Environment | Local | Economy

OSU Scientist Lubchenco Confirmed As Head Of NOAA

OPB | March 19, 2009 10:07 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:11 a.m. | Portland, OR

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By Rob Manning

The U.S. Senate confirmed Oregon State University scientist, Jane Lubchenco, Thursday as the next administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Rob Manning reports.


Editor's Note
An earlier version of this story said that Lubchenco's confirmation came a week after her hearing. The confirmation was a week after she cleared the panel she had appeared before. OPB regrets the error.
Lubchenco’s confirmation as NOAA administrator came just a week after a senate panel had cleared her for confirmation. But, that panel decision had been delayed, for reasons unrelated to her, or the agency.

OSU has already had one scientist lead NOAA - John Byrne. He says the hold on Lubchenco’s confirmation hints at her new job’s political nature.

John Byrne: “It was a political holding maneuver, and my sense, when I saw what was happening was I said ‘welcome to hardball politics, Jane, this is the way Washington functions’.”

Byrne says Lubchenco should excel as administrator, because her environmental priorities align with the Obama Administration’s.

Lubchenco’s confirmation came the same day that a senate panel moved her likely boss, former Washington governor, Gary Locke, toward confirmation as Commerce Secretary.

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