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Bill Pending To Privatize Weather Forecasting (National Weather System Could Go Dark)

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posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 07:01 PM
A bill introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would prohibit federal meteorologists from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites.

Take me now, I've seen everything.

Supporters say the bill wouldn't hamper the weather service or the National Hurricane Center from alerting the public to hazards — in fact, it exempts forecasts meant to protect "life and property."

But critics say the bill's wording is so vague they can't tell exactly what it would ban.

"I believe I've paid for that data once. ... I don't want to have to pay for it again," said Scott Bradner, a technical consultant at Harvard University.

He says that as he reads the bill, a vast amount of federal weather data would be forced offline.

"The National Weather Service Web site would have to go away," Bradner said. "What would be permitted under this bill is not clear — it doesn't say. Even including hurricanes."

Nelson questions intention

The decision of what information to remove would be up to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez — possibly followed, in the event of legal challenges, by a federal judge.

A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said the bill threatens to push the weather service back to a "pre-Internet era" — a questionable move in light of the four hurricanes that struck the state last year. Nelson serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has been assigned to consider the bill.

"The weather service proved so instrumental and popular and helpful in the wake of the hurricanes. How can you make an argument that we should pull it off the Net now?" said Nelson's spokesman, Dan McLaughlin. "What are you going to do, charge hurricane victims to go online, or give them a pop-up ad?"

But Barry Myers, AccuWeather's executive vice president, said the bill would improve public safety by making the weather service devote its efforts to hurricanes, tsunamis and other dangers, rather than duplicating products already available from the private sector.

"The National Weather Service has not focused on what its core mission should be, which is protecting other people's lives and property," said Myers, whose company is based in State College, Pa. Instead, he said, "It spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year, every day, producing forecasts of 'warm and sunny.'"

Santorum made similar arguments April 14 when introducing his bill. He also said expanded federal services threaten the livelihoods of private weather companies.

"It is not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers or investors when the government is providing similar products and services for free," Santorum said.

It's also not an easy prospect for a Senator to represent people over special interests while taking money from AccuWeather executives is it Rick Santorum? (Tip 'o the old iceberg I'm sure. Dig my pretties! Dig!!!)

The article also notes "AccuWeather has been an especially vocal critic of the weather service and its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

This is so many things from a political conspiracy to the last straw to the foreshadowing of the end of the free world to just more business-as-usual, we'll just figure out where this goes after a cigarette.

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 07:06 PM
The NWS must be showing that hell has frozen over since I completely agree with you RANT. There's no reason to limit the distribution of weather reports from government sources. If you want to discuss whether we need government weather forecasting, that's another issue, but since the public is paying for it now, the public should have access to it.

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 07:13 PM

Originally posted by djohnsto77
The NWS must be showing that hell has frozen over since I completely agree with you RANT.

I was listening to some angry farmers on NPR when I heard about this and did a quick web scan, it's a non-partisan issue.

Everybody is like WTF?

There's no reason to limit the distribution of weather reports from government sources. If you want to discuss whether we need government weather forecasting, that's another issue, but since the public is paying for it now, the public should have access to it.

Makes total sense to me.
Maybe, this will die quick.

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 07:29 PM
Why do Republicans want to privatize everything? If Democrats want to also, please inform me.

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 08:10 PM
Say What!!! Doesn't Senator Santorum have anything else more pressing to do? I'm sorry but privatizing weather forecasting doesn't benefit the general public and this bill and the senator should be chased with a broom for even suggesting it.

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 08:15 PM
I think I'm going to call my represenatives on this one. It doesn't make any sense at all. Someone has got to be pocketing money on this deal.

Besides, my signature works off of NWS data.

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 08:18 PM

Originally posted by dbates
I think I'm going to call my represenatives on this one. It doesn't make any sense at all. Someone has got to be pocketing money on this deal..

Good idea! I think I will also, they have electronic mail now, cool.

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 08:35 PM
Well, I would be for this bill if they would get accurate forecasting out, oh wait, that is the same thng as hell freezing over

AccuWeather and are my least favorite private forecasters anyway. Viva la weatherunderground!! Huh, accuweather and it's prilosec purple page...remember that.
And, what would we do without NOAA's weather boxes for severe storms

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 09:24 PM
Shouldn't the government stay out of our weather? I don't see any problem with it right now, WHY ARE WE WASTING OUR TIME WITH THIS? I already know it's going to rain this Saturday.

Or Maybe the governement controls the weather, in which case they SHOULD privatize Weather

posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 09:30 PM
Actually the government does have quite an interest in weather forecasting and reporting. It's necessary for control of aviation, nautical advisories, the military, NASA space missions, etc.

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 12:51 AM
Im a 19 year old college student currently majoring in History(to be a Highschool history teacher) and meteorolgy(so i can storm chase in the summer when im not teaching lol). And i personally like it the way it is. The Weather channel in fact has been a Godsend to weather forecasting because Here in Rockford, Illinois where i live the damn local weather stations NEVER get it right. In fact on channel 3 news they will say rain and then channel 4 will say no rain and the buildings of these news stations are in the same fricken city lol! and the next day you wake up and it is snowing. So they are both wrong. Its hillarious really.

Kind Regards,
Digital Grl

posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 01:36 AM
Ok you weather forecaster jokers. How many times do you note to your self when a weather forecaster is right? I bet never (Yeah yeah don't even try saying they are always wrong). I mean really most people only note when the forecast was wrong. Can you picture peeps saying wow it is clear and sunny and the forecaster was right?

Give forecasters a break is all I am saying. I doubt any of you could do any better without the ability to control weather, well unless you lived in the North Pole where you would just mostly forecast damn it is cold today!!!!!!!!! 8)

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 01:53 PM
Looks like we now know why Rick Santorum put this bill out in the first place

Two days before Sen. Rick Santorum introduced a bill that critics say would restrict the National Weather Service, his political action committee received a $2,000 donation from the chief executive of AccuWeather Inc., a leading provider of weather data.

The disclosure has renewed criticism of the measure, which Santorum, R-Pa., maintains would allow the weather service to better focus on its core mission of getting threatening weather info out in a "timely and speedy basis."

Opponents say the bill would endanger the public by preventing the dissemination of certain weather data, and force taxpayers to pay for the data twice. The bill would prevent the weather service from competing for certain services offered by the private sector.

AccuWeather, based in State College, Pa., provides weather data to a variety of outlets, including media organizations such as The Associated Press.

"I think the timing of it is what makes it so suspect," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government, a Democratic-leaning watchdog group. "It's like here's the money and you're going to do what I want."

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 02:36 PM
I think that's pretty wild. The weather, which is a public service, paid for by the public, can't be used by the public because Sen. Rick Santorum feels his company he is being paid by would pay him more if he passed a law that does away with a company that doesn't pay him at all.

This to me sounds like one man, one bill, and a lot of cash that would go into his bank account if the bill is successful.

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:09 PM
just what we need, privatizing the NWS so we can pay to use it
, we need a bill that doesnt allow for privatization of cetain things.

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:25 PM
The fact that Santorum is still in office boils my blood. This guy is a career scumbag, a hateful, lying monster, kept afloat by the miracle of voter apathy. He's a miserable excuse for a human being, and the only reason he still wields power in this country is because miserable excuses for human beings are entirely too common in the halls of government.

Get rid of Santorum, if you want my advice. The guy is an anus with speech capabilities. Rick "the frothy mixture" Santorum is a blight on American politics. His scandal did nothing to reduce the inflamation that is he. He just keeps on rolling, badmouthing homosexuals, involving himself in the bedroom lives of millions of Americans.

Cut the hairs off your buttocks if you must, but get this guy down the drain..please. I'm sick of him clinging on...

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 04:08 PM

Originally posted by DigitalGrl
The Weather channel in fact has been a Godsend to weather forecasting because ....

I could be way wrong here, but I thought the Weather Channel(TWC), accuweather (the two biggies who want to cut NWS) and other weather outlets, such as weather underground (my favorite) and local news outlets got their weather from NWS and then put their spin and conclusions and wahtever on it. Basically packaged the weather for you.
I NEVER find the weather channel to be any better than any other source and their radar maps, with clutter, are VERY misleading

TWC and accuweather just want to limit NWS so they can charge more than they already do for premium info. They want to take NWS out of the mix so they can make $$$.
They want to eliminate the free info on NWS and I hope they do NOT get away with it.

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 04:53 PM
Its the end of the world as we know it.

I said it, I feel better.

This foreshadows bad things on a large scale.

For example, they would not have an obligation to warn you of an oncoming tsunami, caused by some midnight nuclear explosion a few thousand miles off the East Coast.

Thats what it all comes down to, getting away with murder, as the saying aptly goes.

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