You are hereU.S. government budget cuts could effect American disaster security
U.S. government budget cuts could effect American disaster security
In Japan, the national crisis caused by the tsunami and earthquakes maybe the biggest catastrophe that the country has faced since World War II. The death toll is estimated to exceed over 10,000 people and areas of the nation’s infrastructure lie in ruins.
In the wake of this disaster, the United States government wants to cut spending for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These cuts could reduce funding for the National Weather Service, as well as humanitarian and foreign aid. In total, the Bill would cut over 900 million dollars from NOAA for the 2011-2012 budgets.
The Bill has passed the House of Representatives but has not yet passed through the Senate. People protesting the Bill point to the crisis in Japan and the need for this money to help officials and citizens of America prepare for this type of disaster.
“There needs to be a rethinking of what needs to be cut and more of an emphasis on preventative measures,” said Kathleen Tierney, director of the natural hazards center and professor of sociology at CU. “Instead of paying a little now, we may have to pay a whole lot more later.”
Many democrats are in opposition to the Bill, but republicans say it’s necessary, due to current economic conditions, to decrease spending in virtually every area of the government — including NOAA.
“It seems to me that the most prudent thing to do is to keep these programs on track so we can avoid seeing the devastating impacts that we’re seeing in Japan,” Tierney said.
NOAA operates many weather monitoring programs, one of which is the National Weather Service that runs the pacific tsunami-warning center in Hawaii. The bill would cut 126 million dollars from the NWS 2011 budget, which is about 15 percent of the programs financial resources.
If the cuts happen, there will be furloughs for NOAA employees at both of the tsunami-warning centers that protect our country and could result in the closure of up to 12 forecast offices that protect Americans and property.