|7:19 PM EDT||
Paul C. Broun Jr., M.D., R-GA 10th
Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, I rise today with an amendment which will strip funding from the bill that is aimed at implementing a new National Climate Service. At best, this new Federal agency is duplicative. At worst, this is an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars for an endeavor which is not even based on sound science.
Mr. Chairman, there is no consensus among policymakers, academics, researchers or bureaucrats about how a National Climate Service should even be structured, and yet here we are funding it. This lack of agreement was not more evident than during a Science and Technology subcommittee hearing just last month regarding the development of this exact agency.
At that hearing, four alternate structured proposals were presented by different witnesses. They ranged from merging existing agencies to the creation of a nonprofit entity to provide this research, but each and every one of them was shot down.
In order to implement any entity of this nature, we must first be sure that the infrastructure for monitoring our weather and climate patterns is already in place, but that infrastructure is currently not there. In fact, according to the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. climate observing system is in rapid decline. This includes both our ground-based and our satellite-based measuring systems. Updating these systems and making sure of the information they provide should be the foremost priority
when it comes to monitoring our climate.
In fact, just today, in the Committee of Science and Technology, we just heard how the polar orbiting satellite system has tremendous cost overruns, how they're not flying the satellites and how NOAA and the Defense Department, particularly NOAA, desperately need these satellites to help them give us proper weather predictions. Yet we're not funding that. We're funding this National Climate Service, and we're putting off these pressing needs. We're focusing on establishing yet another bureaucratic
web to navigate through. We're doing nothing more than decreasing efficiency and increasing Federal red tape.
What we know for sure is that this new, unnecessary agency will grant broad-sweeping authority to the executive branch with little congressional input. That's it. The details are being left up to some Federal bureaucrat. As we all know by now, the devil is in the details.
Additionally, there is an absolute dearth of information regarding the costs and benefits of setting up such an entity. Without such basic knowledge, how in the world can we, in good conscience, fund this rudderless endeavor? We have no assurances that this National Climate Service will turn out to be anything more than a new regulatory agency for the proposed tax-and-cap scheme, but maybe that's really the goal here.
I do not like to think ill of the intentions of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle; but with such an ambiguous mandate with, obviously, little congressional oversight, what else are we to assume?
Time and time again, this Congress has jumped headfirst into the deep end of issues which we still know little about. The Wall Street bailout, the auto bailout, the stimulus, and now the National Climate Service are all prime examples of how Congress' eyes are bigger than its grasp.
So I ask my colleagues to please support my amendment. Let's reevaluate this attempt at funding an impudent new agency. Let's stop the funding for the new National Climate Service. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I reserve the balance of my time.