The Trump administration on Thursday announced its first offshore oil and gas lease sale, offering 76 million acres (30 million hectares) in the Gulf of Mexico and reduced royalty rates for shallow-water leases to encourage drilling at a time of low oil prices.
Category: Policy News
Focus on Justice, Not Climate Science, In House Commerce, Justice, and Science Bill — Which Drastically Cuts NOAA Funding
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee passed their version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which includes funding proposals for the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). During the full committee markup of the bill, which covers a vast array of other agencies and largely prioritizes law enforcement issues like terrorism, cybersecurity, espionage, the opioid epidemic, and border security, both subcommittee Chairman John Culberson (TX-7) and Ranking Member José Serrano (NY-15) expressed their appreciation for each other’s collaboration and friendship during the drafting of the bill, despite their dissimilar policy stances.
House Appropriators Advance Interior and Energy-Water Appropriations Bills – With National Ocean Policy Riders
President Obama’s 2010 Executive Order 13547, Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, commonly referred to as the National Ocean Policy (NOP), is designed to protect, maintain, and restore the health of ecosystems and resources of the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes; to enhance the sustainability of ocean and coastal economies; to preserve maritime heritage; to support sustainable uses and access; and to coordinate with our national security and foreign policy interests. Since its inception, it has been a controversial topic, with Democrats lauding its science-based decision making, benefits to stakeholders, economic growth, and sustainable development and Republicans considering it as executive overreach and a vehicle for new regulations.
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon disaster oozed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, wreaking environmental havoc, turning tourists away from Gulf beaches, and costing Gulf states millions in recovery costs and lost revenue. According Ms. Margaret S. Howell (Founder, Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic), disasters like this have made East Coast residents hesitant to bring offshore drilling to the Atlantic. This idea was at the center of debate in a House Natural Resources hearing when the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources met to evaluate federal offshore oil and gas development on the outer continental shelf (OCS). One of the controversial topics explored was the potential for Atlantic coast development, which would first require seismic geological testing to determine the presence and abundance of oil. The environmental, economic, and safety impacts of both seismic testing and oil rigs were fiercely debated.
The phrase “climate change” typically conjures up images of drowning polar bears, melting icebergs, and eroding beaches. But did you know climate change may have been instrumental in the political instability that lead to the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram? At a roundtable discussion presented by House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) and Vice Ranking Member Don Beyer (VA-8), scientists, military experts, and international specialists described the ever-growing threat of climate change to national security. Committee members were present to voice their strong support for climate science funding and coastal resiliency.
On Friday, the House approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 2810), which authorizes activities for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the national security activities of the Department of Energy, in a bipartisan manner (344-81) after reviewing over 200 amendments.
An official from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) told The Hill the department’s science division is staffed, despite a report saying the last three employees of the division left last week. CBS News reported on Friday three staffers, who were holdovers from the Obama administration, departed the office last week, leaving the science division unstaffed.
Earth Science Given “Low Priority” Status In House Appropriations Bill That Would Also Reduce NOAA Funding?
While President Trump proposed some of the most dramatic budget cuts in recent history, Congress ultimately has the responsibility of appropriating funds. Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science marked...
Astronauts walking across the surface of the moon and floating in zero gravity have inspired kids (and grown-ups) for decades; these near super-humans are truly living the dream. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), established in 1958, continues to inspire the American public – and seemingly no one wants to see its funding reduced.
Gray wolves were nearly driven to extinction, but in 1995, they were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park. The ecological benefits have had a ripple effect and continue to fascinate scientists. National parks conserve land for future generations and protect the species that live there. National marine sanctuaries are the aquatic analogue to national parks, providing “a safe habitat for species close to extinction or protect[ing] historically significant shipwrecks.”