Saturday, June 04, 2005

Today's Weather For Sale

From today's New York Times. Pork Barrels. *urp* - breenie

Overcast in Pennsylvania

Published: June 4

Far from just talking about the weather, Senator Rick Santorum is doing something dank and cloudy about it: he is proposing to squelch the National Weather Service's growing role in the information age.

The Weather Service provides a priceless flow of nonstop measurements and readings that commercial forecasting companies package and sell to the public. Lately, the Weather Service itself has been trying to make all its information more accessible to anyone who wants it. But Mr. Santorum, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, has introduced legislation that would basically require the service to give much of its data only to those private weather forecasting companies. A dozen of those businesses happen to be located in Mr. Santorum's home state, Pennsylvania.

"It's not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers or investors when the government is providing similar products for free," the senator said, somehow overlooking that taxpayers finance this round-the-clock national resource in the first place.

Senator Santorum, who is running for re-election, is vowing to protect hundreds of Pennsylvania weather company jobs. But timing is everything in both politics and weather, and his case was not helped by the fact that two days before the bill was introduced, his campaign accepted a $2,000 donation from one of the weather companies lobbying for protection. This was dismissed by the senator's supporters as a small-beer coincidence in a $25 million race. But as they say on the weather segment, it's a lingering disturbance on the Doppler.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


...durr, not as in Ridor-Gay.

6/05/2005 12:42 AM  

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