ESA Policy News: May 7

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by ESA’s Science Policy Analyst, Piper Corp.

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ESA Policy News Update

My sincere apologies for this week’s EcoTone drought… this blogger was away on vacation. To re-whet your appetite, here are highlights from the latest Policy News Update from ESA’s policy analyst, Piper Corp. House Climate Bill: On May 21, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the American Clean Energy and Security Act by a vote of 33 to 25.  The committee approved a number of amendments, including ones...

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The Ecologists go to Washington

With massive issues like invasive species, climate change and protection of biodiversity moving onto the world stage, ecological knowledge has perhaps never been in higher demand than today. Support for most (about 67 percent) of biological research in the U.S. comes from the National Science Foundation’s Biological Sciences Directorate (affectionately known as NSF BIO);  a similar granting program at the USDA, the Agriculture...

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Obama issues memo on scientific integrity

President Obama issued a memorandum yesterday about scientific integrity in federal executive offices. The memo calls for the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to conduct a review of the scientific integrity of the executive branch, including policies to ensure thorough scientific review, unbiased scientific reporting, the retention of scientific staff based on credentials and public access to scientific...

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Science’s honest brokers

The New York Times’ John Tierney wrote in his TierneyLab this week about a 2007 book by Roger Pielke, Jr., a professor at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado. Because of the doomsday scenarios John Holdren and Steven Chu have depicted (regarding world population levels and water availability in California, respectively), Tierney wonders if the science advisers to President Obama...

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ESA’s letter to Obama

ESA sent a letter today to president-elect Barack Obama recommending top priorities where ecological science should inform policy decisions in the new administration. Obama has already pledged his commitment to curbing climate change during his term. ESA applauded that commitment and outlined four other priorities for the next administration: ▪ Protecting water quality and quantity, especially in conjunction with worldwide agriculture...

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USDA’s new Office of Ecosystem Services and Markets

The USDA announced today that it will establish an Office of Ecosystem Services and Markets.  According to their press release, the office will help develop new guidelines and methods to assess ecosystem service benefits and create markets for ecosystem services.  The authorization for this office was approved in this summer’s Farm Bill, which Agriculture Secretary Ed Shafer spoke out against. Ecosystem services are one way that...

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A blow to endangered species

Today the Bush administration confirmed legislation changes that will eliminate the need for federal agencies to consult with scientists on projects that might cause harm to endangered species. Under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service provided advice on whether government projects would pose a threat to endangered species. Today’s rule change eliminated this...

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