Congressional Climate Leaders Propose $2.6 Billion for Federal Climate Research and Forecasting

Image: Michael M Stokes via Wikimedia Commons

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor

Democratic members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee have proposed $2.6 billion in funding for weather and climate change research at federal agencies as part of the committee’s $45.5 billion share of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. The move comes as President Biden confirms he will be attending the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this November, and on the heels of a devastating, natural disaster-filled summer.


Why This Matters: The U.S. is in a climate crisis. This past summer, drought, wildfires, and heat domes battered the West, while hurricanes and tropical storms drowned the Southern and East coasts. Climate scientists say that every one of these events can be linked to climate change and rising global temperatures. As the nation invests in significant clean energy projects and updated infrastructure, climate adaptation must be a priority to save lives. Funding more climate research will help the nation prepare for climate disasters before they happen, and build climate resilience into new nationwide infrastructure like power grids, highways, and more.


Money, Money, Money

The measure would include $1.2 billion for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs like tornado, hurricane, wildfire, and drought forecasting. Additionally, it would include: 

  • $765 million for NOAA research into climate adaptation and resilience.
  • $264 million for climate-related research and development at the EPA.
  • $388 million for climate-related programs at NASA.

Other measures in the committee’s reconciliation include $1.2 billion for advancing nuclear fusion and $1.1 billion toward a variety of clean energy projects. It also includes $80 million in grants that would help firefighters access PFAS-free equipment and supplies, after PFAS in protective gear were found to increase cancer risk. 


The proposal comes as President Biden asked Congress for billions in disaster aid on Tuesday, after touring communities in New York and New Jersey that were devastated by Hurricane Ida. And even as tensions rise over the safety and equity of November’s COP26 climate conference, the President confirmed he will be attending the event


Going Solar

Additionally, the administration announced on Wednesday a plan to produce 45% of the nation’s electricity using solar power by 2050, which last year represented only 4% of US energy production. Accomplishing this will require solar infrastructure to grow exponentially by 2030. “One of the things we’re hoping that people see and take from this report is that it is affordable to decarbonize the grid,” said Becca Jones-Albertus, the director of the Solar Energy Technology Office in the Department of Energy. “The grid will remain reliable. We just need to build.”

Up Next

Congressional Democrats & Biden Administration Move Towards Passing Largest Climate Investment in US History

Congressional Democrats & Biden Administration Move Towards Passing Largest Climate Investment in US History

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Late last week, President Biden and a critical mass of Democrats in the Senate and House agreed on the details of Build Back Better legislation — a $1.85 trillion overall investment that includes a record-setting  $555 billion dollars to take on the climate crisis.    The agreement marked a […]

Continue Reading 502 words
Big Oil Testifies in Congress about Decades of Disinformation

Big Oil Testifies in Congress about Decades of Disinformation

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Top executives from Big Oil companies ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, and Shell testified before Congress yesterday amid accusations and revelations about their industry’s efforts to mislead the public about human-caused climate change while claiming to be in favor of climate action. A report released Thursday morning by the House Committee […]

Continue Reading 542 words
UN Says Climate Pledges Are Too Weak to Stop Warming

UN Says Climate Pledges Are Too Weak to Stop Warming

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As the world gets ready for COP26 in Glasgow next week, many nations are upping their pledges to lower emissions before 2030. But according to a UN report released Tuesday, even if Argentina, Britain, Canada, the EU, South Africa, and the US achieve their pledged goals, it would account […]

Continue Reading 326 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.