Senator Introducing Bill to Ban Free Weather Information

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Senator Introducing Bill to Ban Free Weather Information

Postby OliverG » Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:51 pm

The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would prohibit federal meteorologists from "competing" with companies such as AccuWeather and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through paid services and free ad-supported Web sites.

The conservative Republican senator who proposed that federal meteorologists be forbidden from competing with companies such as AccuWeather and the Weather Channel, has received nearly $4,000 from AccuWeather's founder and executive vice president since 2000.

Read more information and the full stories here:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/conte ... _0421.html

http://rawstory.com/exclusives/byrne/sa ... er_421.htm

You can let Sen. Santorum know what you think about National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005 at http://santorum.senate.gov/

I will be writing my letter!!
Last edited by OliverG on Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby david » Sat Apr 23, 2005 7:02 pm

ok, that is absurd to think that such a bill could pass! but, I guess we should take it seriously, and get a letter writing, fax, and email campaign going
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Postby Sander » Sun Apr 24, 2005 6:44 pm

I agree the bill is absurd. The Weather Channel, Accuweather, iWindsurf/iKitesurf, et al, all get their information from the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS and their sensor readings/buoys are all federally supported with our tax dollars. So this bill would require that we pay a fee for getting federally funded reports and readings (stuff we pay for as a nation). Another example of right-wing corporate-government mentallity. Thanks for posting, I will be sure to do some letter writing myself.
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Postby pissed in oakland » Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:42 am

Ollie - can you post your letter in this thread? I'd like to send the m*f*er who thought of this bill a love letter, but I"m too lazy to post.....busy surfing the NWS web site while it's still free ;-)

Z.
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Postby david » Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:48 am

good idea, we can make a template from Ollie's first letter for others to us !

Also, anyone listening in ... please, post all relevent info, ie. email addresses, fax numbers, telephone numbers, etc .... of relevent people, like the idiots introducing the bill, any idiots supporting the bill .... even our own fed reps to cc them in .... I know all this info is available, but as a convenience, post it here for quick retrieval.

I have sent this info to Peter Thorner, SFBA, so hopefully, he will decide to put the SFBA behind it (fyi ... I am on the board of SFBA, but I don't like to make decisions)
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Postby pandem » Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:03 pm

Here is the double speak on this issue from Sen Santorum's website.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index ... N=11530742
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Postby david » Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:37 pm

because I know that web content comes and goes like the wind, I am posting that doublespeak here for comparason to his "next" version.
------------------

Santorum Proposes to Modernize National Weather Service to Better Serve Public

April 14, 2005 -
For Immediate Release Contact: Christine Shott (202) 224-0610

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today introduced the National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005 to clarify the duties and responsibilities of the National Weather Service (NWS) within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

ìWith the support of my colleagues, we can pass this legislation to modernize the description of the National Weather Serviceís roles within the national weather enterprise, so that it reflects todayís reality in which the National Weather Service and the commercial weather industry both play important parts in providing weather products and services to the nation,î said Senator Santorum.

Fourteen years ago the NWS took the extra step of carefully delineating the respective roles of the NWS and the commercial weather industry, in addition to pledging its intention not to provide products or services that were or could be provided by the commercial weather industry.

However, the parent agency of the NWS, NOAA, repealed the 1991 non-competition and non-duplication policy in December 2004. Its new policy only promises to ìgive due considerationî to the abilities of private sector entities. The new policy has enabled NWS and NOAA to expand into areas that are already well served by the commercial weather industry.

ìThis decision by NOAA to repeal the non-competition and non-duplication policy detracts from NWSís core missions of maintaining a modern and effective meteorological infrastructure, collecting comprehensive observational data, and issuing warnings and forecasts of severe weather that imperil life and property,î said Senator Santorum.

Senator Santorumís bill restores the NWS non-competition policy. However, the legislation leaves NWS with complete and unfettered freedom to carry out its critical role of preparing and issuing severe weather warnings and forecasts designed for the protection of life and property of the general public.
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Send your letter today

Postby Sander » Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:22 pm

The good news is that this story is getting around; it was also just posted on a local surfing blog, niceness.org.

I just sent my letter, via webform, to Senator Boxer.
Here is a url where you can find out the contact information of your Senators and send them your opinion on this bill:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_i ... rs_cfm.cfm

The bad news is that you are gonna get socked for NWS info if you don't take action. So write your letter today!

Peace,
Sander
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Letter Template

Postby Sander » Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:29 pm

Here is a copy of the letter I webformed to the 2 CA senators. I modified the content from a letter I found on niceness.org. Please feel free to use and modify it to tailor your message.
BTW it took me less than 5 minutes to send both letters.
**********************************************

Dear Senator blank,

Senator Santorum's proposed bill to restrict public access to the National Weather Service, N.O.A.A., & The National Hurricane Center, is a threat to the safety & security of all American citizens. These services are VITAL to our daily lives and the safety of our children & homes. Many coastal residents depend upon N.O.A.A. Weather Radio and its excellent prediction services, as well as the reliably accurate information on the web sites of each National Weather Service, N.O.A.A., & The National Hurricane Center.

The safety of recreational & commercial boaters, fishermen, vacationers, retirees, and countless others is safeguarded by the N.W.S. and its Tax Funded Services.

Limiting access to information that is FUNDED BY THE TAXPAYER, in favor of private business is at best a very bad idea. Please fight this shortsighted bill.

Sincerely,
Sander
 

SFBA eNews

Postby thorner@sfba.org » Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:46 pm

I'll include a write up on this in SFBA eNews to 1,000 plus people. I didn't have time to read it in detail until know and it looks like total madness to me... which means it just may have a chance of passing based on my perception of recent legislative history.

Peter
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