The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 10, 2013

Guest Editorial: Bridenstine's bill will help weather forecasting

Enid News and Eagle

TULSA — Oklahomans understand the need for better weather forecasting. So does First District U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine.

A bill by Bridenstine directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to give weather forecasting first priority. It was approved by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in a bipartisan fashion and now heads to a vote on the House floor.

Advances in weather forecasting have proven their worth over the years, saving many lives with advance warning of tornadoes.

Bridenstine understands that as important as advance warnings are, there is more to weather forecasting that can be equally valuable. The bill also is good news for Oklahomans as well as all Americans who live in areas prone to violent storms.

Being a veteran Navy pilot, he is familiar with state-of-the art radar and realizes its capacity to aid the civilian population.

The fact that the nation’s premier weather research facility is a part of the University of Oklahoma is an added bonus.

Bridenstine’s original proposal called for more funding to be diverted from climate change research. That idea was somewhat diminished with changes by the committee, a reasonable move that might help ensure its passage in the Senate.

A key job of Congress is to set priorities for federal spending. That’s precisely what Bridenstine’s bill is, and it gets important work done without adding to the deficit.

This is the congressman’s first bill to advance out of a House committee. And it is a good one.

The Tulsa World