Thursday, March 22, 2012

AASG testifies on USGS budget and state co-ops

Minnesota State Geologist Harvey Thorleifson reports that the House Energy & Minerals Subcommittee hearing on the USGS budget today went well. [Right, US Capitol. Credit, Architect of the Capitol]

Jon Price spoke effectively for SME, John Geissman spoke superbly for GSA, and Harvey spoke for AASG. There were good questions and discussion, much of it, but certainly not all, on fracking.

USGS Director Marcia McNutt spoke very positively about partnerships with states, the fundamental importance of geologic mapping, and added a plug for 3D mapping.

Chairman Lamborn of CO asked Marcia to confirm that supplements to NCGMP would be distributed to Statemap and elsewhere according to the provisions of the Act, and Marcia confirmed this.

Rush Holt of NJ followed up on our testimony, in which we mentioned the New Jersey Geological Survey geologic mapping associated with nuclear facilities.

Representative Tonko of NY asked excellent questions – on geologic mapping, on NCGMP, on the distribution of funds to Statemap, and on the Great Lakes Coalition. He also asked a thoughtful question about how to optimize our preparedness for flooding and other hazards - Harvey noted stream gages, understanding stream response, documenting historic and geologic records of past events, and conveying a grasp of the risk to the public.

Bill Flores of Texas spoke strongly in favor of the Minerals program, as he depicted availability of minerals as a serious topic for the nation. GT Thompson of PA focused on fracking.

In discussions after, Chairman Lamborn spoke very positively about the Colorado Geological Survey mapping that AASG had mentioned in testimony.

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