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Lawmakers push NOAA to prevent future 'Sharpiegate'

Lawmakers push NOAA to prevent future 'Sharpiegate'
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Democratic lawmakers are asking for assurances from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the agency will put measures in place to prevent a future “Sharpiegate” incident.

June report from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) found that the agency violated its scientific integrity policy by issuing a statement in September contradicting the National Weather Service shortly after President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE said Hurricane Dorian was headed toward Alabama.

“While you dispute the NAPA findings in your response — stating that the tweet and NOAA statement on Hurricane Dorian are 'not the types of science and research to which the [scientific integrity] policy applies—it remains clear that this incident casts serious doubt over NOAA’s ability to ensure the scientific integrity of its world-class employees,” Democratic Sens. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenators ask airlines to offer cash refunds for unused flight credits Civilian Climate Corps can help stem rural-urban divide Senate votes to nix Trump rule limiting methane regulation MORE (Mass.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Infrastructure, Cheney ouster on deck as Congress returns Warren says she'll run for reelection to Senate MORE (Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoIf you want Julie Su at the DOL, don't point to her resume Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap Senate tries to shake off graveyard status MORE (Hawaii), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end 0 benefits boost Putting a price on privacy: Ending police data purchases Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE (Ore.) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanSununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate Treasury: States can seize stimulus payments to provide criminal restitution Americans for Prosperity launches campaign targeting six Democrats to oppose ending filibuster MORE (N.H.) wrote in a letter to NOAA.

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NOAA wrote in a Sept. 6 statement that “tropical storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama,” contradicting a Sept. 1 statement from the National Weather Service in Birmingham that said the state would see “no impacts” from the hurricane. 

The statement came after Trump insisted that Alabama should prepare for the storm, which ultimately landed on the East Coast. In defending his claim, Trump used a marked-up projection map produced by NOAA that conflicted with information given by weather forecasters.

The NAPA report, which was requested by NOAA following public pressure, found that “the development of the statement was not based on science but appears to be largely driven by external influence from senior Commerce [Department] officials who drafted the Sept. 6 statement.”

The lawmakers argue NOAA must “determine what steps you will take to implement or even to exceed NAPA’s recommendations in order to establish an ethically sound culture at NOAA that ensures scientific integrity is paramount.”

NOAA did not immediately respond to request for comment from The Hill.