Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NOAA Fleet Overlooks Seattle

Blame Bush.

Apparently, there is nothing that isn't Bush's fault. Even though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is under the supervision of a Washington liberal Democrat, the decision to base NOAA's Pacific fleet in Newport, Oregon instead of Seattle, Washington is George W. Bush's fault.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke acknowledged Wednesday that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) did not adequately consider basing its research fleet at federally owned facilities in Seattle before deciding to lease docks in Newport, Ore.

"That analysis has not been done," the former Washington governor said during a visit this week to Seattle.

But it's too late to go back to the drawing board.

"The contracts and commitments have already been made," he said. "Even if we were to abandon Oregon, we would still be liable for all the rent payments for the next 10 years."

Locke shifted the blame for a selection process criticized by the Commerce Department's own Inspector General (IG), pointing out that the work started during the Bush administration.

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