Sending Office: Honorable Daniel Lipinski
Request for Signature(s)
Our scientific establishment and our economy are highly dependent on our constellation of Earth-observing satellites. From understanding whether clouds and aerosols warm or cool the planet, to tracking forest fires, to monitoring the ocean food web and global
fisheries, earth-observing satellites are critical to our understanding of our home planet.
There are five earth-observing satellite missions that received full funding in the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill, but reduced or no funding in the companion House bill. These are:
- DSCOVR (continued operation of instruments already in space): $0 House/$1.9 million Senate
- PACE (ocean plankton growth monitoring): $0 House/$147 million Senate
- CLARREO (measures the amount of sunlight absorbed by Earth): $0 House/$28 million Senate
- OCO-3 (estimates carbon dioxide emissions): $0 House/$9.5 million Senate
- Landsat-9 (provides nationwide satellite imagery): $175.8 million House/$198 million Senate
Cancelling or underfunding these missions will undermine our ability to understand climate and Earth science research, as well as everyone else who depends on the data these satellites provide. The Senate understood this and fully funded these missions.
I invite you to join me in this letter to the House and Senate CJS appropriations committees, urging them to incorporate the Senate language in the final Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill. If you have any questions or would like to sign on, please contact
Joel Creswell in my office at 202-225-5701 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to add your name is February 8.
Daniel W. Lipinski
Member of Congress
Dear Chairmen Shelby and Culberson and Ranking Members Shaheen and Serrano:
NASA’s Earth observing systems provide data critical to our understanding of our home planet. NASA Earth observing instruments and missions currently under development will expand our capabilities to support everything from understanding whether clouds and
aerosols warm or cool the planet, to monitoring the ocean food web and global fisheries.
As you work toward finalizing appropriations legislation for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), we ask that you incorporate language from the Senate bill that sustains funding for several NASA Earth observing
instruments and missions currently under development.
Specifically, we request that you sustain funding for NASA’s Earth observing instruments that are operating on NOAA’s space weather satellite, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). NASA’s instruments on DSCOVR monitor ozone, clouds, aerosols, volcanic
plumes and vegetation over the sunlit portion of Earth every 1-2 hours. These instruments are funded at $1.9 million in the Senate bill but received no funding in the House bill. It seems a shame to decommission an existing instrument that continues to provide
useful, irreplaceable, and unique observations.
In addition, we request that you ensure continued, full funding for development of the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission, CLARREO Pathfinder mission, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) instrument, and the Landsat 9 mission. PACE,
funded at $147 million in the Senate bill, will monitor plankton growth in the ocean; CLARREO, funded at $28 million, will measure the amount of sunlight absorbed by the earth and its atmosphere with unprecedented accuracy; and OCO-3, funded at $9.5 million,
will estimate carbon dioxide emissions over specific urban areas. These three missions will provide data that will help us better understand changes in the Earth’s climate, regardless of their cause, yet none of them received any funding in the House bill.
Landsat 9 was funded at $198 million in the Senate bill but at only $175.8 million in the House bill. Landsat satellites have been informing decision-makers about human health, agriculture, fire, natural disasters, water management, ecosystems and forest
management since 1972. The two currently orbiting platforms (Landsat 7 and 8) are at or well beyond their 5-year design life. Full funding at $198 million will ensure that Landsat-9 meets its scheduled 2020 launch date.
Our scientific establishment and our economy are highly dependent on our constellation of earth observing satellites and in a data-driven era, they have never been more important. We urge you to help us maintain American leadership in earth observation and
science by fully funding these critical instruments.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0