Category: Policy News

The CG Cutter Polar Star, is the Coast Guard's only operational heavy icebreaker. (Credit: PA2 Mariana O'Leary/Coast Guard)

Breaking The Ice For Coast Guard Authorization

Unless you’re golfing, being down 40-1 is not a good way to end a game, but that’s currently the score in the Russia vs. U.S. Arctic turf war. Moscow stands as the military and exploration leader at the top of the world with their massive fleet of 40 icebreakers, compared to our single functioning heavy icebreaker (a second has been out of service since 2010, and the newest addition to the fleet is classified as a medium icebreaker).

Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus). (Credit: NEFSC/NOAA)

Lawmakers Flounder Trying To Reach Consensus On Fishery Management

“We’re off to a good start. Three good bills.”

“Two good bills.”

“Two out of three’s not bad.”

The conversation heard briefly on a hot microphone after adjournment of a Tuesday hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee reflected the differing viewpoints and occasional agreement over the course of the hour. The hearing in the Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans covered two bills dealing with hydropower production and one involving fishery management.

The House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing on September 21 to discuss CEQ’s Final Guidance (whose main message was that federal agencies need to weigh the impacts of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions during their consideration of project alternatives) and how the measures will affect economic and energy-related projects, permitting, and activities in the U.S. Waves crash against stairs to Broad Beach in Malibu, California, October 27. (Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Mapping The Future

“Picture running down the National Mall and turning to see a tsunami tidal wave overtaking the Lincoln Memorial. Would you be prepared?” Dr. Michael West (Alaska State Seismologist, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks) asked, recreating a similar scene that happened not long ago in Icy Bay, Alaska.

The bald eagle was once endangered, but no longer. (Credit: Carl Chapman/ Wikicommons)

Endangered Species Act Reform

Today, the bald eagle is flourishing across the United States, its population on the rise. But it was not always so. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), this once-threatened symbol of freedom received...

Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX) and Lamar Smith (R–TX) (Credit: House Committee on Science, Space & Technology)

Climate Science Contention

A “sparring session,” “train wreck,” and “food fight” are not words normally used to describe activities in the halls of Congress, but they were last week. During a contentious, partisan hearing that drew accusations...

The latest proposed budget cuts are receiving a cold reception from Cognress. (Credit: Pexels)

Latest Trump Budget Cuts At A Glance

The Trump White House is proposing to cut $18 billion from a variety of domestic programs and foreign aid accounts in ongoing talks on a wrap-up spending package for the ongoing 2017 budget year....

Emissions from coal fired power plant. (Credit: Emilian Robert Vicol/Flickr)

Trump Dramatically Changes US Approach To Climate Change

President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order Tuesday at the Environmental Protection Agency, which officials said looks to curb the federal government’s enforcement of climate regulations by putting American jobs above addressing climate change. The order represents a clear difference between how Trump and former President Barack Obama view the role the United States plays in combating climate change, and dramatically alters the government’s approach to rising sea levels and temperatures — two impacts of climate change.

Summary of this month’s ocean and science related legislation. (Credit: Brocken Inaglory / Wikimedia)

Congress’s March Madness

While the budget, health care, and Supreme Court hearings dominated the news this month, members of Congress were also busy introducing bills and passing the first science-related acts of the new year.

Coast Guard Commandant discusses funding and future missions before Senate Commerce Committee. (Credit: Jacob J. Kirk/U.S. Navy)

U.S. Coast Guard’s Role In Maritime Security

The passenger cruise ship Crystal Serenity, with more than 1,700 passengers onboard, became the largest commercial cruise ship to navigate the Northwest Passage in August 2016. As a result of increasing maritime traffic and human activity in the Arctic, the U.S. Coast Guard is keeping a close eye on their ability to maneuver in the region.