Economic stimulus bill update: Funding for climate science at NASA and NOAA is retained

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The $789 billion economic stimulus bill that was expedited through the House and Senate and negotiated in a joint conference committee February 12 retains some funding for Earth observation and climate science programs: $170 million for NOAA to address “critical gaps in climate modeling and establish climate data records for continuing research into the cause, effects and ways to mitigate climate change,” and a portion of $400 million for NASA for Earth observations from satellites. 

post by Anne Polansky

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, expected to be signed into law by President Obama early next week, is the largest single appropriations bill ever passed by the US Congress.  It contains funding for climate change science and Earth observations that will begin to correct budget cuts made under the Bush administration.  (See our previous post providing background and describing the provisions passed in the House and Senate.)

This new funding should fall under the umbrella of the Climate Change Science Program and be considered as important pieces of the interagency program to be coordinated with other climate science efforts as needed to ensure an integrated research effort. 

The provisions of the bill and the accompanying joint House-Senate conference reports can be found on www.appropriations.senate.gov.  (Division A includes the spending provisions, Division B includes the tax code provisions.)

H.R. 1

MAKING SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR JOB PRESERVATION AND CREATION, INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT, ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND SCIENCE, ASSISTANCE TO THE UNEMPLOYED, AND STATE AND LOCAL FISCAL STABILIZATION, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 2009, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

NOAA


Bill Text:

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
OPERATIONS, RESEARCH, AND FACILITIES
For an additional amount for “Operations, Research, and Facilities”, $230,000,000

PROCUREMENT, ACQUISITION AND CONSTRUCTION
For an additional amount for “Procurement, Acquisition and Construction”, $600,000,000.

Joint House-Senate Conference report:

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
OPERATIONS, RESEARCH, AND FACILITIES
The conference agreement includes $230,000,000 for NOAA operations, research, and facilities to address a backlog of research, restoration, navigation, conservation and management activities.

PROCUREMENT, ACQUISITION AND CONSTRUCTION

The conference agreement includes $600,000,000 for construction and repair of NOAA facilities, ships and equipment, to improve weather forecasting and to support satellite development.  Of the amounts provided, $170,000,000 shall address critical gaps in climate modeling and establish climate data records for continuing research into the cause, effects and ways to mitigate climate change.

NASA

Bill Text:

SCIENCE
For an additional amount for “Science”, $400,000,000.
AERONAUTICS
For an additional amount for “Aeronautics”, $150,000,000.
EXPLORA’fION
For an additional amount for “Exploration”,  $400,000,000.
CROSS AGENCY SUPPORT
For an additional amount for “Cross Agency Support”, $50,000,000.

Joint House-Senate Conference report:

SCIENCE

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

NASA is directed to submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a spending plan, signed by the Administrator, detailing its intended allocation of funds provided in this Act within 60 days of enactment of this Act.

SCIENCE
The conference agreement includes $400,000,000 for Science, to remain available until September 30, 2010. Funding is included herein to accelerate the development of the tier 1 set of Earth science climate research missions recommended by the National Academies Decadal Survey and to increase the agency’s supercomputing capabilities.

AERONAUTICS
The conference agreement includes $150,000,000 for aeronautics, to remain available until September 30, 2010. These funds are available for system-level research, development and demonstration activities related to aviation safety, environmental impact mitigation and the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

EXPLORATION
The conference agreement includes $400,000,000 for exploration, to remain available until September 30, 2010.

CROSS AGENCY SUPPORT
The conference agreement includes $50,000,000 for cross agency support, to remain available until September 30, 2010. In allocating these funds, NASA shall give its highest priority to restore NASA-owned facilities damaged from hurricanes and other natural disasters occurring during calendar year 2008.

This last provision is a reminder that hurricanes, likely to become more intense under global climate disruption, are affecting our infrastructure, which can include government facilities engaged in climate science.   

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