Oppositions to Barry Myers’ nomination stem from the fact that in 2005, AccuWeather working with then-Senator Rick Santorum had backed, unsuccessfully, a proposal that would have limited dissemination of National Weather Service forecasts on websites. If it would have gone ahead, it may have lead to increased financial gains to AccuWeather.
U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated Barry Myers, the CEO of AccuWeather Inc, a privately owned weather forecasting company, as the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department.
As per the White House, Myers has been running AccuWeather successfully since 2007 and over the last decade the “company has experienced its highest grossing years, and its largest global web and mobile audience growth. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the use of weather information.”
Based out of State College, Pennsylvania, AccuWeather was founded by Myers’ brother Joel Myers.
Earler in May, the Trump Administration had proposed cutting NOAA budget by 17% to $4.8 billion, including $230 million for grant and education programs. NOAA provides daily and long-term weather forecasts for agricultural planning and emergency response to severe weather like hurricanes.
In July, Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, had raised concerns about the nomination. His observation stem from the fact that in 2005, AccuWeather working with then-Senator Rick Santorum had backed, unsuccessfully, a proposal that would have limited dissemination of National Weather Service forecasts on websites.
”Many Americans have come to rely on forecasts issued daily by the National Weather Service,” said Nelson. “From storm tracking to drought forecasts, this information is critical to protecting life, property and livelihoods. Any nominee who has a history of trying to undercut the National Weather Service for financial gain should raise serious questions.”
As per the Center for American Progress, Myers may not be suitable for the job since unlike the eleven of the previous 12 NOAA administrators, he lacks an advanced scientific degree.
Myers has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business and also holds a law degree.
“President Trump has responded to NOAA’s remarkable work … by nominating an administrator who has a history of trying to block the agency from issuing weather forecasts to the American public,” said Michael Conathan, director of ocean policy at the Center for American Progress, in a statement.
In June, Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement saying the accord would cost the nation trillions of dollars, be a hindrance to the oil, gas, coal industries, and kill jobs.
This week, the Trump administration began the process of undoing the Obama administration’s clean power plans.
Despite overwhelming agreement from the world’s scientific community, Trump and Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have both expressed doubts on whether climate change is man-made.