CRIST CALLS ON PRESIDENT TRUMP TO FILL NOAA ADMINISTRATOR VACANCY

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Washington, June 27, 2017 | comments
Congressman Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) is calling on President Trump to immediately nominate a qualified individual to lead the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  This critical agency houses the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center that keep communities prepared for severe storms. We are one month into what is predicted to be an above-normal hurricane season, yet a NOAA administrator still has not been named.

"Not only does NOAA's work help support our local economy, but it also provides valuable information to my constituents – information that saves lives," said Crist. "Leaving the position of NOAA Administrator vacant is taking an unnecessary risk with people’s lives and livelihoods. I'm urging the President to quickly nominate a qualified individual and work with the Senate to have them confirmed."

Please find a copy of the letter attached and below:

The Honorable Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump,

I write today to urge you to expeditiously nominate a qualified individual to serve as Administrator of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The work performed by NOAA is critically important to not only my District, but to countless other communities across the country. NOAA is responsible for weather forecasting, ocean monitoring, coastal resiliency and planning, and fishery management, just to name a few. Not only does this work help support the local economy of my District, but it also provides valuable information to my constituents – information that saves lives.

As a Floridian and member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, the National Weather Service (NWS), including the National Hurricane Center, is of utmost importance to me. As you know, hurricane season began on June 1st; and NOAA has predicted an above-normal season in the Atlantic. In fact, we’ve already seen three named storms this year – including a rare pre-season tropical storm and Tropical Storm Cindy, which recently made landfall along the Gulf Coast. It is critically important that you immediately nominate a NOAA Administrator who can provide the stability and direction needed to appropriately manage and navigate hurricane season.

I would also like to commend the work performed by the NWS field offices, including the office located in Ruskin, Florida near my District. These offices fill a critical link between national weather prediction and local preparedness; and I am a strong supporter of the men and women who tirelessly staff them – many of whom work off-hours and overnight shifts. In light of the recent Government Accountability Office report showing that NWS meteorologist vacancies are growing and “employees are fatigued and morale is low,” it is my hope that the next NOAA Administrator will take a hard look at this issue and move in an appropriate direction to correct it. Fatigued employees mean less accurate predictions. Less accurate predictions mean more lives at risk during severe weather events.

Mr. President, leaving the position of NOAA Administrator vacant is taking an unnecessary risk with people’s lives and livelihoods. I urge you to quickly nominate a qualified individual and work with the Senate to have them confirmed. Thank you for your consideration of this important request.

Sincerely,

Charlie Crist
United States Congressman 
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