Save WWV

As reported by the ARRL, the National Institute of Standards and Technology budget request for FY 2019 includes a request for shutting down the time standard stations, WWV and WWVH, in Colorado and Hawaii. We at W8EDU depend upon these stations for our research on ionospheric propagation, as well as for curricular exercises. Radio amateurs know WWV as the warm heartbeat of the airwaves. A radio anywhere in the world can hear the voice of WWV on ten-point-zero megahertz repeating; if that’s not American exceptionalism, we don’t know what is.

We’ll be leading an effort to make our voices heard in Congress, and hope to see these stations preserved for future generations. Read on to find out how you can help. 


WHOM TO CALL

Letters, emails and petitions to Congress are rarely read. Calling is the best method to ensure that your input is received. Having said that, there is a petition going:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/maintain-funding-nist-stations-wwv-wwvh

A sample telephone script is below.  Congress administrators have been surprisingly attentive listening to this and have asked a few questions.

We’ll be trying to reach the members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and the Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. We don’t expect this issue to be split along partisan lines, and we’ll be keeping track here of which representatives have expressed an opinion on the topic. If one of these politicians represents you, call them and let them know how you feel. If your state or district is not represented, call anyone on the committees who has not expressed a clear stance. Remember that Congress works for you.

House Subcommittee on Research and Technology

Representative State Phone Number Stance
Barbara Comstock, Chair Virginia (202) 225-5136 Unknown
Frank D. Lucas Oklahoma (202) 225-5565 Unknown
Randy Hultgren Illinois (202) 225-2976 Unknown
Stephen Knight California (202) 225-1956 Unknown
Barry Loudermilk Georgia (202) 225-2931 Unknown
Daniel Webster Florida (202) 225-1002 Unknown
Roger W. Marshall, Vice Chair Kansas (202) 225-2715 Unknown
Debbie Lesko Arizona (202) 225-4576 Unknown
Michael Cloud Texas (202) 225-7742 Unknown
Daniel Lipinski, Ranking Member Illinois (202) 225-5701 Unknown
Elizabeth H. Esty Connecticut (202) 225-4476 Unknown
Jacky Rosen Nevada (202) 225-3252 Unknown
Suzanne Bonamici Oregon (202) 225-0855 Unknown
Ami Bera California (202) 225-5716 Unknown
Donald S. Beyer, Jr. Virginia (202) 225-4376 Unknown

Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies

Senator State Phone Number Stance
Jerry Moran, Chair Kansas (202) 224-6521 Unknown
Jeanne Shaheen, Ranking Member New Hampshire (202) 224-2841 Unknown
Lamar Alexander Tennessee (202) 224-4944 Unknown
Lisa Murkowski Alaska (202) 224-6665 Unknown
Susan Collins Maine (202) 224-2523 Unknown
Lindsey Graham South Carolina (202) 224-5972 Unknown
John Boozman Arkansas (202) 224-4843 Unknown
Shelley Moore Capito West Virginia (202) 224-6472 Unknown
James Lankford Oklahoma (202) 224-5754 Unknown
John Kennedy Louisiana (202) 224-4623 Unknown
Patrick Leahy Vermont (202) 224-4242 Unknown
Dianne Feinstein California (202) 224-3841 Unknown
Jack Reed Rhode Island (202) 224-4642 Unknown
Christopher Coons Delaware (202) 224-5042 Unknown
Brian Schatz Hawaii (202) 224-3934 Unknown
Joe Manchin West Virginia (202) 224-3954 Unknown
Chris Van Hollen Maryland (202) 224-4654 Unknown

Sample Script:
Hello. My name is {NAME} and my zip code is {ZIP}.
I am calling to advocate for United States National Institute of Standards and Technology radio transmitters WWV and WWVH against proposed budget cuts.
Shortwave radio transmitters WWV and WWVH fulfill a public-good mandate of Congress under the Weights and Measures clause of the US Constitution.  Their standard frequency, time of day, GPS constellation integrity, high seas weather, space weather, and other regular reports are easily and inexpensively available to all United States users throughout the world; that is the nature of shortwave radio.  These functions are not duplicated by any other communications system public or private, and I ask my elected officials and with regulatory agency leaders to leave these functions intact. 
WWV and WWVH also perform outstandingly in the important roles of atmospheric sounding beacons in physics research.  In that, they provide information vital to the safety of the nation’s electric power networks, communications systems, and the GPS constellation.  The infrastructure they represent is used in thousands of government- and industrially-funded research projects and cannot be duplicated.  The maintenance of these functions represents an inexpensive addition to a well-spent, sunk cost by the US taxpayer; defunding them would a shortsighted destruction of an established capital asset.
The monetary outlay for WWV and WWVH is approximately 0.6% of the NIST budget and approximately 0.2 cents per taxpaying family per year.
Please maintain these essentially priceless public goods.  The scientific community of the United States is depending on you.
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