Take Action: October 31, 2017 Support science and scientific agencies

The proposed spending bills for 2018 in both the House and Senate will underfund our nation’s scientific institutions. Many of these cuts specifically target climate change research: under the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Act in the House (H.R.3267), funding for climate science at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would drop by 19%, the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) would disappear, and NASA’s earth science budget would shrink by 11%. In addition, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) funds would shrink by 4%, and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) funds would be cut by over a hundred million dollars, with tight restrictions placed on the ability to redistribute funds towards novel research. The equivalent Senate appropriations bill (S.1662), though less extreme, also contains millions of dollars of cuts to programs at NASA, the NOAA, the NIST, and the NSF.

Scientific funding, which makes up less than 2% of the federal budget, is an essential investment in our country’s future: technological innovation, especially in the renewable energy sector, will create American jobs and improve lives, while climate change research must remain a high priority if we are to preserve our country – and our world – for future generations. Cutting funds for the NOAA, ARPA-E, NASA, the NIST, or the NSF is not the way to address the problem of federal debt. Both H.R. 3267 and S. 1662 have passed in committee and move next to floor votes in the House and Senate, respectively.

In addition to calling your members of Congress, you can use this form from the American Geophysical Union to contact your legislator.

Possible Call Script:  Hello.  My name is [NAME] and I am calling from [TOWN, ZIP CODE].  I am calling because I am concerned that the 2018 budget proposals in both the House and Senate underfund our nation’s scientific institutions.  Scientific funding makes up less than 2% of the federal budget but helps ensure our country’s future.  Cutting funds from scientific agencies is not the way to address the problem of federal debt.  Will [NAME OF MOC] help fund our scientific agencies?

#ScienceisEssential

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