The FY 2005 omnibus appropriations bill provides essentially flat funding
for the U.S. Geological Survey. Total USGS funding would decline 0.2%
or $2.3 million from $938.0 million to $935.7 million, after allowing
for two across-the-board reductions that were mandated within the bill.
Congress is taking final action on this bill today, after which it will
be sent to President Bush for his signature.
Below are selections from the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying
this bill, as well as the calculated budgets for each of the seven components
of the survey's budget. Note that the figures quoted in the selections
from this Statement have NOT been reduced by the mandated 1.394% adjustment.
The complete legislative language can be viewed under Division E at
MAPPING, REMOTE SENSING AND GEOGRAPHIC INVESTIGATIONS: Funding
declines by 8.5% or $11.0 million from $129.8 million to $118.8 million
(after adjustments.) The Bush Administration requested $118.9 million.
"The managers understand that this decrease will be partially
offset by anticipated buyout savings. The managers expect that the Alaska
digital data mapping program will continue from within base funding
at no less than the fiscal year 2004 enacted level.
"The managers reiterate their concern with the equipment failure
on the Landsat 7 satellite, which occurred well over a year ago, and
the issues that have arisen as a result. Despite repeated requests from
both the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, a clear plan
has yet to be submitted by the Administration regarding long term USGS
satellite operations, nor has an interim solution been offered to address
the current funding issues surrounding Landsat 7. The managers are dismayed
that the Administration has been unable to provide specific guidance
and coordination on an issue that crosses multiple agencies and jurisdictions.
Further, the managers object to the notion of continuing to redirect
funds from other valuable Survey activities in order to maintain the
status quo for a program that is no longer fully functional. The managers
expect to see a fiscal year 2006 budget submission that contains a detailed
proposal to address the Landsat issue. If, however, a clear plan regarding
mission and funding options is not received by June 30, 2005, the managers
direct the Department of the Interior to submit a plan for shutdown
of the Landsat program. In the meantime, to the extent that buyout savings
may be required to contribute to EROS Data Center operations during
fiscal year 2005, the mapping program should reserve these funds to
do so. The managers expect the Survey to be extremely cautious in expanding
its mapping programs or entering into additional cooperative agreements
with these monies until it is clear how the Landsat issue will be resolved.
"The managers agree that long-term remote sensing data is vital
to many aspects of the government and private sector in the nation.
Once again, the managers encourage the Administration to work with NASA
and other Federal agencies to place the next generation Landsat sensor
in orbit as soon as possible to reduce future gaps in data."
GEOLOGIC HAZARDS, RESOURCES AND PROCESSES: Funding declines
by 2.1% or $4.9 million from $234.2 million to $229.3 million, after
adjustments. The Administration requested $220.8 million.
The Joint Statement makes specific funding recommendations for the
volcano monitoring program, an Alaskan mineral programs, the Advanced
National Seismic System program, a landslide program, geothermal assessments,
coastal erosion programs, and a subsidence program. It also explains:
"The managers agree that the volcano monitoring program is vital
to both the safety of citizens living near these areas and the protection
of commercial aircraft. Within the funds provided in the conference
agreement, the Survey shall continue its ongoing volcanic research and
monitoring activities at no less than the fiscal year 2004 enacted level,
and should direct increased funding to areas of recent and imminent
volcanic activity." In addition, "The managers agree
that the amount of funding provided for conducting inquiries into the
economic conditions affecting mining and materials processing industries
is $15,499,000. This number will no longer appear in bill language."
WATER RESOURCES INVESTIGATIONS: Funding would decline 2.0% or
$4.4 million from $215.7 million to $211.3 million, after adjustments.
The Administration requested $202.7 million. The Joint Statement makes
funding recommendations on several site-specific projects.
BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH: Funding would decline 1.6% or $2.7 million
from $174.5 million to $171.8 million, after adjustments. The Administration
requested $167.6 million. The Joint Statement makes funding recommendations
on several site-specific projects.
ENTERPRISE INFORMATION: This is a new budget category this year.
The Administration requested $45.2 million; the bill provides $44.4
million, after adjustments. The Joint Statement explains "Changes
to the House level for enterprise information include increases of $500,000
for certification and accreditation of information technology systems,
$300,000 for accessible data transfer and $50,000 for the enterprise
SCIENCE SUPPORT: Funding would decline 27.8% or $25.2 million
from $90.8 million to $65.6 million, after adjustments. The Administration
requested $66.8 million. The Statement only says, "The change
to the House level for science support is a decrease of $1,000,000 for
financial management improvements."
FACILITIES: Funding would increase 1.6% or $1.5 million from
$93.0 million to $94.5 million, after adjustments. The Administration
requested $95.9 million. The Joint Statement explains: "There
are no changes to the House funding level for facilities activities.
The conference agreement also retains language proposed in the House
bill designating $1,600,000 from within amounts provided to remain available
until expended for deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects
exceeding $100,000. The managers have not agreed to provide base funding
to the Lake Ponchartrain restoration project."