The Geoscience and Energy Office in Washington, D.C. (GEO-DC) opened its doors in December 2005 with one mission: to inform policy making with science.
Harnessing the collective scientific knowledge and professional experience of AAPG’s worldwide members and providing that knowledge to policy makers in a form they can understand and use should result in more effective laws and regulations. Often policy makers do not have access to such information and knowledge. GEO-DC seeks to fill that void.
AAPG is not a trade association and does not represent the petroleum industry. Instead we are a scientific and professional association, representing the science and profession of energy and environmental geology and geophysics. Our members include scientists working for industry, government, and academia. GEO-DC’s activities clearly reflect this distinction.
The GEO-DC Governance Board provides advice and assistance on issues and office activities. The office also works closely with the Governmental Affairs Committee.
The focus of GEO-DC efforts is threefold:
- Advise and educate government officials and science and energy policy organizations.
- Communicate to AAPG members timely information on relevant legislative and regulatory actions.
- Create opportunities for AAPG members to get involved and deliver their expertise directly in the policy making process.
AAPG maintains a collection of Statements on a variety of policy issues. The Statements cover topics including U.S. energy and natural gas supplies, access to federal lands for energy exploration and production, geological and geophysical data preservation, research and development needs, and workforce concerns.
These Statements are the first resource we turn to on legislative and regulatory issues. They outline the association’s current views on these subjects, and are drafted by the Division of Professional Affairs’ Governmental Affairs Committee. Statements are reviewed and approved by DPA Leadership and forwarded to the AAPG Executive Committee for approval and adoption.
AAPG addresses other policy issues with significant scientific and technical components as warranted. If an issue arises where there is no Statement, GEO-DC works with the Government Affairs Committee to fashion an appropriate response and/or develop a new statement. In some cases, the AAPG President appoints an ad hoc committee to develop a response. This happened, for example, to draft AAPG’s comments on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s modifications to its oil and natural gas reserves classification rules.
GEO-DC Oversight and Direction
The GEO-DC Governance Board provides strategic oversight and direction of GEO-DC activities. The Governmental Affairs Committee provides tactical guidance on specific legislative and regulatory issues.