Santorum Bought by AccuWeather, Lock, Stock and Barrel

Do you think you have a right to get free weather information from the government’s weather service? Rick doesn’t think so – he thinks his constituants who own AccuWeather in State College should control online access to weather information. He’s filed legislation (S. 786) that would, essentially, force much government meteorological information off-line. The relevant part states:

(b) COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR- The Secretary of Commerce shall not provide, or assist other entities in providing, a product or service (other than a product or service described in subsection (a)(1)) that is or could be provided by the private sector unless–

(1) the Secretary determines that the private sector is unwilling or unable to provide such product or service; or

(2) the United States Government is obligated to provide such product or service under international aviation agreements to provide meteorological services and exchange meteorological information.

In short, since AccuWeather is in the private sector, it means that the NOAA Web site (http://www.erh.noaa.gov) and its data could be forced off the Web.

This is a typical Republican response – protect your corporate pals at all costs. Never mind that citizens, scientists and other people whose taxes have already paid for the collection of the data can’t access it as easily. Just keep your buddies employed.

Thanks to The Daily Kos for picking up on this – no one in the Pittsburgh media seems to have yet.

Yet another reason that Rick must be voted out next year. If you need any more evidence, read DumpRick (yes, I know it’s another Web site I own…).

No Longer the World’s Slowest Blog is a periodic blog with comments on a variety of topics. http://www.dpsinfo.com/blog