Office of Public Affairs Dear Act4Chemistry Member,
Last week, the Office of Public Affairs issued the following press release outlining ACS' advocacy agenda for 2016. We wanted to share it with you as we start planning for the year ahead. We look forward to working with you on these important policy iniaitives!
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2016 -As President Barack Obama and the 114th Congress outline their 2016 legislative agenda, the American Chemical Society (ACS) recommends they support several measures that will strengthen U.S. competitiveness.
"On behalf of the ACS' more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers, I urge our nation's leadership to prioritize predictable and strong investment in scientific research to identify and enable new opportunities for innovation," says ACS Executive Director and CEO Thomas M. Connelly, Jr. "To complement this technological advancement, our nation's education, energy policies and regulatory environment should work together to ensure that the U.S. remains the global leader in innovation and scientific discovery."
Among these critical measures that ACS expects will pass this session of Congress are the following:
Predictable and Strong Support for Science Funding: Predictable and strong funding for federal scientific agencies is an imperative component in fostering the innovation ecosystem that drives research and development. U.S. global technological leadership and economic strength depends heavily on continued strong federal support for research.
The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety in the 21st Century Act: The Toxic Substances Control Act has not been updated or significantly changed since it was passed in 1976 and is ineffective and expensive to implement. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety in the 21st Century Act would modernize this outdated law, ensuring the safety of chemicals and driving innovation throughout the chemical sciences.
Comprehensive Energy Legislation: Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have introduced bipartisan legislation to address a number of critical energy issues. Included in the proposed legislation are efficiency improvements, infrastructure upgrades, advanced computing and robust research at the Department of Energy.
The Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act: Originally introduced in the 113th Congress with bipartisan sponsorship, this legislation would create an interagency task force to coordinate green and sustainable chemistry research, fund grants and enable public-private partnerships. Economically competitive and environmentally benign, sustainable chemistry is the future of the chemical enterprise.
The Critical Minerals Policy Act: This legislation would ensure the U.S. has the supplies of critical materials needed to produce 21st century technologies such as high-quality batteries, wind turbines, fluorescent lights, smart phones and powerful magnets. The measure would prioritize discovery and extraction efforts in the U.S., establish recycling programs and identify alternative materials to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign supplies.
Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act: The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act provides federal funding for supporting career and technical education in high schools, technical schools and community colleges. It gives almost $1.3 billion in federal support for career and technical education programs in all 50 states, including support for integrated career pathways programs. The Act, which was first drafted in 1984, was last reauthorized in 2006 and has been due for reauthorization since 2012.
Higher Education Act: The Higher Education Act was drafted in 1965 to strengthen the educational resources of colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education. The legislation increased federal funding for universities, created scholarships, provides low-interest loans for students and established a National Teachers Corps. Authorization for the programs in the Higher Education Act was set to expire at the end of 2013 but has been extended through 2015.
In addition to the above legislation, ACS also advocates on a range of science policy issues. The Society holds formal policy positions on U.S. Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Science and Technology in the Budget, Science Education, Sustainability and the Chemical Enterprise, Chemical Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision Making and Energy.
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio."
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