USGS Nominee Will Prioritize America’s Mineral Security

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider the nomination of Dr. James Reilly to be director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS surveys and inventories our nation’s mineral base, provides real-time data for natural hazards, and deploys thousands of stream gauges across the country to monitor groundwater and river levels.

Murkowski opened the hearing by thanking Dr. Reilly for his willingness to serve our country and highlighted his unique qualifications for the position.

“It is refreshing to finally have a geologist nominated to run the USGS - someone who can help the Survey re-prioritize its core mandate, which is to be a geological survey,” Murkowski said. “This will not only help restore America’s mineral security, but also our economic and national security. Dr. Reilly has a truly impressive resume, as a geologist and an astronaut, and is well-qualified for this important role. I hope to move his nomination quickly.”

Murkowski also called attention to the delays that two key nominees for the Department of the Interior, Susan Combs and Ryan Nelson, continue to face. Both have now been on the Senate calendar for more than five months. She noted that neither nominee is controversial, and the need to confirm them as soon as possible.

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video and witness testimony from today’s hearing are available on the committee’s website. Click here and here to view Murkowski’s questions for Reilly. 

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