Alert: Protect Public Weather Data

The National Weather Service (NWS), a taxpayer-funded agency, monitors thousands of weather stations around America in order to predict hurricanes, sunshine, and every meteorological event in between. In addition to the raw data that it assembles, NWS has recently started offering more user-friendly info to the public via the Internet. So why has Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) introduced a bill that would restrict the kind of information that NWS can freely share?

The National Weather Services Duties Act (S.786) would ban NWS from "competing" with private entities by making it unlawful for the agency to publish user-friendly weather data and barring NWS experts from speaking one-on-one to news agencies. Why? Because Senator Santorum believes that companies like AccuWeather would make more money if they didn't have to compete with "free." That's right - he believes you should pay twice for your weather information in order to line the pockets of the private weather industry, which *already* benefits from repackaging the data that tax-funded agencies like NWS give away. That's not only unfair, it's a bad precedent for our national information resources. Help stop S.786 by sending a letter to your Senators today!

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