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AGI Fiscal Year 2005 Testimony to House Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee

Written Testimony Submitted by
Emily M. Lehr, Acting Director of Government Affairs
American Geological Institute
to the U.S. House of Representatives
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations
April 9, 2004

To the Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

Thank you for this opportunity to provide the American Geological Institute's perspective on fiscal year (FY) 2005 appropriations for geoscience programs within the subcommittee's jurisdiction. The primary interest for the geoscience community in the Commerce, State, Justice and the Judiciary (CJSJ) Appropriations bill is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Formed by President Nixon on October 3, 1970 as a part of the Commerce Department, NOAA was established to, in Nixon's words, serve a national need "...for better protection of life and property from natural hazards...for a better understanding of the total environment...[and] for exploration and development leading to the intelligent use of our marine resources..."

Of particular interest to geoscientists is NOAA research conducted through the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), which is the driving force behind NOAA environmental products and services that protect life and property and promote sustainable economic growth.

The president's budget requests significant cuts in the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). If enacted, these reductions would hamper NOAA's ability to…

The proposed funding for NOAA in FY05 is $3.3 billion, an 8.2% decrease from last year's appropriation. Within NOAA, the majority of the research is managed by the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), which is slated to receive a 12% decrease, leaving the program with a total of $350 million. Under the President's FY05 budget request, the National Ocean Service (NOS) would receive $394.3 million (down 22%). The National Weather Service is slated for a 3% increase, bringing the total to $749 million.

NOAA's budget slashes funding for the "wet side", which includes the NOS and OAR. Programs in NOS that will receive less funding than last year include: Navigation Services (down $15 million), Ocean Resources Conservation and Assessment (down $80 million) and Ocean & Coastal Management (down $31 million). In OAR, the Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes Research program was cut by $50 million. The Weather and Air Quality Research program was cut by $20 million. However, the Climate Research Program requested $13 million more than last year.

Thank you for the opportunity to present this testimony to the subcommittee. If you would like any additional information for the record, please contact me at 703-379-2480, ext. 212 voice, 703-379-7563 fax,, or 4220 King Street, Alexandria VA 22302-1502.

Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Government Affairs Program.

Posted: May 12, 2005


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