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NOAA to Lose $266 Million in Two Key Accounts Due to Sequester

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 02-Mar-2013
Updated: 02-Mar-2013 10:06 AM

The sequester will cut $266 million from two key accounts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that are used to fund NOAA's satellite programs.   President Obama signed a sequestration order as required by law last night that cuts non-defense discretionary activities like NOAA by 5 percent for FY2013. 

NOAA's satellite programs are funded primarily through the Operations, Research and Facilities (ORF) account and the Procurement, Acquisition and Construction (PAC) account.   According to the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB's) March 1, 2013 report to Congress detailing the impact of the sequester, ORF and PAC would be cut as follows:

  • ORF:   $3,295 million subject to sequester, reducing it by $165 million
  • PAC:   $2,013 million subject to sequester, reducing it by $101 million

In a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, NOAA's parent Department of Commerce stated that sequester could delay launch of the first two of the next generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R satellites by two to three years.  The letter also stated that 2,600 NOAA employees could be furloughed.


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