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.
back to Public Policy Reports