Spread this around. Looks like Sen, Rick Santorum has been hoodwinked
by the for-pay
Do you want to pay for your weather information twice here in the
If you don't write your US Senators in opposition.
Bill Stewart, W2BSA
-------- Original Message --------
New Bill Would Ban Public NOAA Weather Data:
from Michael Potaczala KC4NUS
Website: www.qrz.com and www.slashdot.org on April 22, 2005
The following came from Slashdot.org:
"Here we go again. Apparently for-pay weather companies (specifically
Accuweather) have lobbied Senator Rick Santorum to introduce a bill to
ban the National Weather Service from 'competing.' The NOAA just made
data available for free on the internet in XML format. Essentially,
that means no more free data, and the possible elimination of the NOAA
web presence all together. Nothing like being able to buy off a
clueless Senator - lets hope the rest do not fall in line, as I for
one, do not like to pay for my information twice." This debate picks up
where the last one left off. According to the article, the bill's
biggest critics are complaining of the bill's vague wording which makes
it unclear what exactly is being banned.
This is the body of the bill:
Title: A bill to clarify the duties and responsibilities of the
National Weather Service, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen
Santorum, Rick [PA] (introduced 4/14/2005) Cosponsors (None) Latest
Major Action: 4/14/2005 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read
twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and
ALL ACTIONS: (color indicates Senate actions)
Introductory remarks on measure. (CR S3658)
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Referral, In Committee
To clarify the duties and responsibilities of the National Weather
Service, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `National Weather Service Duties Act of
SEC. 2. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
(a) IN GENERAL- (1) To protect life and property, the Secretary of
Commerce shall, through the National Weather Service, be responsible
for the following:
(A) The preparation and issuance of severe weather warnings and
forecasts designed for the protection of life and property of the
(B) The preparation and issuance of hydrometeorological guidance and
core forecast information.
© The collection and exchange of meteorological, hydrological,
climatic, and oceanographic data and information.
(D) The provision of reports, forecasts, warnings, and other advice to
the Secretary of Transportation and other persons pursuant to section
44720 of title 49, United States Code.
(E) Such other duties and responsibilities as the Secretary shall
(2) The National Weather Service shall serve as the sole official
source of flood warnings and severe weather warnings.
(b) COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR- The National Weather Service shall
not provide, or assist other entities in providing, a service or
product (other than a service or product described in subsection
(a)(1)(A)) that is or could be provided by the private sector unless--
(1) the Secretary determines that the private sector is unwilling or
unable to provide such service or product; or
(2) the United States Government is obligated to provide such service
or product under international aviation agreements to provide
meteorological services and exchange meteorological information.
© ISSUANCE OF DATA, FORECASTS, AND WARNINGS- All data, information,
guidance, forecasts, and warnings received, collected, created, or
prepared by the National Weather Service shall, to the maximum extent
practicable, be issued in real time, and without delay, in a manner
that ensures that all members of the public have the opportunity for
simultaneous and equal access to such data, information, guidance,
forecasts, and warnings.
(d) PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN DISCLOSURES- An officer, employee, or agent
of the National Weather Service, or of any other department or agency
of the United States, who comes by reason of that status into
possession of any weather data, information, guidance, forecast, or
warning that might influence or affect the market value of any product,
service, commodity, tradable, or business may not--
(1) willfully impart, whether directly or indirectly, such weather
data, information, guidance, forecast, or warning, or any part thereof,
before the issuance of such weather data, information, guidance,
forecast, or warning to the public under subsection ©; or
(2) after the issuance of such weather data, information, guidance,
forecast, or warning to the public under subsection ©, willfully impart
comments or qualifications on such weather data, information, guidance,
forecast, or warning, or any part thereof, to the public, except
pursuant to an issuance that complies with that subsection.
(e) REGULATIONS- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment
of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations to implement the
provisions of this section.
(f) EFFECTIVE DATE- The provisions of this section (other than
subsection (e)) shall take effect 90 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act.
(g) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- The Act of October 1, 1890 (26 Stat. 653) is
amended as follows:
(1) Section 3 (15 U.S.C. 313) is repealed.
(2) Section 9 (15 U.S.C. 317) is amended by striking `, and it shall
be' and all that follows and inserting a period.
SEC. 3. REPORT ON MODIFICATION OF NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ACTIVITIES.
(a) REPORT REQUIRED- Not later than 90 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall submit to the
appropriate committees of Congress a report that sets forth--
(1) a detailed statement of the activities of the National Weather
Service that are inconsistent with the provisions of section 2;
(2) a schedule for the modification of the activities referred to in
paragraph (1) in order to conform such activities to the provisions of
section 2; and
(3) the regulations prescribed under section 2(e).
(b) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES OF CONGRESS DEFINED- In this section, the
term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--
(1) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the
(2) the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives.
Member Comments: Add A Comment
New Bill Would Ban Public NOAA Weather Data: Reply
by K0JPB on April 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
o I believe Accuweather.com and Weather.com and other commercial
vendors provide a valuable service to the public by repackaging the
information they get from the National Weather Service; however, I do
not wish to have my ability to get that information directly from NWS
taken away. We all pay the taxes that pay for the National Weather
Service. Why should we have to pay again to get the same information
from a commercial vendor?
o On one hand, the bill restricts what the NWS can do. On the other
hand, Senator Santorum’s office posted it on his website as a
"Modernization" to better serve the public. See his press release on
-- ///// Here is further information:
1) The Bill:
SENATE BILL NUMBER: S. 786
TITLE: “To clarify the duties and responsibilities of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather
Service, and for other purposes.”
SHORT TITLE: "National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005"
2) As of April 24, this bill is in Senate committee: Commerce, Science,
and Transportation. You can see all members of this committee and the
bills that they are working on -- here:
3) AccuWeather.com is headquartered in Senator Santorum's home state of
4) Thomas is a good website to track bills and has links to the Senate
and House to find contact information about your Senators and
Representative. Call, write or email them to let them know your
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