Monday, September 14, 2009

Mineral resources at USGS

The State Geologists met with senior officials from the US Dept of Interior and the USGS this morning to discuss strategic initiatives in the geosciences. One of the issues we covered is the growing demand for certain minerals that are critical to renewable energy and other ‘green’ technologies.

One piece of good news is that Interior recognizes the national security and economic importance of the USGS Mineral Resources Program. So, we should not expect another attempt to eliminate the program in the federal budgeting process. In fact, part of our discussion today was on ways increase support for the program to meet the nation’s needs.

An interesting side note: Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of Interior for Water and Science, is married to a hardrock mining geologist who specializes in ore reserves and is working on uranium projects in Russia, South Africa, and elsewhere overseas.

Anne told us that Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar is a “huge fan of the USGS” and realizes the value of the science they bring to table for effective decision-making and dealing with critical issues facing the nation.

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