Biden wants 25 percent funding increase for NOAA

Published on
April 15, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden has called on Congress to give the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration a more than 25 percent increase in funding for the 2022 fiscal year.

In a letter to Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) on 9 April, Acting Director for the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young requested USD 6.9 billion (EUR 5.8 billion) for the agency. That’s USD 1.4 billion (EUR 1.2 billion) more than the agency received for this current budget year.

More than half of the increase is tied to additional investments in climate research that would give support the work of regional and local decision makers and help make U.S. communities more resilient toward climate change.

“This additional funding would also complement other federal climate investments, including those at the Department of Agriculture and Department of the Interior, leveraging work to provide localized information to help communities respond to the threat of climate change,” Young wrote.

In a statement, Leahy said the president’s spending plan “reflects the real needs” of Americans and understands the seriousness the threat climate change poses.

Some environmental advocates said they supported the push for more funding. In a statement, Restore America’s Estuaries said the spending request was a welcome change after the past decade of weather disasters.

“The initial budget is an expression of priorities and a roadmap for future policies,” RAE President and CEO Daniel Hayden said. “We believe the president is sending a strong signal to Congress and American people that investing in coastal resilience, climate change, and environmental justice provides opportunities to bring bipartisan solutions to real-world problems impacting our bays and estuaries.”

On Thursday, 15 April, a House Appropriations subcommittee will hear from Stephen Volz, the assistant administrator for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, on the increasing risks of climate change and the agency’s role in providing services.

Photo courtesy of Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock

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