USGS

The latest appropriation for the U.S. Geological Survey falls well short of the Biden administration’s target, but Congress also provided a major one-time supplement for critical minerals mapping through the infrastructure law. This year, the administration is seeking to deepen the agency’s role in providing climate science and decision-support services.

David Applegate, a longtime U.S. Geological Survey official who has been nominated to lead the agency, discussed critical mineral supply chains and carbon sequestration with senators at his nomination hearing last month.

House and Senate appropriators are seeking double-digit percentage budget increases for the U.S. Geological Survey for fiscal year 2022. Through the new infrastructure spending law, the agency will also soon begin receiving a total of about $500 million for critical minerals initiatives.

The special infrastructure spending legislation just approved by Congress includes around $25 billion for energy technology demonstration projects, as well as targeted budget increases for R&D programs at the Department of Energy and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D-WV) has proposed special infrastructure spending legislation that would provide billions of dollars in funding for R&D, demonstration projects, and other initiatives to promote emerging energy technologies.

The U.S. Geological Survey budget would increase a quarter to $1.64 billion under the Biden administration’s request for fiscal year 2022 in large part to support an array of climate change research, mitigation, and preparedness initiatives.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s budget is increasing 4% to $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2021, with most of the additional funding directed to geological mapping, water monitoring, and landslide hazards programs.

The House continues to reject the Trump administration’s calls for steep budget cuts to the U.S. Geological Survey, while partially accepting its proposal to restructure the agency’s mission areas.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s budget would drop 24% to $971 million under the Trump administration’s request for fiscal year 2021, with only the Energy and Mineral Resources mission area spared from cuts. The administration also repeats its proposal to restructure the agency's seven science mission areas.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s appropriation for fiscal year 2020 includes significant boosts to facilities construction projects, climate change research centers, and mapping programs. Congress also rejected a proposed restructuring of the agency.