Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr.
Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere; Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Dr. Len Pietrafesa
Associate Dean, Office of External Affairs; Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, North Carolina State University 


Press Release


WASHINGTON, March 22, 2007 – Energy and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Inglis (R-SC) today in a Subcommittee hearing, discussed priorities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) fiscal year 2008 (FY08) budget request.

Testifying before the Subcommittee was Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr., Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Dr. Len Pietrafesa, Associate Dean at the Office of External Affairs and Professor of Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences at the College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences at North Carolina State University.

Inglis was concerned that the request falls $96 million short the FY06 appropriated funding level, but still recognized accomplishments at NOAA, even in a very tight budget environment. “While I recognize that many in the ocean community would like to see an even larger budget for NOAA, I want to give Admiral Lautenbacher credit for the new initiatives in the FY 2008 budget request that reflect priorities in the President’s Ocean Action Plan,” Inglis said. “At a time when many agencies face flat or declining budgets, he convinced the powers that be to invest $123 million in programs that will improve our understanding and stewardship of coastal and ocean resources.”

Admiral Lautenbacher also supported the President’s budget request, saying, “This request includes the level of resources necessary to carry out NOAA’s mission, which is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation’s economic, social and environmental needs.” Lautenbacher added, “At NOAA we work to protect the lives and livelihoods of Americans, and provide products and services that benefit the economy, environment, and public safety of the nation.”

Dr. Pietrafesa was not as optimistic about the budget request, saying that it is insufficient to fund all of the missions of the agency. He said, “Given NOAA’s role as the lead federal agency for our oceans and atmosphere, and our increasing appreciation and understanding of the human health, national security, and economic impacts associated with the oceanic and atmospheric physical and biological processes, we firmly believe that an increased investment in NOAA is needed now.”


NOAA's Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Proposal

Hearing Charter