind – WI
202 225 5739

Jay Inslee – WA
202 226 1606

Grace Napolitano – CA
202 225 0027

Dennis Cardoza – CA
202 225 0819

Madeleine Bordallo – Guam
202 226 0341

Jim Costa – CA
202 225 9308

Stephanie Herseth – SD
202 225 5823

Solomon Ortiz – NM
202 226 1134

Tom Udall - NM
202 226 1331

Mark Udall - CO
202 226 7840

Charlie Melancon – LA
202 226 3944

Dan Boren – OK
202 226 3038

Raul Grijalva – AZ
202 225 1541

 


Alert prepared by Linda Rowan, AGI Government Affairs Program

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

Posted September 27, 2005


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