The House Science and Technology Committee is drafting legislation that would establish a National Climate Service to gather and disseminate climate information to state and local governments and the private sector. A Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing on 5 May 2009 considered how existing climate services within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) could be expanded. NOAA’s Administrator, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, has been a vocal supporter of a National Climate Service within the agency. Witnesses representing a spectrum of climate data users expressed support for the new service. Structuring a National Climate Service as a stand-alone program within NOAA, rather than maintaining its current position under the National Weather Service, has been a point of disagreement. Despite lingering questions about how to structure a National Climate Service, some on the Committee have expressed a hope to report legislation out of the Committee by Memorial Day and to have the measure incorporated into climate change legislation being developed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

 


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