“Obama Proposal Could Weaken Key Climate Agency”


“The White House proposal that would move the country’s oceans and atmosphere agency — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — from its current home in the Commerce Department and fold it into the Interior Department, could severely undermine America’s climate and weather research efforts, as well as marine resource protection,” writes Climate Central senior science writer Andrew Freedman in a good opinion commentary.  “Worse, it comes at a time when climate change beseeches us to build those capacities.”

Earlier post:  Don’t disrupt NOAA’s climate change activities with Obama’s proposed agency re-shuffle

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Freedman writes:

… A bureaucratic reshuffling could … disrupt research into long-term climate change by tying up the agency’s leadership as it focuses on the reorganization, and portends heated battles with Congress over funding.

Rick Piltz of Climate Science Watch said he worries that placing NOAA within the Interior Department will make the agency an even bigger target for Congressional budget cuts.  “What happens when policymakers decide to restructure multi-billion-dollar agencies with complex management structures?” Piltz wrote on his organization’s website. “What is likely to happen, for some time, is new costs and significant distraction of both policy-level leadership and professional-level managers as they navigate the restructuring. This should only be done when the advantages are obvious and the need is great.”

NOAA is already facing an uphill battle on Capitol Hill, where “climate” has become a four-letter word in recent years, as lawmakers skeptical of manmade climate change have asserted their influence.

Perhaps the biggest conflict, though, between NOAA’s work and the Interior Department concerns marine life…. Read the full article here.

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