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Week 17 in Science & Technology: Trump Proposes Spending Cuts, Senate Moves on Deregulation

Trump Proposes Deep Cuts to Science BudgetsOn Tuesday, May 23, the Trump administration released its full budget proposal for FY18. Like the President's initial proposal, released on March 16, the full budget proposal calls for draconian cuts to domestic spending, including to scientific programs:$7.7 billion (22%) cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)$3.1 billion (18%) cut to non-nuclear security programs at the Department of Energy (DOE)$2.6 billion (31%) cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)$776 million (11%) cut to the National Science Foundation (NSF)Elimination of the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)Elimination of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant and education programsSee more analysis: Science, STAT, Quartz, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hill.Ultimately, though, it is the responsibility of Congress to set the US budget, and much of Trump's budget proposal has little chance of being enacted. This pr...
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Week 17 in Energy & Environment: Public outcry and EPA Regulations and a Monumental Call to Action

EPA Regulations. In response to an executive order requiring agencies to reexamine burdensome regulations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested public comments regarding which regulations might be applicable. Instead of the expected laundry list of industry requests, EPA got an earful from nearly 100,000 commenters, many urging the agency not to remove regulations. Commenters from manufacturing and mining communities to urban areas shared stories of dirty air and water. Rise Stronger partnered with several groups to assist in preparing comments defending the environment, and many Rise Stronger members submitted their own comments to EPA. Transportation joins the anti-climate game. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a rulemaking at the end of the Obama administration, requiring state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations to measure and set targets for highway reliability, freight movement, congestion, greenhouse ...
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Trump and Zinke say NO to Bears Ears National Monument. Help say YES.

Make your voice heard by May 26th and Save Bears Ears National Monument!The U.S. Department of the Interior is conducting a review of certain National Monuments designated or expanded since 1996 under the Antiquities Act of 1906 in order to implement Executive Order 13792 of April 26, 2017. To ensure consideration, written comments relating to the Bears Ears National Monument must be submitted before May 26, 2017. Written comments relating to all other National Monuments must be submitted before July 10, 2017. Rise Stronger will put out another Call to Action before the July deadline covering other monuments.How to Submit a Comment Go to https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=50&so=DESC&sb=postedDate&po=0&dct=PS&D=DOI-2017-0002 Click "Comment now"Personalize or edit the statement below and copy and paste it into the boxSubmit!What to SayDear Secretary Zinke, [insert personal narrative about a national park, or Bears Ears if applicable]Our national monument...
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Week 16 in Science & Technology: Cybersecurity in the News as FCC to Consider Net Neutrality Rollback

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Global Cyberattack Affects Hundreds of ThousandsA global cyberattack, involving ransomware called WannaCrypt, affected over 200,000 computers in over 150 countries through the weekend, after first emerging on Friday, May 12. The attack exploited a flaw in Windows computers that was originally used by the National Security Agency (NSA) before being leaked earlier this year. A statement from Microsoft highlighted the need for governments around the world to "consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits" and reiterated its call for "a new 'Digital Geneva Convention' to govern these issues, including a new requirement for governments to report vulnerabilities to vendors, rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them."Trump Signs Executive Order on CybersecurityOne day before the cyberattack, on Thursday, May 11, President Trump signed an executive order (EO) on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critica...
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Week 10-16 in Infrastructure and Urban Policy Weekly Report: Infrastructure Splenda, Ben Carson Tour, Water Infrastructure, Jones Act, and Broken Promises

What You Can DoSign up for updates from the CarsonWatch powered by our friends at Public Advocates in collaboration with the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and PolicyLink.Share your own stories about HUD's impact on your lifeSee how HUD budget cuts impact your specific communityQuestions to Ask Your Member of CongressDo you agree with Secretary Carson's stance on making life that much harder and uncomfortable for those who benefit from HUD programs?Why is there still no infrastructure bill?In an exclusive interview with the New York Times, President Trump indicated that he may attach infrastructure funding to a new health care bill, since it has bipartisan support. Specifically, the President said, "Yeah. I may put it in with something else because it's a very popular thing. We've spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, as of two months ago … uh, $6 trillion ... and yet we can't fix our own roads and our own highways. And...
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Week 16 in Energy & Environment: Whiplash on the Paris Agreement and the Senate upholds Obama's Methane Rule

Whiplash on Paris. Trump officials were scheduled to meet this past Tuesday to discuss the Paris Agreement but rescheduled their meeting again for a yet to be announced date. As the Trump administration works its way to a decision on the Agreement, the business and financial communities are voicing their support for staying in the Agreement. A number of companies and CEOs have signed public letters and taken full-page ads in newspapers that Trump reads. Even Trump's favorite jeweler and namesake of his youngest daughter, Tiffany & Co., posted on Instagram urging the president to support the agreement. In addition, foreign leaders, such as France's president-elect Emmanuel Macron, have called Trump urging him to stay in the agreement. Reportedly, Trump will not decide whether to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change until after the May 26–27 G7 summit in Italy. Arctic declaration. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined seven other foreign ministers at the Arctic C...
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​Trump & Republicans Target Dismantling Net Neutrality - Take Action

Let's start with the basics...what exactly is net neutrality? Net neutrality equals internet freedom. It is what stops internet service providers (ISPs) like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc. from limiting what you can and cannot see online, as well as the speed at which you get it. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted regulations that preserve net neutrality, i.e. your ability to freely access content on the internet. And for a good video clip, check out what John Oliver has to say about net neutrality.Why it matters to you: Net neutrality impacts everyone - individuals, small business owners, corporations, etc. With net neutrality, everyone has an equal space on the internet. Without net neutrality, internet companies will decide which websites, content or applications succeed.So what's happening now? Trump's new head of the FCC, former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai, wants to reverse net neutrality laws, allowing service providers to turn the internet into somethi...
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Renew the National Commission on Forensic Science

BackgroundIn 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice created the National Commission on Forensic Science. It is comprised of scientists, judges, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and other stakeholders who have an interest maintaining strict, professional, and quality scientific standards for forensic sciences. The Commission's objective was to provide the DOJ advice and recommendations for the following: strengthening the reliability of forensic sciences, enhancing quality assurance and quality control in forensic laboratories, identifying and recommending scientific guidance and protocols for seizing, testing, analyzing, and reporting evidence, and assessing other needs of forensic science communities to meet demands generated by the criminal and civil justice systems. On April 10, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the NCFS would not be renewed for another two-year term once its current term expires on April 23, 2017. The NCFS has been key in addressing issue...
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​Energy and Environment Summary of Trump's Week 15

Midnight for Paris II. Trump administration officials delayed a meeting to discuss whether the United States should remain in the Paris Agreement that had been planned for May 9th. The decision may hinge on Article 4.11 of the agreement which states that a nation "may at any time adjust its existing [emission reduce pledge] with a view to enhancing its level of ambition." Critics of the agreement have argued that the United States cannot reduce its "level of ambition" and that pro-climate advocates would use remaining in the Paris Agreement as an argument in court when fighting the administration's efforts to undo climate regulations. Almost all experts agree that the Paris Agreement imposes few legal obligations on the United States. However, a new leaked internal memo from the State Department's legal office outlines legal justification for the United States to exit the Agreement. Reports of the White House seesawing on the Paris Agreement has increased outreach efforts by pro-Par...
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Week 15 in Science & Technology: House Passes Trumpcare, FY17 Spending Bill Enacted, EPA to Increase Industry Reps on Science Boards

House Votes to Strip Health Care From MillionsOn Thursday, May 4, Republicans in the House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act ("Trumpcare"), their attempt to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). If enacted into law, this bill would leave 24 million more people uninsured, while cutting $800 billion in Medicaid funding, providing tax cuts for the wealthy, and revoking guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. The Senate is drafting its own bill, which is expected to be different from the House version (if it passes the Senate, the two versions would have to be reconciled, so this legislation faces a long, bumpy road ahead).Trump Signs FY17 Spending BillOn Friday, May 5, President Trump signed a bill funding the government through September. The $1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill provides a $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), despite cuts proposed by Trump. Read more about scientifi...
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