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June 27, 2018

Science Spending Bills Ready for Votes

Appropriations: Part 3 All spending bills for the Earth and space science agencies are in play right now! The House and Senate Appropriations Committees each passed their own version of funding legislation for NASA, NOAA, NSF, USGS, EPA, and DOE. Now, the full House and Senate must vote on the bills. The House and Senate have both passed their versions of the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Energy and Water Bill (which funds DOE) as part …

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May 24, 2018

Secret Science – Insight into a Misleading Policy

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Scott Pruitt, signed a draft policy that would change how the agency uses science in decision-making. This proposed policy would exclude scientific information from consideration during the drafting of regulations if the research cannot be validated by the public. What would be so wrong with making data public? Transparency sounds like a good thing, but this would be transparency in name only …

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House Spending Bill: Support for Science Agencies Not Across the Board 

Appropriations: Part 1 The appropriations process is so far following a more conventional timeline this year as opposed to last year’s drawn-out deals. On 17 May (compared with 13 July last year), the House Appropriations committee approved the fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill, which funds NASA, NOAA, and NSF. The bill continues to grow funding for NASA and NSF over FY2018 levels. However, NOAA funding takes a …

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May 21, 2018

Building Influence in an Election Year

“Once you hear the thunder, it’s too late to build the ark.” When I heard this phrase, I was immediately struck by how perfectly it summarizes the importance of engaging with your legislators. It’s imperative to engage with and know your legislators before you need something from them. As it’s an election year, legislators are more focused on constituents than ever. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know …

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March 26, 2018

Briefing Recap: Space Discovery through Cutting-Edge Technology

On Tuesday, 27 February 2018 the House Earth and Space Science Caucus hosted a briefing on “Space Discovery through Cutting-Edge Technology.” Representative Polis (CO-02), co-chair of the caucus, kicked off the briefing with a speech highlighting the awe-inspiring nature of space discovery and the key role technology plays in science. Representative Costello (PA-06), the other caucus co-chair co-sponsoring the briefing, was unable to attend. The panel was moderated by Randy …

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January 24, 2018

More Continuing Resolutions, More Negotiations

On Monday, Congress passed a new continuing resolution (CR), ending the second government shutdown in five years. The current CR marks the fourth short term spending bill in fiscal year (FY) 2018 and only funds the government through 8 February. While Congress was able to pass a bipartisan spending bill that ensures that our federal science agencies can currently provide the information and services that protect our local communities, there …

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December 4, 2017

The Threat from Below: The Case for Reauthorizing NEHRP

Editor’s Note: This piece was written by the leadership of AGU’s Seismology Section, including: Greg Beroza (Wayne Loel Professor of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University, AGU Seismology Section Past-President); Doug Wiens (University of Washington, St. Louis, AGU Seismology Section President); Anne Sheehan (University of Colorado, Boulder, AGU Seismology Section President-Elect); and Eliza Richardson (Pennsylvania State University, AGU Seismology Section Secretary).   The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) was established …

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September 19, 2017

AGU sends letter regarding workforce cuts at DOE

Last week, in response to reports† indicating that the Department of Energy (DOE) has approved plans to reduce the workforce at national laboratories, specifically Oak Ridge and Brookhaven National Laboratories, in accordance with the President’s budget, AGU sent a letter to DOE Secretary Rick Perry urging him to reconsider making such drastic workforce cuts unless directed to by Congress, which has the final say on federal spending. AGU let Secretary …

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August 22, 2017

Q&A with Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton, Director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University

Women’s Equality Day is August 26th! To celebrate, AGU will be highlighting several prominent women working in Earth and space science. We’ll be posting Q&A’s on The Bridge and to our various social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram!   Today’s featured scientist is Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton. Dr. Elkins-Tanton is the Director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, Principal Investigator of NASA’s Psyche mission, Co-chair …

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July 31, 2017

Science Does Slightly Better in Senate Spending Bills

Appropriations Update Part 3:  Now that the House Appropriations Committee has considered and passed all 12 appropriations bills, the Senate Appropriations Committee has begun considering and passing their appropriations bills in earnest.  Overall, science fared okay in the Senate spending bills we have seen so far, and the drastic cuts proposed in the President’s budget request were nowhere to be seen. Here’s a recap of the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill for fiscal year 2018 …

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