With Republicans now at the helm, Congress is gearing up to pursue a legislative agenda with potentially profound implications for science and how it informs policies on the environment, energy, health and agriculture. Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, takes a look at the science-related issues facing the new Congress.
Topping the Republicans' to-do list is a passel of energy-related initiatives, including the approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline and blocking regulations of carbon dioxide emissions from coal and natural gas power plants.
Other actions they're likely to tackle include: updating the 38-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act that regulates chemicals in everyday products; nullifying state laws that require the labelling of foods made with genetically modified organisms; and pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to further investigate the decline of honeybees and other pollinators that are crucial to agriculture. The Republican agenda could also impact how much federal funding is available to scientists -- and the direction of their research.
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