Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of NOAA's Climate Competitive Research, Sustained Observations and Regional Information program, which was unfortunately cut by $26 million from the President's Fiscal Year 2013 budget request in the Commerce, Justice, Science FY13 Appropriations bill.
While I appreciate the funding included in this bill for NOAA's satellite programs, NASA, NIST, and NSF, and thank my colleagues who supported these programs, I urge them to work with me to restore the $26 million cut in this important climate research program.
In March, I joined 28 of my House colleagues in writing to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Justice in support of the full budget request for this program.
NOAA's competitive climate program contributes to local, regional, national, and global weather and water outlooks. These are relied upon by key decision makers in cities and States throughout the country in areas such as agriculture and power generation. The State of Colorado is not only the home to world-class research institutions whose researchers are supported by this funding, but it is also a user of this information for vital natural resource governance decisions.
The southwest has experienced persistent drought conditions over the last three decades. Temperatures in Colorado have increased two degrees during the same time, a trend that will likely persist. Colorado has also experienced earlier snow melting, which desiccates our reservoirs, contributing to increased demand for water for personal and agricultural use, and increased flooding risk.
The agricultural community, water resource managers, and power suppliers across Colorado rely on the monitoring, observation, and analysis supported by this funding line to inform decisions that directly affect the health of the economy.
The importance of this need was recognized in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Western Governors Association and NOAA to provide climate information to western states to help them mitigate disaster situations stemming from flood, drought, and fires.
This Climate Competitive Research, Sustained Observations and Regional Information program also supports critical ocean observing systems, as data has shown that the highly dynamic relationship between oceans and the atmosphere affects weather and climate shifts over land. It also supports satellite calibration and validation which inform the most accurate satellite observations.
Importantly, many American businesses rely on this funding to create and manufacture environmental observing equipment.
I recognize that we must make difficult choices in our current fiscal environment.
Supporting this program will continue our investments in research, observations, and modeling to help States and businesses manage environmental risk and reduce future expenses from natural disasters.
I urge my colleagues to consider restoring funding to NOAA's Climate Competitive Research, Sustained Observations and Regional Information program before this spending bill is enacted into law.