The Washington Post: The Nation’s Weather and Oceans Agency Has Never Gone This Long Without a Confirmed Leader
The agency charged with the critical missions of predicting the nation’s weather, monitoring its climate and protecting its coasts has lacked a permanent leader for one year and 95 days, since Donald Trump was elected president.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has never gone so long without a permanent, confirmed director following the installment of a new administration.
Myers committed to resigning from AccuWeather and selling all ownership interests upon confirmation. But Walter Shaub, who was the director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in the Obama administration, said Myers’s conflicts of interest remain unresolved. Notably, AccuWeather would still be owned and operated by his brothers, Joel and Evan Myers.
Shaub wrote in a letter to Senate leadership that Myers “could legally take countless official actions as Administrator to enrich himself or his family by advancing AccuWeather’s financial interests.” Now senior director of ethics at the Campaign Legal Center, Shaub called for the Senate to “require [Myers] to incorporate in a supplemental ethics agreement as a condition for confirming him.”
Myers’s counsel, Scott Thomas, with the law firm Blank Rome, rejected Shaub’s recommendation, characterizing it as “unfounded, unwarranted, and inappropriate” in a letter to Senate leadership obtained by The Washington Post. The letter, which was distributed to Senate offices by Tom Fahy, a lobbyist for AccuWeather, argued Myers has already done what he needs to do to resolve the potential conflict.