• Bridenstine-backed bill aims to improve weather data through private companies

    Updated:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. Jim Bridenstine is supporting a bill aimed at providing improved weather data for forecasters.

    The bill would allow the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to purchase weather data from private companies, something it currently does not do.

    The Oklahoma Republican said the public may get improved warnings by using data from privately owned satellites instead of only relying on government satellites.

    “It should improve the model. In some cases, it may be better than the government satellites,” Bridenstine said.

    Bridenstine also said it would give the government a fail-safe, should aging weather satellites stop functioning before their replacements are launched.

    The information will still be sent out in the same ways it is now.

    “The National Weather Service will provide the warning,” Bridenstine said.

    In an early form of this article, we reported he wanted to privatize weather forecasting and that the National Weather Service should stop issuing warnings.

    He told FOX23, that is absolutely, not true.

    Bridenstine said he thinks of the National Weather Service as being in line with the military, police and firefighters.

    “There is a government role to protect lives and property,” Bridenstine said.

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