Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) spent the better part of two days last week touring areas of his state devastated by killer tornadoes. Bachus was in Tuscaloosa when President Obama toured perhaps the hardest hit area in Alabama. And Bachus issued a somber statement, calling on citizens to come together to help comfort those affected by the storms.
Bachus, however, apparently neglected to mention that he and other Republicans in Alabama's Congressional delegation voted against funding for satellites that are critical for accurate storm forecasting. The Web site climateprogress.org reports that Bachus and his fellow Alabama Republicans--Martha Roby, Mo Brooks, Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers, and Jo Bonner--voted against a bill that would replace aging satellites that are the heart of America's weather-forecasting system.
The ability of those satellites to provide accurate weather information probably saved hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives last week in Alabama. But the satellites need to be replaced, and Alabama Republicans decided that was not necessary--just days before their state was hit with one of the deadliest tornadoes in American history.
On Thursday, as the search for survivors continued in devastated communities across Alabama and other southern states pummeled this week by massive, terrifying tornadoes, President Obama said "we can't control when or where a terrible storm may strike, but we can control how we respond to it." Unfortunately, thanks to the spending bill orchestrated by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, he couldn't say we are doing everything in our power to protect Americans from future extreme weather events.
How important is modern technology in forecasting powerful storms?