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US news roundup: 1-7 April


This week: EPA working conditions, ocean priorities and more China concerns

In depth: Biden’s 2023 budget request receives mixed reaction

Full story: Science agencies hail proposals, but university and research groups raise concerns

Also this week from Research Professional News

Green greenbacks—The Biden administration’s calls for investment in clean energy are heating up

Here is the rest of the US news this week…

EPA staff call workplace ‘dysfunctional, stressful and hostile’

In an internal survey, researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency have called their work environment “dysfunctional, stressful and hostile” and said that managers “perpetuate a culture of fear”. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which represents public researchers, used freedom of information requests to obtain the survey of staff at the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. The group said the survey was “horrific”. The EPA told Research Professional News that the office was “committed to ensuring the highest level of scientific integrity [and] to fostering a healthy work environment that promotes respect between all levels of staff”.

Ocean science priorities drawn up

The US has “immediate opportunities” in the development of offshore wind energy, supporting ocean mapping and protecting critical ecosystems, according to a list of priorities for ocean science drawn up by a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said that the subcommittee’s report should help decision-makers incorporate government priorities for ocean science and technology.

Lucas seeks to stop federal funds going to China

The lead Republican on the House science committee is seeking to amend proposed laws on the US’s competitiveness to prevent any federal funding flowing to “persons or entities of concern”, particularly in China. “Surely we can all agree that we shouldn’t be sending taxpayer dollars to Communist leadership in China,” said Frank Lucas. “They’re already stealing our discoveries and using them to surpass us economically and militarily. We’re spending the time, money and effort to plant the seeds of new technologies, but China is the one harvesting the crop.”