Quote: Let me say this; there are SERIOUS misconceptions about this bill and what it's effects will or will not be. Most everything I have seen on here and in other locations is not what the bill is intended to do, or what the CWSU is thinking. The reason that the bill has even been presented is due to the arrogance of the leadership of NOAA dissolving a long standing agreement between themselves and the Commericial Weather industry, and REFUSING to come back to the table and hammer out a new agreement.
Want free, unfettered weather data? Better hope the Santorum Bill passes, cause you aren't likely to get some of it if it doesn't.
Sorry for the OT post...but this issue really gets me going cause the commerical vendors are getting hammered for this, when it is YOUR Governments fault this bill is proposed at all.
I must tell you that I think you are one hell of a meteoroligist and your contributions to this forum and to the public you serve are very valuable. The good senator that introduced the bill stated:
"The best way to address this problem is to require that NWS data, information, guidance, forecasts and warnings be issued in real time and simultaneously to all members of the public, the media and the commercial weather industry. This bill imposes just such a requirement, which is common to other Federal agencies."
I couldn't agree more. However, due to the poor wording, the vague 'who does what to whom' in the bill and the lack of specific non ambiguous guidelines as to how the 'final authority' is to rule and the lack of specific guarantees that the NWS will in fact be able to perform as specified above, coupled with specific warning contrary to that stated goal.
In fact, consider the following wording from the bill:
(b) COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR.--The
20 National Weather Service shall not provide, or assist other
21 entities in providing, a service or product (other than a
22 service or product described in subsection (a)(1)(A)) that
23 is or could be provided by the private sector unless--
S 786 IS
1 (1) the Secretary determines that the private
2 sector is unwilling or unable to provide such service
3 or product; or
4 (2) the United States Government is obligated
5 to provide such service or product under inter-
6 national aviation agreements to provide meteorolog-
7 ical services and exchange meteorological informa-
To me, this states that the NWS is prohibited from achieving our mutual goal of free, unfettered access by the public. The words could be provided by the private sector says that because TWS or Accuweather or some private company COULD produce it doesn't require that it BE provided. The bill is full of such contridictions and vague wording. This makes this bill DANGEROUS as worded and should not be supported.
If it is reworded as you yourself suggest is needed ...
"The problem with the bill is that there are lots of areas that are gray or poorly worded, and there are several areas I would like to see changed...however I can assure you that the nefarious accusations that have been levied towards the CWSU aren't what is actually in the cards."
...then I might be able to support it, but not as it is. This MUST NOT become law.
I remain an ardent supporter of yours, but respectfully disagree with your conclusions in this matter. If the government *can* screw it up, it almost always does...let's don't make it easy for them to sell this farm for we will all go hungry.
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