The draft of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee's 2012 budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls for a $103 million cut below current spending of $4.59 billion. The panel's figure is a billion dollars below the amount requested by the Obama Administration.
Only a few details have been released about the proposal. Within the suggested $4.49 billion total, the committee would give $430 million to the Joint Polar Satellite System, a reorganized satellite system that represents a new program for the agency. By comparison, Obama had requested $688 million for the system. In a press release, House appropriators said that the budget would fund the National Weather Service at the requested level of $1.0 billion. But the budget would cut NOAA's Operations, Research and Facilities budget, which supports its ocean science, by $250 million below the 2011 level of $3.19 billion. The Administration had requested $3.49 billion.
"I am very concerned about the proposed cuts to NOAA's budget," wrote Tony Haymet, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in a statement to ScienceInsider.