WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announces the following subcommittee hearing on FY 2010 NOAA Budget Hearing.
Maria CantwellSenatorGood Morning. I’d like to welcome Dr. Lubchenco and I look forward to hearing her testimony on the Administration’s FY 2010 budget request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.On Tuesday, this Subcommittee held a hearing on the Blue Economy and the contributions that oceans and coastal resources play in our nation’s economic health. The hearing made three points clear. First, protecting our oceans and coasts is an environmental and economic imperative. Second, the Blue Economy faces an uncertain future due to climate change, pollution, and greater demands for marine resources. Third, the federal government must make a greater investment in oceans and coastal management and conservation.This last point, the need for greater federal investment, is the focus of our hearing this morning.NOAA’s work reaches from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the sun. From daily weather forecasts to long-term climate monitoring, NOAA touches the lives of every American. NOAA’s programs support industries from fisheries to maritime commerce to aviation. NOAA is also the steward of our ocean and coastal resources.To highlight a few of the benefits that NOAA brings to the United States:· The Integrated Ocean Observation System supports ocean and coastal management, reduces the risk of maritime accidents, and strengthens search and rescue efforts. The associated economic benefits to U.S. coasts are estimated at approximately $300 million annually.· Hydrographic surveys ensure safe, efficient, and environmentally sound maritime transportation. Deep-draft seaports and seaport businesses generated approximately 8.4 million American jobs and added nearly $2 trillion to our economy in 2006.· One-third of our economy is sensitive to weather and climate. NOAA climate services and data are more important than ever to the energy, agriculture, transportation sectors of our economy as they work to adapt to the effects of climate change.Unfortunately, the importance of NOAA’s mission and the resources it is charged with protecting are not translating into funding for the agency. For FY 2010, the Administration is proposing a budget of $4.48 billion for NOAA, only a 2.5 percent increase over the FY2009 enacted level. I want to compare NOAA’s budget to other agencies. The Administration’s budget proposes $12.1 billion for the Department of the Interior in FY 2010, a 7 percent increase; $10.5 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a 37 percent increase; and $18.9 billion for NASA, a 5 percent increase. The Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA deserve these significant increases. And so should NOAA.The Administration needs to recognize the valuable science and stewardship that NOAA provides to our nation and double its budget.OTHER OPENING STATEMENTSBefore I recognize the witnesses, Senator Snowe, would you like to make an opening statement?Would any other members wish to speak?WITNESSESI would like to thank Dr. Lubchenco for being here today. I look forward to your testimony.###
John D. Rockefeller, IVSenatorThis has been an exciting week for our oceans, starting out on Monday with World Oceans Day, and celebrating Capitol Hill Ocean Week. As Chairman of this Committee, I am very proud that we have taken the time, with Senator Cantwell’s leadership, to highlight the great economic and environmental wealth that our oceans and coasts hold.I am very pleased that the Committee will be hearing from The Honorable Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), today as we discuss our oceans, climate change, and many other important issues in the context of the NOAA 2010 budget hearing.This past Tuesday, the Committee discussed the importance of the blue economy to our nation. We discussed the critical jobs and economic opportunities that emerge from our oceans, Great Lakes, and coastal resources. We started a dialogue that we will continue here today about the need to preserve the value of our oceans and coasts in the face of climate change.Simply put - our oceans are in peril. Pollution harms the animals that live in the sea, the foods we eat, and the beaches that Americans hold dear. There are areas of the ocean that are now so oxygen-depleted that animals can no longer exist.The oceans are also becoming more acidic, which reduces the productivity of our fisheries and shellfish harvests by literally dissolving organisms and disrupting the food web. Climate change is further exacerbating all of these problems and threatens the economic and environmental viability of the oceans — a critical global resource that covers seventy percent of the surface of the earth.We rely on NOAA to take these threats head-on to help Americans respond to climate change and to maintain the U.S. economy. Dr. Lubchenco, your leadership and your insight are critical to the nation’s well being. NOAA is the nation’s premier science agency charged with managing, restoring, and conserving our coastal and marine resources, in addition to understanding and predicting changes in our weather and atmosphere.The President’s FY 2010 budget request for NOAA was $4.48 million. I do not believe this request is adequate. The agency needs to meet its current mandates and prepare the nation for the impacts of a changing climate. The current budget number will not get us there.NOAA is the premier ocean-science resource in the United States. The agency is critical to our understanding of climate change and helping communities adapt. This is a time for action to make sure we are protecting our oceans and coasts and the wealth of resources that they provide for the future. I hope the Administration will take bold action and answer the call to double the NOAA budget.NOAA must have additional resources to:
Dr. Lubchenco, thank you for your testimony before the Committee. I look forward to leading the charge to strengthen NOAA’s budget and to working with you this Congress.###
- Better predict, monitor, model, and understand the effects of increasing carbon dioxide emissions on the oceans, rising sea levels, and other climate impacts;
- Establish a National Climate Service to provide the tools to help our communities and industries adapt to climate change; and,
- Create new blue jobs in oceans and human health, aquaculture, renewable energy, and ocean science and management.