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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Oil Spill Commission Calls for Larger Role for Science
11 January 2011 3:25 pm
The final report of the presidential oil spill commission released today calls for more science in order to better protect the environment. It details plenty of oil industry hubris and shortcomings in government oversight, but among its recommendations is that Congress and the Department of the Interior should create of a new, independent agency that would have a strong science component.
Housed within the Department of the Interior and endowed with enforcement authority over all aspects of drilling safety offshore, the new agency would include a Leasing and Environmental Science Office that would oversee "environmentally responsible and efficient" development of the outer continental shelf. Conventional and renewable energy development would be included. The office's environmental science division would "provide an important and equitable voice for environmental concerns." That voice tended to be drowned out in Interior's now defunct Minerals Management Service, according to the report.
The report also calls for "better science and greater interagency consultation to improve decision-making." It singles out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as deserving a more "robust and formal" role in deciding where drilling should be allowed.