Even elementary students know a D+ is barely above failing. Unfortunately, that is the grade the American Society of Civil Engineers gave to U.S. infrastructure this year. This indicates our roads and highways and drinking and wastewater systems are in trouble, particularly along coastlines where they face rising seas, storm surges, and extreme weather events. Senators Tom Carper (DE, Ranking Member on Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI, Co-Chair of Senate Oceans Caucus) understand these threats well in their home states, and on an appropriately stormy day, they hosted a roundtable with coastal experts to discuss these issues and the aid and mitigation role the federal government can play.
Category: Policy News
You can’t spell ‘Endangered Species Act (ESA)’ without the letter C – three of them. At a Wednesday hearing that gave a name to those three “Cs” — conservation, consultation, and capacity — the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works heard from state officials regarding the need to modernize the 44-year old law (16 U.S.C. §1531 et seq.). Chairman John Barrasso (WY) described three areas for modernizing the law (identified by state and private sector groups) as conservation (incentivizing activities to avoid listing), consultation (facilitating decision making between federal and state governments), and capacity (providing sufficient resources to fulfill the ESA’s mission and better allocating those to species most in need).
Ever think about how bananas get to your table? How about shampoo to your shower or clothes to your closet? Chances are, they came through a port. According to the International Maritime Organization, over 90 percent of global trade occurs through ocean carriers, making maritime transportation and seaports critical to the nation’s economy and transportation system. For producers to compete internationally and to meet customer needs, they rely on efficient ports and access to maritime carrier services.
The Trump administration is considering letting six companies test for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast. The Wednesday decision by the Interior Department is an early step toward potential drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, reversing an Obama administration policy to reject such applications.
EPA Dismisses Half Of Key Board’s Scientific Advisers; Interior Suspends More Than 200 Advisory Panels
Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department are overhauling a slew of outside advisory boards that inform how their agencies assess the science underpinning federal policies, the first step in a broader effort by Republicans to change the way the federal government evaluates the scientific basis for its regulations.
The National Science Board, the National Science Foundation’s policy arm, has released an interactive infographic that explores 25 years of science, engineering and health (SEH) doctoral pathways. The NSB launched “a new tool for policymakers, educators, business leaders, students and others to assess the career opportunities for those with doctoral degrees in SEH fields.”
President Donald Trump called for a review of the use of the law, and the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Federal Lands, held a hearing examining the authority it provides. During the hearing, witnesses both praised and condemned how the Antiquities Act has been used.
Three days is just a drop in the fish bucket compared to 200. Yet that is exactly how long recreational fishers will have to catch red snapper in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico this year. The short season will make history and represents a sharp decline from 2006, when the season consisted of approximately 200 days. The change is alarming to anglers and industry fisheries alike and caught the attention of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who invited experts to discuss two major controversies surrounding red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico – the distribution of allotments between commercial and recreational anglers and state versus federal regulations.
Robots running the Navy? Not quite. But artificial intelligence and similar technologies are becoming ever more important in improvements to the U.S. military. The Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense met Wednesday to discuss the importance of such research to the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Navy, focusing on innovation and research funding.
As last September drew to a close, onlookers eagerly awaited to see how much money would be allotted to federal agencies for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. Seven months and three stopgap funding measures later, they’re finding out. Last Friday, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 244), a $1.1 trillion spending measure that contains the unfinished FY 2017 appropriations bills.