Policy News: August 29, 2022
In this issue:
New Federal Guidelines for Scholarly Publishing
OSTP directs agencies to update their public access policies.
Biden Signs Climate Legislation
Bill includes $369 billion in energy and climate spending.
Members of the House Science Committee urge the White House to increase its requested spending for the Department of Energy Office of Science in FY 2024 budget request.
White House releases draft strategy for creating national capital accounts.
California unveils water conservation strategy.
IPBES seeks experts to participate in business and biodiversity assessment.
NSF BIO Advisory Committee to meet Sept. 13-14.
On Aug. 25, the White House announced a new policy that will affect the publishing ecosystem. The following text is excerpted from its press release: “Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) updated U.S. policy guidance to make the results of taxpayer-supported research immediately available to the American public at no cost. In a memorandum to federal departments and agencies, Dr. Alondra Nelson, the head of OSTP, delivered guidance for agencies to update their public access policies as soon as possible to make publications and research funded by taxpayers publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost. All agencies will fully implement updated policies, including ending the optional 12-month embargo, no later than December 31, 2025.
In the short-term, agencies will work with OSTP to update their public access and data sharing plans by mid-2023. OSTP expects all agencies to have updated public access policies fully implemented by the end of 2025. This timeline gives agencies, researchers, publishers, and scholarly societies some flexibility on when to adapt to the new policies. Over the long term, OSTP will continue to coordinate with federal agencies to ensure that government public access policies adapt to new technologies and emerging needs.”
OSTP Free Access Memo: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/08-2022-OSTP-Public-Access-Memo.pdf
OSTP Economic Analysis Report to Congress: 08-2022-OSTP-Public-Access-Congressional-Report.pdf (whitehouse.gov)
President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a landmark climate and tax law, which includes $369 billion in energy and climate spending. According to a statement from Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the bill will reduce carbon emissions by 40% from 2005 levels by 2030. The bill includes $60 billion for environmental justice, $3 billion for climate justice block grants and $27 billion for a new federal green bank.
Lawmakers also included$2 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), including $583 for infrastructure at DOE laboratories. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration receives $500 million for climate and weather research and forecasting. This includes $50 million for climate research grants.
- Democrats Designed the Climate Law to Be a Game Changer. Here’s How. – The New York Times
- Why the climate bill’s impact might not match what many expect – The Washington Post
- A historic climate bill passed. Now comes the hard part. – E&E News
- Landmark Climate Bill Also Promises Boost for Science Projects – AIP FYI
- The Inflation Reduction Act could push climate change tech into the future – The Washington Post
- Climate law could reduce costs associated with emissions up to $1.9 trillion: OMB – The Hill
- The climate law will help red states. Can it change minds? – E&E News
- The surprising political shifts that led to the climate bill’s passage – The Washington Post
Science Funding: Twenty-one members of the House Science Committee, led by Subcommittee Chairmen Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Bill Foster (D-IL), sent a letter to the Biden administration requesting that fiscal year 2024 President’s Budget Request including funding levels for the Department of Energy Office of Science, consistent with CHIPS and Science Act.House Science Committee members have expressed disappointment that the budget requests from the administration have included funding levels lower than science authorization bills passed by Congress. In fiscal year 2023, the Biden administration included $7.779 billion for the Department of Energy Office of Science in its budget request. The CHIPs and Science Act authorizes $8.9 billion for FY 2023 for the Office of Science and $9.5 billion for FY 2024.
White House: The Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Commerce Department released a draft national strategy outlining recommendations for developing “Statistics for Environmental-Economic Decisions” to reflect natural assets on the national balance sheet. This strategy follows a Biden administration Executive Order, released on Earth Day 2022, that directs federal agencies to develop guidance to better account for nature and its benefits in federal decision-making. This same executive order created the National Nature Assessment, which will provide a comprehensive report on the state of the nation’s lands, waters and wildlife and the specific benefits that they provide. The White House is accepting public comments about the draft strategy through Oct. 21, 2022.
For more information, the National Ecosystem Partnership Services program held several webinars that are relevant:
- Policy Applications of Natural Capital Accounts in the United States (May 11, 2022)
- Piloting Natural Capital Accounts for the United States (March 11, 2022)
- Piloting Ecosystem Accounts for the Southeastern United States (May 21, 2020)
- How Governments Can Boost Natural Capital Thinking for Better Decision-Making (April 12, 2019)
Nominations: The full Senate confirmed David Applegate as the director of the U.S. Geological Survey Aug. 4. Applegate was officially sworn in Aug. 15. He is a career USGS employee who served as the acting USGS director for the past year. Before leading the agency, Applegate led the agency’s natural hazards programs.
USDA: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released its Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan, which provide a set of actions that NIFA will take to address climate challenges. This includes supporting work to better understand traditional ecological knowledge and funding opportunities from the Agriculture and Research Initiative addressing climate climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices and mitigation of agriculture greenhouse gases. The agency will hold an informational webinar about the plan Sept. 7.
- US protections for Idaho salmon, steelhead are here to stay – Associated Press
- Private company gives up oil and gas lease in Arctic refuge, leaving Alaska agency as lone leaseholder – Anchorage Daily News
- California’s giant sequoias are burning up. Will logging save them? – The Washington Post
- EPA finds more risks for the pesticide dicamba – Chemical & Engineering News
- California unveils water strategy, planning for greater scarcity – Reuters
- What to know about the new Mass. climate law – WBUR
- California moves toward banning new cars running only on gas by 2035 – The Washington Post
IPBES: The international body is seeking nominations of experts to participate in the business and biodiversity assessment. IPBES is seeking experts and practitioners with expertise in impacts and dependencies of business on biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people from all relevant business and financial sectors. Experts should come from business and industry, government and civil society, and have expertise in a diversity of relevant disciplines including climatology, ecology, hydrology, public health and risk assessment.
- African wildlife parks face climate, infrastructure threats – Associated Press
- 5 things to know about the suspension of U.S.-China climate talks – The Washington Post
- Egyptian NGOs complain of being shut out of Cop27 climate summit – The Guardian
- Nations fail to reach deal on UN treaty to protect sea life – Associated Press
NSF: The Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences (BIO AC) will meet Sept. 13-14. The committee, composed of biological and ecological scientists from across the research enterprise, typically meets twice a year to advise the BIO Directorate about its activities. The committee will meet in a hybrid format, with some committee members meeting in person and some joining virtually. The meeting will be livestreamed via YouTube. The meeting agenda and the livestream links will be post on the BIO AC website. The agenda items will include an overview of the NSF’s new strategic plan and discussion of BIO programming relevant to goals and objectives of the strategic plan and an update from the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering.
NSF: The Committee on the Future of EPSCoR released a report of its findings. The NSF Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program aims to improve research infrastructure in states and jurisdictions that receive a comparatively small amount of NSF funding, enabling them to compete more successfully for federal R&D funding. The report relays that the program has facilitated collaborations in priority areas, which has helped increase NSF funding to institutions participating in the program, increased the number of faculty hired and retained in NSF EPSCoR jurisdictions and supported research infrastructure and Science and Engineering education programs. However, the Committee also makes recommendations to further EPSCoR’s impact, including better integrating EPSCoR with other NSF program and expanding investments to grow the number of competitive and capable STEM professionals in EPSCoR jurisdictions.
NAS: The Polar Research Board is seeking nominations for U.S. representatives to the International Arctic Science Committee. The Board is seeking delegates to serve on the Cryosphere, Terrestrial and Marine Working Groups. Nominations are due Sept. 2, 2022.
- Star marine ecologist committed misconduct, university says – Science
- We Stand Ready to Put Landmark Legislation into Action, Say National Academies’ Presidents – National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine
Register to Vote and Request an Absentee Ballot
The midterm elections are happening this November. On a national level, all seats in the House of Representatives and a third of the seats in the Senate will be contested. Several state governorships and many other state and local elections will also be contested. Be sure you are registered to vote in time to participate! Learn more about voting policies and rights in your state and register to vote at Rock the Vote, a nonprofit dedicated to engaging young people in politics.
Voting procedures and requirements for requesting an absentee ballot during the coronavirus pandemic vary by state. Visit your state board of elections website or Vote.org for deadlines and to request a ballot.
ESA Correspondence to Policymakers
- ESC – FY 2024 Funding Request (Aug. 11, 2022)
- CNSF – Statement on Passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (Aug. 2, 2022)
- Multiorganization Letter in Support of Appropriations for Agricultural Research (July 13, 2022)
- ESC – FY2023 Department of Energy Office of Science Appropriations Statement (June 14, 2022)
- ESA – Testimony in Support of FY 2023 Appropriations for Forest Service Research and Development (June 10, 2022)
- Multiorganization Letter in Support of FY 2023 Appropriations for the DOE Foundation (identical letters sent to both the House and Senate) (May 20, 2022)
- Multiorganization Letter about Appropriations for USDA Agricultural Research and Climate (May 11, 2022)
- Multiorganization Letter in Support of FY 2023 302(b) Allocation for Commerce, Science and Justice Appropriations (May 11, 2022)
- ESA – Letter to the Forest Service about Managed Wildland Fire (May 3, 2022)
- Multiorganization Letter in Support of Appropriations to the Agricultural Research Service (April 25, 2022)
- CNSF – FY 2023 Appropriations Letter (identical letters sent to both the House and Senate) (April 7, 2022)
- Multiorganization Letter in support of appropriations for EPA Science and Technology and Science to Achieve Results program (identical letters sent to both the House and Senate) (April 4, 2022)
View more letters and testimony from ESA here.
Upcoming Public Meetings:
- BLM – Northwest Resource Advisory Council Meetings (Colorado) (Sept. 14-15)
- BLM – Colorado Southwest District Resource Advisory Council Meeting (Sept. 7-8)
- BLM – Northwest Resource Advisory Council Meetings (Colorado) (Sept. 14-15)
- BLM – Public Meetings for the John Day-Snake Resource Advisory Council Planning Subcommittee and the John Day Snake Resource Advisory Council, Oregon (Sept. 14)
- BLM – Western Oregon Resource Advisory Council Meeting (Sept. 22)
- EPA – National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Virtual Public Meeting (Sept. 28)
- Forest Service – Missouri River Resource Advisory Committee Meeting (Sept. 8)
- Forest Service – Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board Meeting (Sept. 21)
- NOAA – Public Meeting of the Science Advisory Board (August 30-31)
- NOAA – Public Meetings for Recommending a National Estuarine Research Reserve Sites in the Green Bay Coastal Area of Lake Michigan (Sept. 7, Sept. 8)
- NOAA – Public Meeting of the National Sea Grant Advisory Board (Sept. 11-12)
- NOAA – Evaluation of Connecticut Coastal Management Program Public Meeting (Sept. 21, comments due Sept. 30)
- NOAA NMFS – Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings (Sept. 6-14)
- NOAA NMFS – Meeting of the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel Meeting (Sept. 7-8)
- NOAA NMFS – Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Meetings (Sept. 13-22)
- NPS – Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Advisory Commission Meeting (Sept. 15)
- NPS – Acadia National Park Advisory Commission Meetings (Sept. 12)
- NPS – Public Meetings of the National Park Service Alaska Region Subsistence Resource Commission Program (Aniakchak National Monument SRC – Sept. 29, Lake Clark National Park SRC – Sept. 28, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park SRC – Sept. 28-29)
- NSF – National Science Board Committee on External Engagement Meetings (Aug. 29, Sept. 26)
- NSF – National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force Meeting (Sept. 12)
- NSF – Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education Meeting (Sept. 20-21)
- Interior Department – Public Meeting of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (Sept. 7-8)
- State Department – Meetings of the United States-Peru Environmental Affairs Council, Environmental Cooperation Commission, and Sub-Committee on Forest Sector Governance (Sept. 13, confirmations of attendance and comments or suggestions are requested in writing no later than Sept. 7, 2022)
- USFWS – Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); Nineteenth Regular Meeting; Announcement of Virtual Public Meeting (Sept. 6)
Opportunities for Public Comment and Nominations:
- BLM – Notice of Intent To Amend Colorado Resource Management Plans Regarding Big Game Conservation and Prepare an Associated Environmental Impact Statement. The BLM requests the public submit comments concerning the scope of the analysis, potential alternatives, and identification of relevant information and studies by Sept. 2, 2022.
- BLM – Notice of Proposed Withdrawal Extension and Opportunity for Public Meeting for the Sweetwater River Recreational, Scenic, Riparian, Historic, and Wildlife Area Along the Sweetwater River, Wyoming. Comments and requests for a public meeting regarding the withdrawal application must be received on or before Sept. 6, 2022.
- BLM – Call for Nominations for the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Nominations must be postmarked or submitted to the following addresses no later than Sept. 12, 2022.
- BLM – Notice of Intent To Prepare a Resource Management Plan for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah and an Associated Environmental Impact Statement
The BLM requests the public submit comments concerning the scope of the analysis, potential alternatives, and identification of relevant information, studies, and ACEC nominations by Sept. 27, 2022.
- BLM – Notice of Proposed Withdrawal and Public Meeting, Upper Colorado River Special Recreation Management Area; Colorado. Comments must be received by Sept. 29, 2022.
- NOAA – Notice of Matching Fund Opportunity for Ocean and Coastal Mapping and Request for Partnership Proposals. Proposals, including any optional GIS files of the proposed project areas, must be received via email by 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 30, 2022.
- NOAA NMFS – Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagics Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Amendment 32. Written comments on Amendment 32 must be received on or before Sept. 6, 2022.
- NOAA NMFS – Implementation of Provisions of the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 and the Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act. Written comments must be received on or before Sept. 6, 2022.
- NOAA NMFS – Listing Endangered or Threatened Species; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To Revise the Critical Habitat Designation for the North Pacific Right Whale. Scientific and commercial information pertinent to the petitioned action must be received by Sept. 12, 2022.
- NOAA NMFS – Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Request for Information on Bristol Bay Red King Crab and Eastern Bering Sea Snow Crab Mortality Mitigation Measures. Comments must be received via the Council’s eAgenda meeting portal by 5 p.m. AKT on Sept. 23, 2022 at https://meetings.npfmc.org/Meeting/Details/2941.
- NOAA NMFS – Nominations to the American Fisheries Advisory Committee. Nominations must have an email date stamp on or before Sept. 24, 2022.
- NOAA NMFS – Guidelines for Preparing Stock Assessment Reports Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act; Draft Revisions to Procedural Directive (NMFS PD 02-204-01). Comments must be received by Sept. 26, 2022.
- NOAA NMFS – Amendments to the North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule. Submit comments on or before Sept. 30, 2022.
- USDA – Request for Nominations of Members for the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board, Specialty Crop Committee (SCC), Citrus Disease Subcommittee (CDS), and National Genetic Resources Advisory Council (NGRAC). Written nominations will be received continuously until September 30, 2022.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Incidental Take Permit Application; Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan Amendment and Associated Documents; County of San Diego, California. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before Sept. 9, 2022.
- USFWS – Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removal of the Puerto Rican Boa From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. USFWS will accept comments received or postmarked on or before Sept. 12, 2022.
- White House CEQ – Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) Federal Lands and Outer Continental Shelf Permitting Task Force. CEQ must receive nominations by Sept. 26, 2022.
- White House CEQ – Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) Non-Federal Lands Permitting Task Force. CEQ must receive nominations by Sept. 26, 2022.
Visit this page on ESA’s website for updates on opportunities from the Federal Register, including upcoming meetings and regulations open for public comment.
ESA’s policy activities work to infuse ecological knowledge into national policy decisions through activities such as policy statements, Capitol Hill briefings, Congressional Visits Days, and coalition involvement. Policy News Updates are bi-monthly summaries of major environmental and science policy news. They are produced by the Public Affairs Office of the Ecological Society of America.
Visit the ESA website to learn more about our activities and membership.