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Sen. Schatz Criticizes NOAA Administrator Nomination

October 12, 2017, 11:08 AM HST (Updated October 12, 2017, 11:08 AM) · 11 Comments
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U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement today on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Barry Myers as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“Barry Myers is a questionable choice to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” said Sen. Schatz. “As the CEO of AccuWeather, Barry Myers views NOAA as a direct competitor that provides high-quality forecasts for free. He is in the vanguard of corporate business interests that seek to undermine the National Weather Service’s ability to do anything other than provide free data and weather models to private companies like his, which then turn around and sell their forecasts.

“Mr. Myers will have to work very hard to persuade me that he will run NOAA for the public good—instead of trying to run it out of the business of saving lives and property and protecting our national security with its weather forecasts,” Sen. Schatz said. “Since Mr. Myers and his two brothers own and operate AccuWeather, he will also need to explain why his service as NOAA administrator will not violate conflict-of-interest rules and regulations.

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“Additionally, Mr. Myers will need to persuade me that he has the expertise to manage the nation’s leading ocean agency, which oversees commercial and recreational fisheries, coastal land stewardship and the conservation of endangered marine species, when he does not have any formal scientific education or training,” Sen. Schatz said.

“I will keep an open mind throughout our Senate review of his nomination, but I am disappointed that this administration would nominate someone with Mr. Myers’ controversial views on the National Weather Service, especially given the potential for conflicts of interest involving his family and his scant qualifications to run the rest of the agency,” Sen. Schatz concluded.

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