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Olson Inexperience 'Dangerous' for Southeast Texas

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Within hours of its unveiling, Pete Olson strongly opposed a new program that would save lives and reduce property damage by improving the emergency management and homeland security community's ability to respond to natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

"Until a few months ago, Pete Olson lived in Washington, DC," said Rep. Nick Lampson. "He doesn't understand the problems that we face here in SE Texas. I've lived my entire life on the Gulf Coast. I have weathered the storms with my fellow Texans and, when it was time to clean up, I was right there with them. Pete Olson's lack of understanding of this early warning program is dangerous. It could increase property damage and cost lives. It could leave our port more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. I will not only support this program, I will demand it."

The Enhanced All-Hazards Meteorological Decision-Support Program (ER-Met) would replicate a system nationally that was pioneered in Galveston County and proved to be effective in mitigating disasters. ER-Met coordinates meteorologists and emergency responders in the same facility during times of crisis to facilitate accurate response to human and natural disasters in real time.

Olson's opposition to this program is clear defiance to increasing national security, preventing property damage and saving lives in the event of a natural disaster. Positioning meteorologists along side emergency managers would provide critical enhancement for the nation in the total accuracy, timeliness and effectiveness of all vital weather information, products and services. In times of crisis precious seconds make the difference between life and death.

Not only will communities benefit during hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, fires and other natural disasters but will benefit in the event of a terror attack involving chemical, biological or nuclear agents when atmospheric conditions and wind direction are critical for implementing emergency response procedures.

Rep. Nick Lampson is a subcommittee chairman and senior member of the House Committee on Science & Technology with jurisdiction over NWS and NOAA. Rep. Lampson is consider one of the foremost experts in Congress on the topic and was a leader in establishing the facility in Galveston. ER-Met was introduced to a standing ovation of National Weather Service employees and meteorologists.

Rep. Lampson has a strong record of fighting for programs that improve America's capability to protect its citizens. Before, during and after Hurricane Ike Rep. Lampson was working to coordinate federal, state and local services to improve response to the needs of impacted communities.

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