By Ben Wolfgang
House Republicans charged Wednesday that the Obama administration is aiming to establish a â€œpropaganda officeâ€ for Democratic initiatives on global warming through a proposal to consolidate operations in a new â€œclimate serviceâ€ office within the Commerce Department
Tensions boiled over at a congressional hearing as officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defended the consolidation plan contained in President Obamaâ€™s fiscal 2012 budget and denied having any ulterior motive.
NOAA hopes to move more than 50 percent of its resources into the new climate service department, which it says will serve as the central clearinghouse for farmers, local governments, the military and academics seeking information on climate trends.
But a number of GOP lawmakers, who have staunchly opposed the administrationâ€™s climate and energy policies in the past, challenged NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco at a hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.