Senators want to spend tax dollars to control the weather?
If Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall have their way, rain will go away come again some other day of their choosing.
Both Hutchison and Udall have introduced unsuccessful bills in the past that would have created national boards to oversee and fund research into weather modification. That is, artificially changing or controlling the weather.
In 2004 and 2005, Hutchison introduced a bill that sought to establish “a comprehensive and coordinated national weather modification policy and a national cooperative federal and state program of weather modification research and development.”
“While we may not be able to stop Mother Nature entirely, we can sometimes alter her course, changing the weather in small, yet significant ways,” Hutchison said on the Senate floor in 2004.
The bill never became law, in part because of efforts by the George W. Bush administration, which rained on Hutchison’s parade.
In June 2005, Sen. Udall, then in the House of Representatives, introduced a companion in the House and called for appropriations of $10 million annually over a ten-year period.
The 2009 bill called for $25 million in annual funding between 2010 and 2014, but a Congressional Budget Office estimate from 2009 showed the bill would have actually increased discretionary spending by $88 million during that five-year period.
Then-Rep. Udall again introduced a companion bill in the House in 2007, which called for appropriations of $10 million annually over 10 years.
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