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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Sidelined Science: Let’s Get the House Science Committee Back on Track

The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in the U.S. House of Representatives should lead the way in bringing science into federal legislation and public policy. But, our new analysis of the witnesses the committee is hearing from reveals some troubling trends. Read More

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Finding Glimmers of Hope on Capitol Hill

The holidays are always a good time to take stock of the year, and to be grateful for the good things that happened. Although the media has labeled this the “do nothing” Congress, the news wasn’t all bad. Read More

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When “Sound Science” Isn’t

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”George Orwell

When I cited that quotation while speaking to a group of students last year, many of them had a hard time grasping what I was getting at. So let me be clear. Orwell, in his classic dystopian novel, 1984, described what it was like to live under a government that believed it could change facts, and make citizens believe them. It could, for example, proclaim that two plus two equaled five, and that would become the new reality. Read More

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Are Scientific Integrity Policies Working? The Case of the Freshwater Mussels

In a letter released by Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) and first reported in E&E Daily (subscription), and later by the Associated Press, the Interior Department Inspector General criticized the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for failing to make restitution to whistleblowers who rightly exposed scientific integrity violations by their supervisors, and for failing to discipline the supervisors for their actions. To avoid further perceptions of impropriety, the FWS should respond quickly to the inspector general and detail how the agency is following up on the investigation. Read More

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Don’t Like the Endangered Species Act? Try to Weaken It by Gutting the Science

The Endangered Species Act has one of the strongest scientific foundations of any environmental law in the United States. And with some predictability, some members of Congress try to tear down that foundation. This year is no different. Read More

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A Dangerous Approach: Lawmaker Proposes Changes to How the National Science Foundation Funds Science

The targeting of specific government grants has become old hat in Washington DC, an easy way to score cheap political points. Targets have included fruit fly research in Paris, studies of duck genitalia, and research involving shrimp on a treadmill, but in all cases, further investigation has shown that the seemingly odd projects have direct ties to real-world applications. These skirmishes have now escalated into power grabs that serve to undermine entire fields of research. Read More

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Shining A Light On Physician Payments: Delayed Rule Imperfect But Useful

Back in 2010, when Congress approved the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” it included a requirement to help all of us become more knowledgeable about our health care, and to reduce unacceptable conflicts of interest between physicians and drug and device makers. Read More

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State Renewable Electricity Standards: A Cornerstone in America’s Clean Energy Transition

Compelling evidence shows that state-level renewable electricity standards (RES) are affordably reducing market barriers and stimulating new, stable, and long-term markets for wind, solar, and other renewable energy technologies throughout the United States. To continue the nation’s clean energy transition in 2013 and beyond, strong leadership in expanding state RES policies is critical. Not surprisingly, fossil-fuel backed special interest groups have geared up to block progress. Read More

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Obama’s Climate Legacy

Since his re-election, President Obama has made it clear that he sees action on climate change as a major piece of unfinished business from his first term. In his election night victory speech, he said he wants “our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt; that isn’t weakened by inequality; that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” Read More

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Congress Prevents Wind Industry from Falling Off Cliff

I’m pleased to report that it didn’t take long to achieve one of my new year’s resolutions for Congress – extending the federal tax credits for wind power and other renewable energy sources. The deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” that passed the Senate and the House yesterday, and is expected to be signed by the President, includes an important extension of federal tax credits for wind and other renewable energy projects that begin construction in 2013. This will temporarily help the wind industry from going off its own cliff. Happy New Year indeed! Read More

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