March 25, 2010
On March 25, 2010, AIBS Director of Public Policy Dr. Robert Gropp testified before the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations about the President's fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget request for the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Gropp appeared before the panel in his capacity as co-chair of the USGS Coalition.
During his remarks, Gropp thanked current and former Subcommittee members for their efforts to provide funding to the USGS. His remarks stressed that the USGS is more than the science agency for the Department of the Interior; it is an internationally respected natural resource science agency and should be treated similarly to other federal science agencies in the federal budgeting process. The research and related products generated by USGS personnel save money, protect lives, create new economic and employment opportunities, and promote informed environmental stewardship.
Gropp expressed concern that the Administration's budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2011 does not fund fixed (uncontrollable) cost increases, such as increases for office rent, utilities, salary increases, and similar expenses. Although the Administration proposed an increase of $21 million for the USGS, when $13.5 million for unfunded fixed costs are factored into the budget the increase is only $8 million -- which would be allocated to important new initiatives. However, an additional $11 million would be cut from USGS programs in the Water Resources Discipline, Biological Resources Discipline, and Enterprise Infrastructure accounts.
AIBS was a founding member of the USGS Coalition, which was established to increase the federal investment in the unique combination of biological, geological, hydrological, and geographical programs of the USGS.