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Lawmakers eye shifting climate research from NASA

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Lawmakers eye shifting climate research from NASA
Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter
Climatewire: Friday, February 17, 2017

 

Lawmakers are remaking NASA in order to leave parts of the agency’s earth science program untouched but remove its climate change research.

 

It’s still unclear exactly how lawmakers plan to transform NASA’s mission, but Republicans and Trump administration officials have said they want the agency to focus on deep-space missions and away from climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. That has created uncertainty about the fate of the Earth Sciences Division, which accounts for about $2 billion of NASA’s $20 billion budget.

 

At a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing yesterday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said he wants a “rebalancing” of NASA’s mission. The lawmaker told E&E News he wants the agency to reprioritize its mission because the Obama administration cut space exploration funds.

Specifically, that could mean NASA’s work on climate change would go to another agency, with or without funding, or possibly would get cut. Smith and other Republicans avoided laying out specifics but acknowledged that earth science at NASA would likely face some significant changes in the near future.

 

“By rebalancing, I’d like for more funds to go into space exploration; we’re not going to zero out earth sciences,” he said. “Our weather satellites have been an immense help, for example, and that’s from NASA, but I’d like for us to remember what our priorities are, and there are another dozen agencies that study earth science and climate change, and they can continue to do that. Meanwhile, we only have one agency that engages in space exploration, and they need every dollar they can muster for space exploration.”

 

READ MORE:  http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060050245

 

Here is the TEXT of the bill:  https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/20170215_nasa1.pdf

 

 

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