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Despite being the new nominee to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Barry Myers has spent his career attempting to put weather forecasting behind a paywall. NOAA collects and uses detailed weather data to produce free, updated forecasts every 6 hours. NOAA forecasts help local governments and private citizens alike prepare for natural disasters. However, as CEO of the for-profit forecasting company AccuWeather, Myers argued that NOAA and the National Weather Service should only publish extreme weather warnings to the public and leave routine weather forecasting to for-profit entities. In 2013, Myers even accused the National Weather Service of unfairly competing with AccuWeather when they began sharing life-saving storm updates on Twitter and Facebook.
Myers’ longstanding opposition to NOAA’s core mission alone should disqualify him from serving as NOAA administrator. However, the Labor Department also found that while Myers was CEO of AccuWeather, sexual harassment was so pervasive throughout the organization that the company paid $290,000 to at least 39 women involved in the settlement.
Nominating Myers to serve as NOAA Administrator after he has spent over 30 years lobbying against its mission is an insult to the scientists and public servants who have devoted their careers to emergency preparedness. It’s also a slap in the face to the women at AccuWeather who faced systemic harassment under Myers’ leadership. Demand that your senators oppose Myers’ nomination.