White House’s Proposed Cuts to NOAA Will Undermine Science and Weather Forecasting Vital for Businesses, Military and States

Published Mar 4, 2017


WASHINGTON (March 4, 2017)—According to news reports, the Trump administration is seeking a 17 percent budget cut for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of the country’s premier scientific institutions, whose research is vital for our economy and national security. The proposed cuts would slash funding for satellite programs, which provide data that underpin the vast majority of weather reports nationwide, and that are recognized by scientists everywhere as the gold standard. They also eliminate funding for programs including Sea Grant, which enables universities to conduct research that helps states prepare for coastal flooding. All these priorities enjoy broad bipartisan support, which is why the cuts will face opposition from Congress.

Below is a statement by Adam Markham, deputy director of the climate and energy program at UCS.

 “The Trump Administration’s proposed budget cuts to NOAA are a direct attack on the country’s most basic science infrastructure. NOAA’s satellites and data are crucial for weather forecasts that businesses, farmers, states governments, the military, and the general public rely on every day. When storms or hurricanes approach, information gathered from satellites and aircraft allow governors and mayors to initiate emergency response measures to protect their communities. The agency’s tide gauge and nautical charts help commercial and navy ships navigate safely and other research informs our nation’s response to droughts and wildfires. The biggest budget cuts directed at the satellite division would cripple the agency’s efforts to monitor climate change and provide flooding data for our coastal military bases. Climate change impacts are real and costly and our nation’s response must be guided by the best available science.”

Below is a statement by Andrew Rosenberg, Director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“The Trump administration has taken a hostile anti-science approach across the board on many issues from pollution control to climate change, and the proposed cuts to the NOAA budget continue that trend. As a former NOAA scientist I am confident that the data collected by NOAA is not Democrat or Republican—we use it in our daily lives—and ignoring the facts of science and climate change doesn’t change them. For example, eliminating Sea Grant, an enormously successful program led by 33 states to provide science to address local issues, would seriously hinder capacity in states like Alaska, Maine, South Carolina, Florida and Alabama to understand and protect their coastal areas. Attempts to dismantle data collection efforts, or interrupt the continuity of NOAA datasets would be a grave loss for our ability to protect public health, safety and the environment and that affects everyone’s quality of life.”

For more information, read related blog post by UCS Senior Climate Scientist Brenda Ekwurzel, Two Surprising Facts About NOAA.