STATE COLLEGE, PA (CBS) — The CEO of Accuweather in State College has been chosen by President Trump to head NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Barry Myers and his family wholly own Accuweather, and his selection as the head of NOAA, which oversees the National Weather Service, has prompted concern.
“This position is traditionally been filled by a pre-eminent scientist, and Barry Myers is a business man and a lawyer and by that standard alone he is unqualified,” said Richard Hirn, general counsel for the National Weather Service Employees Organization.
Hirn says Myers also lobbied in 2004 for legislation which would bar the Weather Service from sharing information that private companies, like Accuweather, could provide for a fee. The bill, sponsored by Senator Rick Santorum, never went anywhere.
“But if Barry Myers takes over as NOAA administrator he could order the Weather seSvice administratively to implement that which Congress decided not to implement itself,” Hirn said.
The Weather Service currently provides that information for free.