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Cutting the Budget: Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
Let’s get rid of this broken agency.

Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a multi-part series on the budget for the State of Oregon and where possible efficiencies can be found.

DOGAMI, as it is abbreviated, has two main departments.

The Geologic Survey and Services (GS&S) Program gathers geoscientific data and maps mineral resources and hazards. Geographic areas needing tsunami hazard mapping, landslide hazard studies, flooding hazard studies, and earthquake risk mapping have been prioritized by the agency. The information is shared with state and local policy-makers for land use planning, facility siting, building code and zoning changes, and emergency planning.

The Mineral Land Regulation and Reclamation (MLRR) Program is responsible for regulating the exploration, extraction, production, and reclamation of mineral and energy resources for the purposes of conservation and second beneficial uses of mined lands. The objectives are to conserve mineral resources and protect the environment while providing for the economic uses of the mined materials. This includes oil, natural gas, geothermal exploration, and extraction.

This agency's budget woes are so epic that the legislature would not let them have a biennial budget, instead restricting them to a single year appropriation while they get their act together.

Can the geologic survey functions be turned over to Oregon State University? They might like the work, and the agency could use a break. As far as natural resource extraction goes, the reality is that political control of this state by environmentalists means that there is very little natural resource extraction happening, so very little to regulate -- which may be the source of the agency's fiscal irresponsibility in the first place.

Savings: $4-19 million biennially, depending on how much of the agency is dissolved.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2020-07-22 08:00:00Last Update: 2020-07-22 15:02:23

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