INTRODUCTION OF THE WEATHER MODIFICATION RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005 -- (Extensions of Remarks - June 20, 2005)
SPEECH OF HON. MARK UDALL OF COLORADO
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2005
* Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Weather Modification Research and Technology Transfer Authorization Act. This bill will increase and enhance research and development in weather modification to better understand its effectiveness in addressing drought in our country.
* The western part of our country, including my own state of Colorado, has experienced drought conditions in recent years. Efforts have been made to address drought recovery, preparedness and mitigation. However, little fundamental research has been done to better understand weather modification, which some believe can increase the snowpacks that provide water resources for several western states.
* The National Academies of Science report Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research, released in 2003, noted that there is no scientific proof that weather modification is effective, however attributes this to a lack of understanding of ``critical atmospheric processes'' that has caused unpredictable results with weather modification, not a lack of success with such efforts. The report called for a national program for a sustained research effort in weather modification research to enhance the effectiveness and predictability of weather modification.
* There is currently no federal investment in weather modification, though there are private funds that are largely going toward unproven techniques. My bill, similar to a bill introduced in the Senate by Senator KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, establishes a federal research and development effort to improve our understanding of the atmosphere and develop more effective weather modification technologies and techniques.
* Specifically, the bill creates a Weather Modification Advisory and Research Board in the Department of Commerce to promote the ``theoretical and practical knowledge of weather modification'' through the funding of research and development projects. The board will be made up of representatives from the American Meteorological Society, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a higher education institution and a state which is currently supporting operational weather modification projects.
* In Colorado, a large portion of our water source comes from the snowpack run off each year. A better understanding of weather modifications has the potential to enhance our snowpacks, and thus assist in addressing drought concerns.
* Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to support the expansion of the research and development of weather modification and urge a swift passage of this bill.