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Policy

Government Roundup

November 25, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 47

The Department of Energy last week approved a 400 million-cu-ft-per-day expansion at the Freeport, Texas, liquefied natural gas export facility. DOE has now agreed to enough capacity increase at LNG facilities to allow them to export an amount of natural gas equal to nearly 10% of U.S. consumption, Dow Chemical says.

Silicon Valley’s new satellite patent office will open in late 2014 in San Jose, Calif. Officials say it will initially be staffed by at least 60 new patent examiners and about 20 Patent Trial & Appeal Board judges.

Elementis Chromium faces a $2.5 million fine for failing to disclose information about chemical plant workers’ risks of developing cancer from exposure to hexavalent chromium. By not giving these data to EPA, the chromium chemicals manufacturer violated the Toxic Substances Control Act, an agency administrative judge ruled.

Open access advocates have created an online button for people to add to their Web browsers to record their frustration each time they hit a paywall when trying to access research articles in scholarly literature. Information about each paywall hit is stored and the number of hits per geographical region mapped.

IAP, the global network of national science academies, and the Interacademy Medical Panel have issued a call for action to combat antimicrobial resistance. The two groups recommend integrating surveillance systems for both human and animal diseases around the world and educating patients about the prudent use of antimicrobials.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) have introduced legislation (S. 1704 and H.R. 3538) that aims to expand the number of textbooks and other college materials that are made available under open licenses. The bills would permit free copying, updating, and adaptation of the material.

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