House Republicans launch another climate witch hunt

House Republicans want to prohibit NOAA from provding valuable climate services.

OPINION

Citing budget concerns, a House committee will squander money on investigating NOAA

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — After spending months trying to discredit climate scientists and cast doubt on their research, House Republicans will try a new tactic by directly attacking the government agency responsible not only for research, but for compiling climate and weather data and providing critical forecast services.

Ralph Hall, chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee last week said he plans to launch a formal investigation into the formation of a climate service at the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — a move perceived by some climate researchers and environmental advocates as pure political harassment.

According to Hall, NOAA is forbidden to establish a climate service unless Congress explicitly authorizes such a move. In March, Hall wrote NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco requesting documents related to the NOAA Climate Service, including any changes to the roles and responsibilities associated with the agency’s organizational structure, reporting lines, review processes, program oversight, or program advocacy. A follow-up letter was sent September 6.

The committee is justifying its attack on the agency by citing budget concerns.

“The current fiscal climate demands greater prioritization of agency resources, and it would be irresponsible to dramatically cut NOAA’s core research activities including those aimed at protecting lives and property in order to stand up a new operational service prone to politicization and policy advocacy,” Hall said in a press release.

But that doesn’t disguise the fact that this assault on a federal agency is politically motivated and rooted in an atmosphere of ideologically driven anti-science.

Hall claims NOAA has started implementing a climate service by establishing an executive board and appointing an interim director.

During the 2011 budget wars, Hall’d committee attached an anti-science rider to a spending bill that prohibits NOAA from using funds to “implement, establish, or create a NOAA Climate Service as described in the draft NOAA Climate Service Strategic Vision and Framework.

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7 thoughts on “House Republicans launch another climate witch hunt

  1. I’m afraid Tea Partiers have infiltrated many committees at all levels of government. I’m outraged that our tax money is spent researching these politically motivated claims. Not only do “we the people” have to pay for these nonsensical investigations, but the workers who are being attacked have to spend their time defending themselves instead of accomplishing the important work they’re hired to do.

    The only hope for our country is if every single voter gets out and votes against right-wing extremists in every election. Every single vote will make a difference. Please be sure that your family and friends are registered to vote long before the elections.

  2. We are experiencing what it is to sit back and not vote. As the pendulum swings, we are experiencing the Government being run by the inmates, “one up man ship, petty actions, but the waste of resources that the same dandies are preaching we don’t have. No wonder the world shakes their head at the leaders of this U.S.A.

  3. @Summit County Lovers

    Yeah, those committees are much worse than the Obama administration throwing billions at solar companies that fail.

  4. It’s about time. NOAA is already bloated, now we plan to waste even more money on a new agency to study the same thing NOAA already does?

    It’s time to find out who the green zealot was that came up with this crazy idea and follow the money back to the “green” companies that were to benefit from this gravy train.

    Dig deep, Ralph!!!

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