Congressman Matt Cartwright

Representing the 17th District of Pennsylvania
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Rep. Cartwright Introduces Bill to Improve Climate Change Resilience

Mar 9, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Matt Cartwright introduced a bipartisan bill that would strengthen America’s ability to withstand the challenges posed by climate change. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SUCCESS Act directs NIST to convene an effort to make consistent, authoritative set of climate information available to standard-developing organizations (SDOs).

SDOs design standards, building codes, voluntary certifications, and other standards to ensure that work is performed and products are developed to the high level of quality that the American people have come to expect. Whereas agencies such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) possess cutting-edge climate change data, SDOs often find it difficult to find and incorporate useful and relevant information. 

Rep. Cartwright requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issue a report regarding how the federal government could facilitate the use of forward-looking climate change data by SDOs. The GAO report, issued in November 2016, recommended that the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the director of NIST, should convene an interagency effort to improve federal agencies’ participation in the standard-setting process and to improve the use of climate data in these efforts.

“Climate change is on course to affect virtually every American in the coming years,” said Rep. Cartwright. “We must prepare for the future, and ready our homes and our country’s infrastructure to be able to withstand weather events associated with climate change.”

The NIST SUCCESS Act implements GAO’s recommendation. Specifically, this bill would:

  • Convene, in conjunction with the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group, an interagency effort to increase the use of forward-looking climate data in standard setting.
  • Identify a consistent, authoritative set of climate information, emphasizing forward-looking climate information and projections to help both federal and non-federal bodies develop standards, building codes, and voluntary standards that are more resilient to extreme weather and other effects of climate change.
  • Coordinate federal agencies’ participation in the standard-setting process whenever there is a need for accurate climate change data and projections.

“I am hopeful that NIST can foster innovative ways to combat climate change,” said Rep. Cartwright.