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USGS Budget Advances in House of Representatives

The House Appropriations Committee released a draft report to accompany the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2012. The USGS section of the report indicates that the bill would restore proposed budget cuts for many USGS programs, reduce funding for several programs, and increase funding for selected programs compared to the FY 2011 enacted levels. Overall, the bill would appropriate $1.054 billion for the USGS in FY 2012, a decrease of $30 million below the FY 2011 enacted level and $64 million below the President's budget request for FY 2012.

The House Interior Appropriations Bill for FY 2012 would restore proposed cuts in USGS energy, minerals & environmental health programs and natural hazards programs; the budgets for these programs would be unchanged from the FY 2011 enacted levels. The bill would cut funding for ecosystems (-$10.7 million) and climate variability (-$23.7 million) compared to the FY 2011 enacted levels. The bill would increase funding for land remote sensing ($11.4 million), which is not funded in a separate account as was proposed by the Administration. Within the water resources budget, the bill would restore proposed cuts for Groundwater Resources, National Water Quality Assessment, and the Water Resources Research Act Program. The bill would increase funding for the National Streamflow Information System ($2.9 million) and the Cooperative Water Program ($2.1 million) compared to the FY 2011 enacted levels. Within core science programs, the bill would restore a $2.3 million proposed cut in the National Cooperative Geologic Act Program but it would not restore a $3.5 million proposed cut in Biological Information Management and Delivery.

The text of USGS section of the report is imported below. View full report, including budget tables.

The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the bill on Tuesday, 12 July at 10:30 a.m. in 2359 Rayburn House Office Building.

Craig Schiffries, Co-Chair
USGS Coalition


[Source: Draft House Appropriations Committee Report to Accompany the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill, FY 2012]

UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) was established by an Act of Congress on March 3, 1879, to provide a permanent Federal agency to conduct up-to-date systematic and scientific ‘‘classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the National domain.’’ The USGS is the Federal government’s largest earth-science research agency and the primary source of data on the Nation’s surface and ground water resources. Its activities include conducting detailed assessments of the energy and mineral potential of the Nation’s land and State offshore areas; investigating and issuing warnings of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and other geologic and hydrologic hazards; research on the geologic structure of the Nation; studies of the geologic features, structure, processes, and history of other planets of our solar system; topographic surveys of the Nation and preparation of topographic and thematic maps and related cartographic products; development and production of digital cartographic data bases and products; collection on a routine basis of data on the quantity, quality, and use of surface and ground water; research in hydraulics and hydrology; the coordination of all Federal water data acquisition; the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support the sound management and conservation of our Nation’s biological resources; and the application of remotely sensed data to the development of new cartographic, geologic, and hydrologic research techniques for natural resources planning and management, surveys, investigations, and research.

SURVEYS, INVESTIGATIONS, AND RESEARCH

Appropriation enacted, 2011$1,083,672,000
Budget estimate, 20121,018,037,000
Recommended, 20121,053,552,000
Comparison:
Appropriation, 2011-30,120,000
Budget estimate, 2012+35,515,000

The Committee recommends $1,053,552,000 for surveys, investigations,and research, $30,120,000 below the fiscal year 2011 enacted level and $35,515,000 above the budget request. The amounts recommended by the Committee compared with the budget estimates by activity are shown in the table at the end of this report. Prior year appropriations have been recalculated to reflect the Committee-approved budget realignment for fiscal year 2012.

Ecosystems. — The Committee recommends $150,120,000 for ecosystems programs, $10,717,000 below the fiscal year 2011 enacted level and $16,303,000 below the budget request. The Committee supports the President’s budget proposal to conduct an in-depth analysis of the extent and sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals impacting fish and wildlife in the Chesapeake basin.

Climate Variability. — The Committee recommends $40,628,000 for climate variability, $23,706,000 below the fiscal year 2011 enacted level and $32,291,000 below the budget request. Changes from the request include the following: a decrease of $9,086,000 from research and development; a decrease (elimination) of $14,345,000 from carbon sequestration; and a decrease (elimination) of $8,860,000 from science support for Department of the Interior bureaus. The Committee expects the Survey to utilize funding throughout its entire budget to provide science support to other Interior bureaus.

Land Use Change. — The Committee recommends $85,303,000 for land use change, an increase of $11,496,000 above the fiscal year 2011 enacted level and an increase of $51,817,000 above the budget request.

The increase above the budget request is for land remote sensing, which is not funded in a separate account as was proposed by the Administration. The Committee supports the continuation of the LandSat program beyond LandSat 8 and urges the Administration to submit a fiscal year 2013 budget proposal that does not offset increases for LandSat with decreases elsewhere in the Survey’s budget.

Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health. — The Committee recommends $99,912,000 for energy, minerals, and environmental health, equal to the fiscal year 2011 enacted level and an increase of $11,394,000 above the budget request. The recommended level restores proposed cuts to mineral resources, energy resources, contaminant biology, and toxic substances hydrology.

Natural Hazards. — The Committee recommends $135,965,000 for natural hazards, equal to the fiscal year 2011 enacted level and $2,096,000 above the budget request. The recommended level restores proposed cuts to earthquake, volcano, and landslide hazards.

Water Resources. — The Committee recommends $217,503,000 for water resources, $5,080,000 above the fiscal year 2011 enacted level and $17,903,000 above the budget request.

The recommended level restores proposed cuts to nationally important water programs. The national streamflow information program and the cooperative water program are increased above the fiscal year 2011 enacted level by $2,900,000 and $2,090,000, respectively.

The Committee encourages the Survey to include with its fiscal year 2013 budget request a proposal to establish a national groundwater monitoring network as authorized by the Secure Water Act.

Bill Language. — The bill provides two-year funding authority. The cooperative water program is funded in the bill at $65,561,000. Provisos include a funding limitation on surveys on private property and a cost-share requirement on topographic mapping and water resources activities carried on in cooperation with States and municipalities.

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